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What Are Good Career Choices for Those With Bipolar Disorder?

author image Richard Nilsen
Richard Nilsen writes poetry, fiction, features and news stories in upstate New York. He was an emergency mental-health consultant for 20 years and directed a mentoring agency for a decade. Nilsen is a black-fly control technician in the Adirondack Park, where he enjoys hiking, biking and boating.
What Are Good Career Choices for Those With Bipolar Disorder?
Lower-stress jobs can benefit a bipolar patient. Photo Credit: Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Those with bipolar disorder tend to suffer the slings and arrows of the ups and downs of life more than most. Since the highs and lows of life can unbalance the bipolar patient, career choices need to be made that are likely to be supporting in her therapy, give measured success and play to her strengths.

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Supportive Careers

What works best for bipolar patients in the job market may not be the particular job as much as the environment. Working in a health field, such as a hospital or adult home, whether as a janitor or accountant, the environment should be sensitive to scheduled medication, time off to rest and supervisory openness to getting therapeutic help as needed. In her book, "Adult Bipolar Disorders," Mitzi Waltz advises bipolar employees to call a counselor or local support group to help him with workplace problems.

Go to Your Strengths

A person with bipolar disorder should play to her strengths. If you are good with people, working with the disadvantaged or in an agency that works with developmentally disabled could be a good choice. Within a supportive environment choices for those good with math might be in financial or billing offices. Pick something that you are comfortable with and won’t have ups and downs of stress. No sales or stock market positions are likely to be a good fit, for example.


Steady, scheduled jobs will help the bipolar person keep a measured, regular flow. Delivery jobs, stocking supermarket shelves or accounting all seem good choices if you are comfortable in those positions.

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