It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Bipolar Disorder Message Board

Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-10-2006, 05:07 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 155
*Lai* HB User
Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

I'm stressing about if i'll be able to study or even get a career now i have Bipolar. I have read everywhere that people with Bipolar should avoid stressful situations and well i'm one of those people who gets extreamly stressed when studying and with trying to achive the best i can. I'm getting into the frame of mind where i'm thinkin theres no point in even trying to make something of myself.

I'm not doing much at the mo, infact i'm doing nothing. I was meant to be volunteering but i'm getting more depressed and suicidal about my life by the day and so i cant get myself to do anything.

I am due to start an access course this september and that will get me into university next year. I wanted to do the access course (will probably drop out because of stress and i'm a a failure at everything) and then study to go into either primary teaching, social work (with children and families) or physiotherapy, but now i'm thinking i'l take next year out to decide what i want to do and then study it at uni.
But at the back of my mind i have this feeling that i wont go back to university after my year out ( if i do that), because i seriously dont think i'l be able to cope with the stress at uni and in whatever job i do. I'd be stressed about the work and about the chance of getting ill again.

So now i'm just so depressed that i dont want anything for myself, i feel like a waste of space and air and i dont kno why i even try to do things for my futuure.

Is anyone here Bipolar and studying, or Bipolar and in a stressfull job. It would be nice to know how you get through everything.

Also, what do you think of my career choices, i'm having a very hard time deciding. I thought primary school teaching would be good because i could work part time if i have to or substitute and still get paid well and i would be able to teach science which i love. But then i get stressed about working with the kids as i dont have much patience and i feel i'd just get angry at them.
I worry social work would be too many hours and too stressfull and i worry about physio because i have anxiety disorder and i'm afraid i'l start to worry about getting all the illnesses that i study.

I'm just really sick and fed up of trying to get my hopes up when i feel theres no real point.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Saw it, wanted it, threw a fit, Got It!!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Sponsors Lightbulb
Old 06-10-2006, 07:14 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 73
suzannecaroline HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

I am starting a new teaching job in the fall and am having huge anxiety about it. i too am worried about it . I need a job to survive, but the bipolar is giving me fear about the future. I am in the same boat as you...... we should talk more

Old 06-10-2006, 10:55 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Midwest
Posts: 27
Runningbunny HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

Hi Lai,

I seem to recall that your diagnosis is fairly recent - is that correct? I also seem to remember that you are still on the young side (compared to me who is on the old side).

I was diagnosed February of this year. For the eleven years before that, I was being treated for chronic, low-grade depression. I was still shocked to get a bipolar diagnosis, but it was a bit easier to roll with it because I already have modified my lifestyle to help the depression and because I am on the old side .

Can you give yourself some time to adjust to your diagnosis and to work on learning to live with this illness? It can be a big adjustment to learn to live with a chronic illness - of any type. Is it possible for you to delay school for a bit until you feel more stable?

As for handling stress, even for those of us diagnosed as bipolar, there will be a wide range in ability to handle stress. Some people will have a very low tolerance for stress while other people will handle it pretty well. I'm not sure if you are really able to know at this point where you might fall along that spectrum.

I am in my second year of nursing school. Nursing school can be very stressful - but I am getting through it with A's. I've watched other students, who don't have a mental illness, drop out because they cannot handle the stress. I have worked with the Learning center at my school to get some accommodations (such as for test taking) that have been very helpful.

As for handling stress, to the extent I can, I pick what I am willing to spend my "stress money" on. Right now, I spend a lot of stress money on school but other parts of my life are in turn quieter and calmer to compensate. I have almost no social life while school is in session.

As for living with mental illness, what has worked for me is to take my meds and to work closely with my pdoc if a med or dose doesn't seem to be working, eat three meals a day, get enough sleep, exercise regularly (4 to 6 days a week), limit my caffiene intake, avoid alcohol totally, and to say no to people if I don't have time to do something for them or don't really want to. Some of this is pretty basic and simple but I've found that it does make a difference for me.

Hope some of this helps. Be kind to yourself right now - you deserve it .


Old 06-11-2006, 04:35 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
GatsbyLuvr1920's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,870
GatsbyLuvr1920 HB UserGatsbyLuvr1920 HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

I totally feel your pain. College is hard enough as it is without having to deal with a mental illness. (I'm not bipolar- I have OCD and Asperger's.) I think that the most important thing, besides taking your medication, is to get eight hours of sleep each night at a consistent time. Yes, stress can provoke a manic episode, but it's usually lack of sleep due to stress. NEVER stay up all night studying because this is the prime conditions to breed a manic episode... Good luck, and God bless!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 06-11-2006 at 04:35 PM.

