4 doctors weighed in:

Bi-polar is having bi-polar a reason to not work? An ex is stating that due to bi-polar they are unable to work therefore unable to pay child support. I have never heard of bi-polar being listed as a disability to the point where one can not work. Can ev

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlos Barrios
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Find out details

it can be debilitating but what are the details.
The diagnosis itself is not enough. Are they receiving appropriate treatment? Some people function very well if right medication regimen and therapy for them.

In brief: Find out details

it can be debilitating but what are the details.
The diagnosis itself is not enough. Are they receiving appropriate treatment? Some people function very well if right medication regimen and therapy for them.
Dr. Carlos Barrios
Dr. Carlos Barrios
Thank
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry

In brief: When

When discussing bipolar disorder, it is important to determine what type of bipolar disorder it is.
There is a spectrum of conditions for bipolar disorder. Bipolar i disorder is usually the most disabling. Employability can be significantly impacted with bipolar i disorder, especially if the person is profoundly depressed, psychotic (has lost touch with reality) or is manic (extremely high energy levels often with lack of judgment or impulse control). Bipolar ii disorder and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified have lesser extremes of elevated mood and energy but may also be accompanied with severe episodes of depression. Cyclothymic disorder has less drastic cylic changes of energy and mood levels. Regarding your question "can everyone with bipolar disorder not work", the answer is no. The major issue is if the symptoms are well controlled with treatment and the person avoids use of alcohol and ilicit drugs. When the symptoms are poorly controlled, bipolar i disorder is normally thought of as more disabling then conditions on the lower end of the bipolar spectrum.

In brief: When

When discussing bipolar disorder, it is important to determine what type of bipolar disorder it is.
There is a spectrum of conditions for bipolar disorder. Bipolar i disorder is usually the most disabling. Employability can be significantly impacted with bipolar i disorder, especially if the person is profoundly depressed, psychotic (has lost touch with reality) or is manic (extremely high energy levels often with lack of judgment or impulse control). Bipolar ii disorder and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified have lesser extremes of elevated mood and energy but may also be accompanied with severe episodes of depression. Cyclothymic disorder has less drastic cylic changes of energy and mood levels. Regarding your question "can everyone with bipolar disorder not work", the answer is no. The major issue is if the symptoms are well controlled with treatment and the person avoids use of alcohol and ilicit drugs. When the symptoms are poorly controlled, bipolar i disorder is normally thought of as more disabling then conditions on the lower end of the bipolar spectrum.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Thank
Dr. Richard Bunt
Psychiatry

In brief: Clearly,

Clearly, one can not truly comment on the presence or absence of a diagnosis when presented with what i think we can assume is a fairly biased description of the case.
Please don't be insulted by that comment, but the disclaimer needs to be there, up front. That said, to answer your first question: a current, full blown manic episode is definitely a reason not to work... But full blown mania is virtually never a chronic condition. A major depressive episode can potentially be a reason not to work, until it is at least partially resolved. Recurrent episodes of the above can potentially interfere with a person's ability to maintain employment, due to the recurrence of incapacity, so if the condition is unstable or untreated, it might/could potentially create a disability situation. That being said, the majority of patients with stabilized bipolar d/o who remain in treatment, manage to live fairly normal lives. Now, here's some (hopefully useful) additional information: bipolar d/o is easily misdiagnosed, especially when someone simply has mood swings that occurr over periods of only hours or days. Rapid cycling bipolar means at least 4 mood episodes per year, and there is no such thing as "ultra rapid cycling", so just in case that is the that kind of pattern being reported, i would recommend that you speak to a local expert about it... And you might also want to read my letter on the subject, which i've just been informed is being published in the february edition of "current psychiatry".

In brief: Clearly,

Clearly, one can not truly comment on the presence or absence of a diagnosis when presented with what i think we can assume is a fairly biased description of the case.
Please don't be insulted by that comment, but the disclaimer needs to be there, up front. That said, to answer your first question: a current, full blown manic episode is definitely a reason not to work... But full blown mania is virtually never a chronic condition. A major depressive episode can potentially be a reason not to work, until it is at least partially resolved. Recurrent episodes of the above can potentially interfere with a person's ability to maintain employment, due to the recurrence of incapacity, so if the condition is unstable or untreated, it might/could potentially create a disability situation. That being said, the majority of patients with stabilized bipolar d/o who remain in treatment, manage to live fairly normal lives. Now, here's some (hopefully useful) additional information: bipolar d/o is easily misdiagnosed, especially when someone simply has mood swings that occurr over periods of only hours or days. Rapid cycling bipolar means at least 4 mood episodes per year, and there is no such thing as "ultra rapid cycling", so just in case that is the that kind of pattern being reported, i would recommend that you speak to a local expert about it... And you might also want to read my letter on the subject, which i've just been informed is being published in the february edition of "current psychiatry".
Dr. Richard Bunt
Dr. Richard Bunt
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Jonathan Jassey
Board Certified, Pediatrics
13 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors