Accommodating bipolar disorder in the workplace

You don’t have to make your request in writing, but it’s a good idea.

That way, you can make sure you have clearly communicated your needs to your employer, and you’ll have a record of your request.

If an area of concern arises, confront it directly and work with your employee to take care of it. Think of your best employee, regardless of mental disorders, and promote based on skill.

If your top employee is a person with bipolar, gauge his performance, absences, relationships with coworkers and how much you've actually noticed the bipolar affecting his performance.

Anxiety disorders may lead to intrusive thoughts, feelings of panic and fear, and difficulty handling changes and job-related stress.

The resulting problems at work and with supervisors can exacerbate these already very challenging conditions.

If you work for a private employer with at least 15 employees, your employer may not discriminate against employees with disabilities.

The ADA doesn’t require your employer to guess that you have a disability or need an accommodation.

If your depression or anxiety is making it difficult for you to work, and you believe changes such as a modified schedule, a less noisy office space, or more help tracking your assignments and workload would help, you should request an accommodation.

Find out what types of behaviors to expect and how to approach the specific type of bipolar. If the requests are reasonable and won't affect productivity, meet as many needs as you can.

Offer broad encouragement, but don't be a therapist.

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