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Sunday, July 13, 2008 JODY, Community Member, asks

Q: can bipolars work

my husband can't hold down a job. sometimes i think he doesn't want to work so he just gets himself fired.  if i suggest anything to him he becomes angry (most of the time).  i'm starting to resent busting my butt everyday because he just thinks i nag about him working....anyone else go thru this.  i'm at the end of my rope.  we are so broke.

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Answers (6)
Julia, Community Member
7/14/08 1:44pm

My daughter is 19 years old and was diagnosed with BiPolar I Disorder at 12 years old and has had many jobs since she was 16.  She too cannot keep a job.   Things seem to go well the first two or three weeks than she gets fired because she cannot get up to go to work or just does not go.  I too am beginning to wonder what she will do with the rest of her life.  I know that a husband is different from a child--but know that there is also someone else here who is experiencing the same thing.

todd, Community Member
7/14/08 9:13pm

hi, i am a 38 yr old male. i have been bi polar, i believe since i was little. i have been diagnosed 3 times over the years, in and out of treatment,if u call what i went thru that. and the treatment failures are my fault, except the one, serequil??? it made me very unstable emotionally. but,,,about ur husband's problem with employment,,,i have had literraly 100's and i mean 100's of jobs. im not bragging. ive quit jobs in 10 minutes, right b4 i was to even start the job,,shook some hands on the first day and exused myself, said i'd b right back and just left. i really dont know why almost all of the times. ive been on my own for like 13 years and i still do it. i dont know why, but i just dont care sometimes i feel. the longest job i ever had was a year. i dont have the real answers for u, but hang in there if u really love each other,,,he might not know why hes doin this,,like i dont. God Bless, todd

ashley02, Community Member
7/15/08 12:23pm

My husband is bipolar and he works. He has been with the same company for 3 1/2 years. He doesn't do much around the house but he does get up and go to work everyday. On the other hand his mom was recently diagnosed bipolar and she has never had a full time job. I'm sure it just depends on the person. I think accountability can be a huge thing. If your husband doesn't have a daily mood tracker and list of "to dos" you might want to set that up for him so that it's not you nagging but him having to take some accountability for your lives too. Good Luck!

Karen, Community Member
7/18/08 8:13pm


Just in case you're interested...I've been severely bipolar since Summer 1999.  I'm about to complete college, I have a 9 1/2 yr old son that I'm raising...and I'm doing just fine! The link I'm giving you here is from a web site called, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH for short)....I can perfectly understand where you are coming from.  I perfer not to explain too much about my personal/private life....but I will tell you this, I'm 44 and if I can complete college and care for my son and work...then any Bipolar can do anything they DOES have a LOT to do with the Mental care provider that he/she has!  My mental health provider is awesome!!  I couldn't live without  her!


If, by chance, you EVER need a sounding board, OR you ever need to just talk via email to someone who's been living with this bipolar for a long while? You may contact me via email.  My email address is:


I hope for the best for your situation!


Karen Clark

al, Community Member
12/16/10 4:29pm

Hi, I've been diagnosed with bipolar for the last 8 years. I've seen lots of ups and downs in my life. Husband is frustrated with me and hurts me with his comments. (He has an obsessive compulsive personality and wouldn't get help). Have 2 kids. One of them is autistic. Almost no social life as a family. Finished medical school in my country 15 yrs. ago. Took and passed medical exams in the US but never been able to do residency training. Too afraid to work. Since I came here, I've worked just once. Then fired after 3 months. I've been doing some volunteer work here and there.  Recently am involved in a research project but have  screwed up on it.       It's very hard to live with bipolar disorder. I go to a psychiatrist who's just ok. In what terms is your provider awesome? Is she experienced a lot or just plain good?

kirstenhere, Community Member
8/ 7/08 7:20pm

OH my gosh, are you living my life or what? I have the SAME problem!!!!!!! My husband has had more than 30 jobs in the past 10 years. He was diagnosed with bipolar back in March...which I had no doubts about.

I wouldn't so much say that your husband is lazy, though I don't know him, but if he is bipolar, that will keep him from keeping a job. I have done soo much research on this subject, and trust me, it does keep them from working.
For my husband, he just can't handle people. So he either walks out, and/or gets fired. Read up on bipolar, it may help you. My husband is a very very hard worker and loves to work, but when he gets manic, he can't handle a job.

Write back if you'd like. I hope all is well with you and your husband. Keep your chin up! :-)

relivedtobedone, Community Member
11/12/10 8:40pm

Yes I can.. I am currently divorcing my husband of 3 years who I have suspected to be  bipolar.. ( I am a therapist and work in mental health). Anyway, I have supported us for 3 years, moved to three different states w/ this man and watched him get and lose over 25 jobs in 3 years. We were constantly broke, facing an eviction, or a repo, it has all been on  my shoulders. I thought a formel diagnosis would help move him in the direction of getting help, it didn't he was not ready to face this and may never be. I am a different person since we have broken up and actually see a chance at a good life.

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By JODY, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/08/14, First Published: 07/13/08