This study presented the insights from six management professionals with bipolar disorder in the form of a narrative collage. Their combined insights revealed how they learned over time: (a) to manage the illness, (b) to maintain a career, and (c) to maintain their well-being. These research domains were identified in past research as topics of interest needing further investigation.
The experience described by these managers, or participants, is a positive one because they learned to successfully sustain management careers over a seven year period and effectively manage their condition. Each manager noted the importance of having workplace flexibility; flextime, and the ability to telecommute or work from home. These were recurring themes and patterns in workplace conditions. The participants' experiences strategically managing the bipolar condition were drastically different from those held by similar populations studied despite the fact that the strategies to deal with their condition were very similar. Several factors made their experience surprisingly positive: their social status, available resources, healthy living choices, and behavioral constraints.
Stigma influenced their lives minimally because the diagnosis and consequences of it did not lead to more adversity. The diagnosis helped them to understand certain disruptive behaviors in their past; it freed them from self-hate and blame because it legitimized their experience. In addition, the participants received positive messages from their healthcare providers, found support in loved ones, and learned how to manage the bipolar condition. The participants reacted to the onset of their condition by taking positive steps to manage their resources (i.e., money, and social networks) with the intention of learning more about their condition to get it under control and reach their goals.
Using a dual methodological approach, the participants' description of their experience revealed that a multi-faceted strategy is essential to ensure successful management of the condition. Family, social and professional networks were identified by participants as being very important in their lives. These contributed to their employment stability. All six participants agreed that compliance to medication, healthy lifestyle choices, making enabling professional choices such as the purposeful act of choosing management careers for their autonomy, and finding favorable workplace conditions were important elements in the successful management of the condition and in developing a career. Portraiture and template analysis were complementary methods utilized to gather data, conduct the analysis of the data and present the findings.
|Commitee:||Fambrough, Mary J., Mack, Carl C.|
|School:||Alliant International University|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Bipolar disorder, Bipolar disorder success, Bipolar disorder workplace, Bipolar self-management, Bipolar success at work, Management professionals, Mental illness at work, Self-management|
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