Worst Jobs For Bipolar Disorder – Top 10 in 2024

Bipolar is a mood disorder otherwise referred to as a manic depression. There is no single identifiable cause of bipolar disorder but it may be as a result of genetics, social environment and anomalies in the brain. Bipolar patients can exhibit different symptoms such as mood swings, manic episodes, cognitive impairment, insomnia, and so on.

As of 2024, with the help of medications and therapy, people with bipolar work and earn a living like any other person.

Bipolar disorder is generally characterized by periods of depression and happiness that are abnormally elevated that can last from days to weeks and months at a time. Regardless of what the elevated mood is, if it is either severe or associated with psychosis, it is classified as mania. Less severe levels of an elevated mood are classified as hypomania.

The symptoms of those who have bipolar disorder can have an impact on what kind of job they will end up having. There are plenty of job fields that are well suited for bipolar employees, whereas other jobs are simply not suitable.

However, there are jobs not suitable for people with bipolar. Thus, we have compiled the top 10 jobs that we consider the worst jobs for bipolar disorder.

We invite you to have a look at our list of jobs for people with disabilities to find and apply to jobs for bipolar poeple that might interest you. Not sure where to start? We also listed the best jobs for bipolar people.

1. The Armed Forces

Officer shouting at young recruit
Officer shouting at young recruit

The Armed forces is a very demanding profession whereby officers undergo a lot of stress during training and fieldwork.

Bipolar behaviors are easily triggered by high levels of stress which makes a job like armed forces very unsuitable for people with bipolar.

After enlisting in the Armed Forces, regardless of which military branch you choose, much will be required and demanded from you. Rigorous training and long hours of fieldwork factor into the heavy amounts of stress one can develop.

High levels of stress play a part in the constant back-and-forth mood swings of someone that is bipolar. The environment of military training is often hostile, which can leave someone that is bipolar vulnerable to displaying symptoms like irritability and impulsive behavior. 

Insomnia and sleep-related problems may also be induced because of the military’s rigid schedules. There is no compromising the schedules of military training drills. Oftentimes trainees have to wake up very early in the morning to begin their training. This could put someone that is bipolar at a disadvantage when it comes to getting enough sleep at night.

People with bipolar are known to be very irrational, hyperactive, aggressive, impulsive and restless.

As such, allowing people with bipolar to handle dangerous arms and ammunition is not only a risk to themselves but also to the lives of people around them. This is why the armed forces are among the worst jobs for people with bipolar disorder.

2. Startup Employee

a group of professionals sharing ideas
A group of professionals in front of two laptops and sharing ideas

While the idea of working for a new startup company may sound exciting, there are many potential pitfalls that await. For starters, there is uncertain job security for any and all startup employees. Second, the combination of a heavy workload and shifts of long hours can take a lot of energy out of startup employees. 

Startup companies often struggle with having a lack of structure in their early stages. This may be a demotivating obstacle for those with bipolar disorder because depending on what company bosses will request (for example, multitasking), a considerable amount of stress may be placed on the bipolar employee. 

Startup companies often go through constant changes. Whether it’s heading a completely different direction on a project or changing the roles of employees, changes will often occur with little notice. Two of many feelings bipolar employees may experience in this environment while having depression include hopelessness and anxiety. 

Two lawyers working together in office

Legal practitioner is a very demanding profession in terms of:

  • long working hours ;
  • high-intensity court matters ;
  • the stress of discoveries and documentation;
  • brain-racking arguments ;
  • tight schedules ;
  • dealing with difficult clients ;
  • and different contingencies that could frustrate the swift adjudication of legal cases.

In essence, the work of a legal practitioner can only be effectively handled by someone who is resilient to stress.

As such, people with bipolar suffer might find it difficult to perform in legal practice.

There are many demanding aspects of working as a legal practitioner. There are long working hours in a day, tight schedules that are often inflexible, and the high probability of dealing with difficult clients. 

Matters settled in a court of law can be very intense, which can sometimes trigger back-and-forth mood swings between a manic or hypomanic state and depression in someone with bipolar disorder. 

Making discoveries and documentations about cases can be additionally stressful to someone that is bipolar. Paying close attention to detail is not a strength of someone that is bipolar as stress can lead to memory and concentration problems.

All these make legal practitioners one of the worst jobs for people with bipolar.

4. Elementary and Middle School Teacher

Teacher in front of a classroom with children

Children are delicate beings who need much attention, patience and care when dealing with them.

Elementary and middle school teachers handle children from the age of 2 to 10 years which is a very sensitive period in their growth whereby they are hyperactive, emotional, and have high demands for attention.

Public school teachers, particularly in the elementary and middle school grade levels, have demanding tasks ahead of them when educating children. Throughout the course of a day it takes high levels of focus and concentration to teach in the classroom. 

According to a 2019 study, teachers reported more stress than people in most job fields. Stress can lead to burnout and emotional exhaustion. People that are bipolar who have a genuine desire to teach may be better suited to teach virtual classes online or one-on-one tutoring sessions. 

When experiencing manic or depression symptoms, people with bipolar disorder can report issues with memory, attention span, or concentration. Whether these issues are short-term or long-term, they occur through similar neurotransmitter disturbances that enable mood swings.

Also, the ability of people with bipolar to lose concentration and develop apathy easily makes them unsuitable to look after children who tend to do dangerous and self-harming things when not properly watched over.

We invite you to have a look at our list of jobs for people with disabilities to find and apply to jobs for bipolar poeple that might interest you. Not sure where to start? We also listed the best jobs for bipolar people.

