Impact of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can disrupt work, home, and family life. Understanding its impact may help you work around issues. Take an active role when it comes to your health, and ask for help when you need it.

loneliness and alienation from depression

Bipolar disorder can be very disruptive. It can complicate your work, home, and family life and separate you from the things you love. Bipolar depression can leave you so down that it’s hard to get out of bed. Bipolar mania can cause you to take unacceptable risks that could complicate your life and health, as well as the lives of those around you. That’s why finding a treatment plan that keeps your moods more stable and your life on track is so important. Work closely with your doctor to make sure you are getting the best care possible.

Parts of life that can be affected by bipolar disorder

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you are probably already experiencing some of the ways it can impact your life. Here are some common aspects of your life that may be affected by bipolar disorder.

Getting along with others
Bipolar disorder may make it harder for you to get along with others and have good relationships. Divorce rates, for example, are 2 to 3 times higher for people with bipolar disorder than for people without it.
Getting things done
Bipolar disorder may make it harder for you to keep up with responsibilities and achieve your goals. Holding down a job, completing an education, taking care of children, and managing money are all examples.
Living a healthier life
Bipolar disorder may make it more likely for you to drink too much alcohol or abuse drugs. It may cause you to take risks that could cause harm to yourself.

How you approach your treatment can impact how successful it is. Here are some things you can do to help control your symptoms and help limit the effects of bipolar disorder.

Work with your doctor
Your doctor will be able to offer practical suggestions that can help you cope and reach your goals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your condition, any medications you are prescribed, or any other concerns you may have. This list of questions to ask your doctor can help.  (PDF)
Take an active role in your own health care
Set up routines that will help you keep track of your moods. You may also want to consider keeping a diary to help you follow your routine and track your progress, such as this Mood and Goal Tracking Diary.  (PDF)
Take the medications you are prescribed exactly as prescribed
Download a medication list  (PDF) to help you keep track of when and how to take your medications.
Ask family and friends for help
You may be surprised at how eager others are to help you.
Find local or online support
Millions of people know what you’re going through because they’ve been there. Share your experiences and learn from or help others by participating in a support group.