Did you know that the average American adult spends one-quarter of their life at work?1 With all the time we spend working, it's critical that we each take the time to set our career goals and make thoughtful decisions about what we want out of our working lives. No one wants to be stuck at a dead-end job, and life really is too short to spend years plodding along on an unfulfilling career path.
Bipolar Disorder – Work and Bipolar or Depression
There is a common perception that the hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder type II does not impede one's ability to work, unlike the full-blown manic episodes that come with bipolar disorder type I. I believe that this is misleading. While it is true that hypomania is less severe than mania, the symptoms -- elevated mood, inflated optimism, distractibility, increased goal-oriented activity, racing thoughts, and impulsivity -- are the same. Hypomania may not have sent me to the hospital, but before I began treatment, hypomania made it almost impossible for me to work.
When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, one of my biggest work confidence fears was that I would never achieve my career goals. I had graduated from college exactly two years before, and although I had excelled academically, I had a very difficult time finding and keeping work in the post-graduate world: I struggled to stay on task and complete projects by the deadline, and I could not make it through a single team meeting without fidgeting.
What time management tips might help someone with bipolar disorder work from home more efficiently? Read on for four great hints on being more productive while working from home with bipolar disorder.
Thinking traps, also known as cognitive distortions, are exaggerated or unbalanced thinking patterns that negatively impact mental and emotional health. While thinking traps are common and can affect anyone from time to time, people living with bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety are especially susceptible. The following are three common thinking traps that I often find myself caught in, especially in relation to my job: all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, and labeling/mislabeling.
For those with bipolar disorder, episodes of mania/hypomania cause racing thoughts that make it difficult—if not, impossible—to work. For me, racing thoughts are a mix of bursting creative ideas and intrusive onslaughts of useless and unrelated mental chatter. As you can imagine, this makes it difficult to work. I'm either too busy trying to keep up with my ideas or too distracted and overwhelmed by the never-ending chatter. I get frustrated by my inability to focus, irritated by disruptions, and the chaos in my brain leaves me completely drained. For me to get any work done with racing thoughts, I need to carve out an environment that eliminates as many triggers as possible.
Fatigue at work often interferes with your job when you have depression. When you are constantly exhausted, it’s hard to focus on your job, and depending on what you do, this can be dangerous. If fatigue because of depression at work is a problem for you, it’s important to take steps to manage it. In this post, I will go over habits to establish to help you manage exhaustion, as well as some quick tips for dealing with fatigue at work.
Could your desk use some decluttering? If so, you may share a personality trait with most procrastinators--putting off decisions. Breaking that procrastination habit means you are going to have to do a bit of digging, literally, to declutter your desk. This can be more difficult for those with bipolar than those without, but it can be done. Planning, practice and more practice is what it takes to declutter your desk and regain space in your bipolar mind.
Resilience is a gradual learning process. It can be useful in both personal and work situations. These are only recommendations on building resilience, there are many more. Test a few out and try the ones that work for you.
One of the traits for success in business is resiliency. Resilience is the ability to adapt and rebound when plans or schedules don't go as they should. Part of resiliency is being able to quickly analyze a situation. If a mistake has been made, learn from it and move on. No need to dwell on the situation for a long period. A leading psychologist has researched resilience and found there are three factors that are necessary to have resilience: