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If you have bipolar disorder, no one needs to tell you how challenging this mental illness can be. You are among millions of American adults who may also find that the extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder can be very disruptive at work. Take heart. There are many steps you can take to find meaningful work and develop successful relationships on -- and off -- the job.

How Bipolar Disorder Can Affect Job Performance

It’s not surprising that work can bring special challenges for those with bipolar disorder. The stress and unpredictable challenges in the workplace can take a big toll. Managing bipolar at work -- with the highs of mania and the lows of depression -- is no small feat.

In a survey conducted by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), almost nine out of every 10 people with bipolar disorder said the illness had affected their job performance. More than half surveyed said they thought they had to change jobs or careers more often than others. And many felt they were either given less responsibility or passed up for promotions.

Left untreated, the disease can greatly affect relationships and job performance. However, a combination of medicine and therapy can be effective. Working closely with your health care providers and support network, you can learn how to manage symptoms and find a balance that works for you on the job.