Bipolar Disorder: Adverse Consequences

New research on bipolar disorder presented in the journal Psychiatry Research reports that 100% of patients with bipolar disorder surveyed had experienced adverse consequences related to their disorder.  Having and living with bipolar disorder means everyone who comes in contact with you – family, friends, co-workers, the babysitter or grocery store clerk, are impacted in some way. The impact is tremendous and the consequences can become quite severe.

Living with Bipolar Disorder – Keeping Life in Check

Living with bipolar disorder means that the disorder becomes a close knit companion to every aspect of your life.  To minimize or avoid any adverse consequences there is a daily need to consider how your symptom levels affect the degree of effort exerted to keep behaviors and moods in a state functional for daily living. Even common routine daily living activities such as getting dressed, buying lunch out, or filling up the gas tank require effort.

Bipolar Disorder Examples of Adverse Consequences

Some of the most referenced adverse consequences those with bipolar disorder give are noted below:

  • Losing a partner – Odds are that if you or your partner have bipolar disorder you are 2x more likely than an average couple without bipolar history to divorce. Working to keep a relationship happy and healthy is hard, and adding in a mental illness makes it all the more difficult. When it comes to having a good “give and take balance” in a relationship those with bipolar disorder often require more “take” than they are able to “give,” and this may over time become too difficult for their partner to deal with.
  • Losing a job – Adverse consequences of having a bipolar disorder also include becoming unemployed. Research data has shown some hard statistics that only ½ of bipolar patients are employed at any given time, only 27% hold down a full-time job, their healthcare is more expensive overall, and productivity on the job is lower than those without bipolar disorder. While it is difficult to be consistent on the job when your emotions and behaviors are wavering up and down, being under the treatment of a qualified psychiatrist does give you an upper hand on dealing with the adverse consequences of bipolar disorder.
  • Being absent at work or as a parent/partner  With bipolar disorder there are days when you really cannot “get out of bed and go to work.” The depression can rob you of your energy to produce, work or accomplish even the simplest task. Absenteeism is a problem with bipolar disorder and is one of the common adverse consequences of the disease. Psychiatric management of your diagnosis will help make your daily effort to go “out into the world” more functional and less stressful for you. Following a prescribed regiment of medications and adjunct therapies does work, and it will work for you too.
  • Losing relationships with family – It is not easy to adapt to changes in mood and behavior. Not everyone can cope, and over time feel it is easier to just walk away. Bipolar’s adverse consequences are that mood swings, risky behaviors, mania and depression often leave family and friends confused, exhausted, and afraid that their own responses may trigger an unpredictable outburst or mood swing. Finding the right bipolar psychiatrist that can meet your needs and situation is crucial for a successful outcome.

Make the Call that Leads to Real Help

Help is just a phone call away. Call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment where your successful treatment for bipolar disorder can put those adverse consequences in check.

About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege, MD, PC, is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is an Emory Hospital residency trained psychiatrist who has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years. He maintains over 50 hours of AMA certified education each year to stay informed of advances in psychiatry.

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