Bipolar disorder affects communities and individuals in various ways. Untreated bipolar disorder may lead to crime or erratic behavior that may affect other individuals, which can cost society. Addiction and bipolar disorder often occur simultaneously, leading to more problems for those born with this condition. Without proper treatment, these individuals may have a harder time at their jobs or in their daily lives, and their behavior may affect those around them.
How a Stranger’s Bipolar Disorder May Affect You
The manic phase of bipolar disorder may lead to erratic and disturbing behavior. Untreated bipolar disorder often leaves individuals at the mercy of uncontrollable emotions, and this may be dangerous in some situations. Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) affects some individuals with bipolar disorder and may cause uncontrollable agitation, anger and violence.
A person with IED may react unnaturally to a small problem and may lash out at strangers. If this issue is compounded by drug use, it may lead to more intense emotions and aggression, possibly leading to road rage or public outbursts of aggression. This is often embarrassing for the individual after the fact and may be dangerous for those around him.
Bipolar disorder depression that is self-medicated with opiates or other drugs may also lead to dangerous behavior that affects others, such as driving or performing a dangerous job while under the influence.
How a Co-Worker’s Bipolar Disorder May Affect You
If someone at your job with bipolar disorder is not receiving proper treatment, it may greatly affect his or her work performance. Erratic behavior can be stressful for others in the work environment, and self-medicating with drugs or alcohol may increase the potential for problems. These symptoms may lead to financial errors, safety issues, missed work or more work for coworkers.
Individuals with bipolar disorder often say things they later regret due to mood swings, but these comments may be odd or hurtful at the time. An individual might become paranoid or delusional about others’ actions or may throw things when he is upset. Coworkers dealing with these behaviors may feel obligated to help the individual by making excuses or giving him advice. An unstable work environment or trouble with peers can be stressful and lead to low job satisfaction and anxiety.
Bipolar Disorder May Lead to Addiction
A lack of proper diagnosis or health care often leads those with bipolar disorder to go without medication, and they may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Addiction makes bipolar disorder all that much harder to deal with, often leading to rebound mood swings and more issues that exacerbate the mania and depressive stages. If an individual with bipolar disorder is also suffering from addiction, a therapist may turn him away until he is sober, further increasing the chances that he will go without treatment.
Individuals suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction who cannot get their drugs of choice due to a shortage may lash out and become violent.. However, when properly treated, those with bipolar disorder can become sober and live a more stable, happier life.