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Work and Bipolar or Depression

Nori Rose Hubert
The decision to disclose your bipolar at work is an important one. You may feel unsure of whether or not you should speak to your employer about your illness, or worried that you could face professional or personal repercussions for speaking up. There are risks to talking about bipolar at work, as well as potential benefits.
Nori Rose Hubert
When I'm hypomanic, I tend to overcommit myself. Yet, when I tell people that I have bipolar II disorder, I often hear "Oh, I'm sure the depression sucks, but I wish that I had a little taste of mania! You must feel great and be so productive when you're manic." While not intentionally harmful, such comments display an ignorance of the realities of living with bipolar mania (or, in my case, hypomania). Many people have the miconception that mania puts one into a hyper-productive state. But the truth is that mania more often than not hinders performance rather than aids it.
Mahevash Shaikh
In recent years, constant connectivity and hustle culture have made it difficult for us to define boundaries between work and life. Now that many of us are working from home owing to the coronavirus pandemic-induced social distancing, the lines have become more blurred than ever. 
Nori Rose Hubert
Real talk: when it comes to time management, I don't have the best track record. While most people can benefit from improved time management skills, keeping track of time and using it productively seems to be the bane of bipolar existence.
Mahevash Shaikh
Most of us are well aware of the importance of a strong work ethic to succeed in one's professional life, but the idea of a healthy rest ethic isn't well known. In fact, thanks to today's hustle culture which demands that we work as much as possible, we are acutely overworked across generations. Irrespective of what certain people in positions of power want us to believe, overworking, also known as hustling, is bad for the mind and body.
Nori Rose Hubert
I'm currently working from home with bipolar disorder. Although lockdown measures are beginning to ease, social distancing is still critically important -- especially now, as a second wave of COVID-19 infections spike. This pandemic is changing the landscape of the modern workplace, with many companies allowing their employees to continue to work from home, sparking predictions that remote work may very well become a permanent part of the "new normal."
Mahevash Shaikh
What you think is a work personality may actually be a sign of depression. After all, depression makes life hard and work is no exception to the rule. I have noticed that there is a general assumption that a depressed person at work can be identified by a "Debbie/Donnie Downer" attitude, also known as someone who is always putting out negativity. But depression is a lot more nuanced than that. In fact, it manifests differently for every person.
Nori Rose Hubert
It is not an easy time for anyone right now, and dealing with bipolar during this crisis is very difficult. The ongoing social and economic upheaval of the COVID-19 crisis, and the civil unrest in the wake of the tragic and senseless murder of George Floyd on May 25, have triggered feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, and depression in many people. Such feelings are natural and appropriate responses to racism, violence, isolation, and financial uncertainty. And they can make focusing on work extremely difficult, if not impossible -- especially for those of us already dealing with mental health challenges such as bipolar disorder.
Mahevash Shaikh
In my experience, a significant number of people go through at least one depressive episode in their life. An episode typically lasts for at least two weeks and can put a damper on productivity, especially at work. I have been through many such episodes so far, and have had to work during a significant number of them.
Nori Rose Hubert
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.