5. Emergency Service Worker

Doctors standing beside nursing assistants
Doctors standing beside nursing assistants

Whether aiming to become a police officer, firefighter or paramedic, you will have a considerably high responsibility to protect people’s lives. Police officers are on patrol all day watching for traffic violations or unfolding crimes. Firefighters put out fires and rescue people  from burning buildings. Paramedics are always on hand to rescue critically injured people and rush them to the hospital.

Roles such as these will often involve shift work, requiring workers to be on-call around the clock. One symptom of bipolar disorder is insomnia or sleep-related issues. This common symptom can prevent someone from getting enough sleep while they are in a manic state, although they will have a lot of energy. 
Another symptom of bipolar disorder that could be experienced through emergency service work is having racing thoughts. Many circumstances can change while arresting a criminal, putting out a fire, or rushing someone else to the hospital. People that are bipolar can have their minds race uncontrollably. In other words, those racing thoughts can take over their consciousness.

6. Actor/Actress

Being an actor for Hollywood or independent film companies has its drawbacks when it comes to reliability. There is typically a high unemployment rate and a strong sense of uncertainty in the acting field. Particularly, theater actors and actresses work irregular hours as some of their performances can last well into the evening.

One of the main symptoms of bipolar disorder is severe fatigue. This is a symptom in which those impacted may feel so tired that they won’t want to get out of bed. Acting is a job that can require a high volume of work throughout the course of a day, which can take a lot of energy out of someone with bipolar disorder.

The environment of an actor is often stressful. Other symptoms of bipolar disorder that cane be experienced through acting include irritability and impulsive behavior. If an acting session isn’t going well, those who are bipolar can experience episodes of mixed mania, which is a simultaneous combination of mania and depression symptoms. 

7. Psychologist

women sitting on brown wooden chairs
Women sitting on brown wooden chairs

Working as a psychologist gives you the opportunity to help people on both mental and emotional levels.

Depending on how client visitations are scheduled, however, it may be emotionally exhausting to handle the various issues clients face on a daily basis. As a result, if you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you could suffer from severe fatigue while working as a psychologist.

The work schedule for a psychologist can be erratic at times. As a psychologist, you must also be prepared to deal with client issues at the most unexpected times. Considering this, your work schedule must have some flexibility. Flexible hours in a day can help those with bipolar disorder, but in some circumstances flexibility alone may not improve the work environment.

It also requires work for a psychologist to set up his or her own practice from the ground up. Creating an office space, purchasing the necessary equipment, obtaining supplies and establishing a clientele are just parts of what goes into setting up a psychology practice. This process could be too stressful for those with bipolar disorder to undertake.

This is why psychologist is included in our list of the worst jobs for people with bipolar disorder in 2024.

8. Artist

People with bipolar find it difficult to thrive in the creative industry due to the cognitive impairments they suffer from as a result of bipolar disorder.

People with bipolar suffer from different cognitive inabilities such as the false belief of superiority, delusion, lack of concentration, unwanted thoughts, slowness in activity and racing thoughts.

As a result, focusing and creating art or music is overreaching for people with bipolar. Likewise, the stress of artist’s block or tight schedules of the show biz can be too demanding, which makes Artist one of the worst jobs for bipolar.

9. Artisans and Handymen

Artisans including mechanics, masons, carpenters, plumbers, and other handymen undertake heavy-duty jobs that have very strenuous working conditions.

They have to work in the most uncomfortable places, take on the dirtiest jobs, work under extreme weather conditions, and for several sweaty hours.

People with bipolar can be easily triggered by stress and difficulty. In the face of strenuous conditions, people with bipolar tend to experience anxiety, depression, agitation, and manic episodes.

Also, artisans and handymen work with sharp objects and dangerous equipment like nails, drilling machines, hammers, and so on. People with bipolar have high tendencies of self-harm which makes having such tools and equipment in their possession a high risk to them.

10. Medical Practitioner

Doctors standing beside nursing assistants
Doctors standing beside nursing assistants

There are diverse kinds of medical practitioners including:

  • nurses ;
  • surgeons ;
  • pediatricians ;
  • oncologists ;
  • ophthalmologists ;
  • dentists ;
  • dermatologists ;
  • obstetricians ;
  • and many more.

There is a high degree of physical and mental composure that is required from every medical practitioner regardless of the area of practice.

People with bipolar who are generally characterized by restlessness, paranoia and agitations are therefore not suitable for medical practice.

Also, people with bipolar cannot undergo the stress of the medical practice ranging from long night shifts to several hours in surgery; neither can they afford the patience and delicateness required in handling patients.

Thus, being a medical practitioner is one of the worst jobs for bipolar.


Bipolar may be a developmental disorder causing a patient to have extremely high and extremely low mood swings and behavior, but it does not place an embargo on the livelihood of people with bipolar. There are certain jobs people with bipolar can do comfortably – see our list of best jobs for bipolar people – – but there are specific jobs that don’t suit the strengths of people with bipolar disorder because of what is required of those jobs and how those work environments can potentially showcase bipolar symptoms. Let us know, which jobs can be added to our list of the worst jobs for people with bipolar?


What are the worst jobs for bipolar disorder?

The worst jobs for people with bipolar disorder is:
-The armed forces
-Medical practitioner
-Legal practitioner
-Elementary and middle school teacher
-Artisans and handymen
People with bipolar disorder should look for jobs with low-stress level.

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