Career Guidelines for BP People?
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Q:  Career Guidelines for BP People?
Is there information available suggesting careers for bipolar individuals?  There is lots of info regarding this for ADD sufferers.  My friend is a music teacher in a private Christian school and the pressure of facing all those kids, kindergarten to 8th grade, and presenting the wide variety of music concepts, the endless lesson planning, grading of papers, and the pressure to be a spiritual giant all the while just about doing her in.  Shouldn't she seek a less pressurized job, one that is almost mindless, and not so early in the morning, etc...?
Thank you,

Dear Cris -- 
You're right that stress can make bipolar disorder worse.  But stress is might tough to measure.  Would she feel stressed to be doing something mindless but meaningless, maybe even more than now?  This is an extremely individual matter, as you can imagine, so I'm not aware of anyone who's written guidelines or anything like that.  

Now protecting a sleep schedule, there's something that's getting clearer all the time as a good "basic hygiene for bipolar disorder".  So if the job is interfering with sleep, that's something that merits direct attention, even if it means cutting down to 75% time work or something.  You can see that there might be some first steps to be taken before changing the line of work entirely.  

I hope your friend can see that you're asking out of a concern for her.  You'll need to keep that in the forefront as you wonder aloud about these kinds of questions.

Dr. Phelps

Published May, 2002 

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