Old 06-11-2006, 05:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 155
*Lai* HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

Thank you for all your advice. I'm just really worried to get back into studying because i have bipolar now and i do not want to get unwell. I should be starting my access course in september, so i'l give that a try because its mainly coursework and essay based, not many exams, and i'l try to adjust my life so i have back up plans and things so i dont get unwell.

However, at the moment i dont have the motivation or energy to do anything. I am extreamly depressed about my weight and so i feel hopeless.

GatsbyLuvr1920 - Thanx for the advice, i'l try my best to not stay up all night studying, altho that will be hard as that what i was used to.

Runningbunny - I have been thinking about taking a break until i am comfortable with my illness and my life but i just want to move on with my education because i have been stuck at tthe same place for so along and i just want to get it over and done with. But thank you for your advice, i wish you all the best with your studies.

Suzannecaroline - If you want to talk about things, we can in this thread. I wish you all the best with your job, just try take it a day at a time.

Thank you again. xx

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Saw it, wanted it, threw a fit, Got It!!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Old 06-20-2006, 02:10 AM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1
gzaonas HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

Go through with your access program ! Itll be the best decision you ever made, im a 23 year old veteran of the US MARINE CORPS, after finishing my 4 years i was diagnosed with depression & bipolar. I could not get anything done, i couldnt read for more than 15 minutes without being distracted. I wanted to go to school but was scared because of my concentration problems. I waited around for a year procrastinating on anything that required any amount of attention. I felt worthless and thought that Id never amount to anything. I went through a suicidal phase. I finally decided to enroll in community college and fell in love with photography. Now Im going to Art School studying fine art photography and doing great. Never been better ! I wish I would have gone sooner, because sitting around wondering how Id do in school just made things worse. Fear of failure what was held me back for so long but its the worst mistake you can make. SO GO FOR IT !

Old 06-20-2006, 01:58 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 155
*Lai* HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

Thanx huni, I think i will go ahead with the access course. I think if i put it off then i'll do that forever. I'm happy that you have found something that you have a passion for and you enjoy. I wish you all the best in Art School.

Thanx again.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Saw it, wanted it, threw a fit, Got It!!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Old 06-22-2006, 07:01 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 5
moon&tree HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

I wasn't diagnosed bipolar or depressed in university, but it was definitely lurking. I had a hard time getting through and was horribly depressed at the end of it all, but I managed somehow. You might consider going to school part time, if that's possible. Some schools also make accomodations for students with illnesses. Getting my bachelor's degree was the biggest and best accomplishment of my life, so stick with it if you feel passionate about what you want to do.

As for work, I'm a self-employed musician who teaches and freelances. I find being in charge of the amount of work I take on comforting, though I still overdo it sometimes. It's good to know that if I take a wrong turn health-wise, I can cut back to fewer committments without having to quit my job altogether.

Old 06-24-2006, 12:03 PM   #9
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 85
littletimebomb HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

I agree with everyone here and their wise advice to you. I especially think taking time to let the dx sink in before you make any life changing decisions is a good idea.

As you grow to understand your illness and its symptoms, you will know what your real limitations are. Everyone is different and certain kinds of stresses are worse for some than others.

I wait tables, which is a stressful job that I would probably be unable to handle if I wasn't medicated. I did it for years brfore I was diagnosed, but I always ended up getting fired for my temper. I'm getting to the point where I can't wait tables for much longer. Even the 25 hours a week are taking its toll on my mental health. But I've been doing it all these years because I'm a script writer and I want to focus on that.

I finally, at 39, think I might be over the major obstacles that kept me from being successful. I think I might actually be able to retire from waiting tables and be a writer soon. It has taken me this long to be that confident because by my estimation, I've lost ten years to his illness. I can count up ten years of either depression or mania that made it impossible for me to make forward progress.

You have a big head start. You know your dx and you seem to have accepted it. But don't let yourself think that your life will be crippled by this illness. There are many BPD's in every field. I got this list of famous BPD's from another thread.

