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Bipolar and work

(7 Posts)
user1837559372496 Tue 29-Nov-16 00:59:17

Have any of you successfully managed bipolar, full time work and two young (6 and 4) kids?

I have bipolar. I've always had it but I'm recently diagnosed after a huge manic spell followed by suicide attempt.

I haven't worked full time since my second child was born (and I only have an 18 month age gap). I'm considering going back. I feel bored and if I don't use my qualification soon it will seem out of date and I won't get a job. I'm already bordering on this.

There really aren't PT jobs in my field.

Am I lacking self confidence or am I setting myself up to fail?

user1837559372496 Tue 29-Nov-16 13:59:42


Or can you suggest a forum with more bipolar people on it?

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Wed 30-Nov-16 08:43:43

I did, for 3 years after diagnosis, but in the end it was making me ill more frequently as the stress of managing FT work, two children and a chronic mental illness was just too much to handle.

I'm planning on going back once the children are a bit older, so there's less juggling and stress, though like you, my skills can't be dated really quickly, so I may need to go back into a different field. We'll see.

The key to living with Bipolar is to manage stress as much as you can and I do know people who work with bipolar, but they mainly have jobs that aren't too stressful. Mine wasn't in that category.

What worked for me - when I was in work - was to have everything organised with military precision, cut corners with anything that wasn't directly work or looking after the children and having an ironing service etc.
What went wrong was that even with all that there wasn't enough time in the day for me to relax, so I ended up becoming ill.

You're not me though, so it may work. Give it a go. Its not out of the realms of possibility.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Wed 30-Nov-16 09:55:41

You have nothing to loose by trying..

It won't be easy as manic depressives are not easy to work with. I am also a manic depressive and I can be pretty awful to work with.

lexatin Wed 30-Nov-16 10:00:09

Most of us are workaholics who barely sleep I think! I've rebuilt my entire life around a pretty low paid self employed but therapeutic (for me, outdoorsy and lots of animals) lifestyle and generally do 7 day weeks. My children are older now, like actual adults, which helps.

I made lots of friends and got great support through the manic depression fellowship- now called bipolar uk. They had very active discussion boards back in the day.

lexatin Wed 30-Nov-16 10:24:21

they used to do residential self management courses (like £10 for a weekend in a not entirely horrible hotel) and had an awesome legal helpline for appeals against section etc but things have changed a lot 😮

ImNotReallyReal Wed 30-Nov-16 10:36:32

Yes, and I went back six months after DD2 was born to a high stress professional role. By the time DD2 was 1yo and DD1 was 2yo the cracks were showing. After one heavy evening (4am finish) I had to be back in the office at 9am. I was manic at this point and ran into a moving train. Not an SU attempt just thinking I could stop the train and force the doors.

And as I lay there on the platform at Liverpool Street covered in blood and bruises refusing an ambulance I still didn't see that I was out of control. I went to work instead. And carried on working, caring for the children and doing everything at 200mph. I honestly didn't see the crash coming, I felt ill yes, but I thought if I could just work through it and stop being so bloody lazy...

Three days later I went IP voluntarily to avoid being sectioned. I thought it would get me out quicker (I was wrong, they sectioned me anyway).

I'm now well. I got out of hospital and took a good few months off. I did very little, I let my standards drop. I got depressed and got hypo but I stabilised. I got a great therapist and my meds sorted. I went back to work for six months and got my confidence back. Then I quit, my therapist encouraged it.

I went on to set up my own little business. I offer consultancy on a contract basis. This year I worked March to October. It still has 'pressure' but I can see the end date. I'll pick up another contract in February. At the moment I'm decorating the house which soothes my manic tendencies and gives me a project to focus on.

I think a lot of us are workaholics/perfectionists (work and home) and we are like pressure cookers. Being my own boss has allowed me to use my energy but has also taught me I can pull the break when needed. That as well as my long suffering DH and my therapist keeping an eye on me. I'm still learning, but I'm getting there.

Try going back, see how it goes. My only advice would be make sure your family and medical team know what to watch out for and can step in if things go awry. Good luck flowers

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