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut
Lionel Aldridge
Hans Christian Andersen, writer
Ned Beatty, actor
Robert Boorstin, writer, assistant to Pres. Clinton,
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet
Ted Turner, entrepreneur, media giant
Jean-Claude Van Damme, athlete, actor
Vincent van Gogh
Mark Vonnegut, doctor, writer
Sol Wachtler, judge, writer
Tom Waits, musician, composer
Walt Whitman, poet
Tennessee Williams, author
Brian Wilson, musician (Beach Boys), composer, arranger
Jonathan Winters, comedian, actor, writer, artist
Luther Wright, athlete (basketball)
Margot Kidder, actor
Robert E Lee, soldier
Bill Liechtenstein, producer (TV & radio)
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), US President
Daniel Johnston, musician
Samuel Johnson, poet
Burgess Meredith, 1908-1997, actor, director
Kay Redfield Jamison, psychologist, writer
Arthur Benson, writer
E F Benson, writer
William Blake (1757-1827), poet
Ralph Blakelock, artist
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), general
Tadeusz Borowski
Art Buchwald, writer, humorist
Tim Burton, artist, movie director
Robert Campeau, financier (Canada)
Drew Carey, actor
Jim Carrey, actor
Dick Cavett, writer, media personality
C.E. Chaffin, writer, poet
Agatha Christie, mystery writer
Winston Churchill, 1874-1965- British Prm Mnstr
John Clare, poet
Rosemary Clooney, singer
Garnet Coleman, legislator (Texas)
Francis Ford Coppola, director
Patricia Cornwell, writer
Richard Dadd
John Daly, athlete (golf)
John Davidson, poet
Edward Dayes, artist
Ray Davies, musician
Emily Dickinson
Kitty Dukakis, former First Lady of Massachusetts
Patty Duke (Anna Duke Pearce), actor, writer
Thomas Eagleton, lawyer, former U.S. Senator
T S Eliot, poet
Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist
Robert Evans, film producer
Carrie Fisher, writer, actor
Edward FitzGerald
Robert Frost
F Scott Fitzgerald, author
Larry Flynt, magazine publisher
Connie Francis, actor, musician
Sigmund Freud, physician
Cary Grant, actor
Kaye Gibbons, writer
Shecky Greene, comedian, actor
Linda Hamilton, actor
Kristin Hersh, musician
Victor Hugo, poet

This is pretty good company to keep, don't you think?
You can do anything. You have a gift and a curse. You're still getting used to the curse, look for the gift.

hang in there

Old 06-25-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
Senior Member
Strawberry.hill's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 288
Strawberry.hill HB User
Re: Studying and going into a career when you're Bipolar!!

Hi, I just wanted to put my 2 cents in.
My ex husband was very ill, he was supposed to be depressed and was on meds, but he had terrible mood swings sometimes.

For years he kept saying he wanted to go to school. He took some distance learning courses, I think he was undecided about what to take in college, and then again, we was very negative on his outlook.
Now I hear that he is going to school and doing very well, his stress levels went down and he's supposed to be graduating soon.

I believe that having your class schedule will relieve stress for you because it is structured and planned. So you know what to expect, and the syllabus the teachers hand you, has all the info you need to plan your course work.

I don't have extreme mood swings, but I used to look at my syllabus and course work plans. I would do work ahead of time when I was "up" and then I had a little time off (from heavy course work like research papers) when I went "down".
I used to read ahead in my books also and then if I fell behind I was already ahead.

And the other ladies are right, there is help available for you at college, all you need to do is ask the disabled student's department. It is not as bad as you think, they helped my ex husband.

I don't know about University, never been, I was in community college. You wouldn't want to consider starting in community college? I took several courses just to figure out what I liked.

I picked a ceramics course out of the blue, and I loved it, I took it for a long time. I took Biology, Administration of Justice, French. All just trying it out. This way I did not stress out over what may happen. I decided to stick with Psychology and Criminal Justice.

By the way, I also took a course for Emergency Medical Technician out of curiosity. I loved it, but the job that it would entail would be really stressfull. Working in an ambulance, I would be living on adrenaline, even though it would be very rewarding. But from there I took a Phlebotomy course, and togehter with the EMT license, you can get a job drawing blood for the blood bank. Maybe you would like this, and it's not stressfull.

The EMT course is short, it was one quarter for me. I went in the Fall, and was done in December.

I still think you should just go look at community college and take a few courses to see what you like, something light. If you pair up your classes so one or two are easy (cake) and one that is hard. This way you don't get overwhelmed, and you start to get to know what you can do.

Don't underestimate yourself! You will be amazed at what you discover in college.

Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:44 AM.

Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
© 1998-2018 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!