Writing a dissertation is challenging, even under the best circumstances.
But you’ll likely encounter more hurdles when pursuing your academic career with a psychiatric diagnosis like bipolar disorder.
Completing graduate work is extra challenging for a person with a bipolar disorder diagnosis.
Many common hallmarks of college life, such as stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and substance use, can trigger a bipolar episode.
Students approaching the completion of their doctorate are often under tremendous pressure.
A psychiatric diagnosis like bipolar disorder can further complicate the situation.
Writing your dissertation as a person with bipolar disorder is a huge endeavor and can be stressful.
It’s crucial to have strategies in place to help you navigate potential triggers or episodes.
If you need help, consider dissertation help from an online dissertation assistant and writing service.
Also, create a plan for success by incorporating some or all of the following strategies.
Know The Facts About Bipolar Disorder and College
About 4.4 percent of US adults will experience bipolar disorder at some point.
For some, this experience will happen during college or graduate degree work.
One study indicated that students with bipolar disorder are 70 percent more likely to drop out than those without a psychiatric diagnosis.
There are laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that protect people from discrimination.
Colleges often provide guidelines and academic accommodations for students with psychiatric disorders.
Some colleges do a better job of working with students and medical professionals than others.
You may just be getting started with your doctoral degree. Or you might be in the throes of dissertation writing. But take time to get familiar with your college’s policies.
Recognize The Signs Of (Hypo)Mania Or Depression
There are several types of bipolar disorder. You may experience hypomania or more extreme mania.
You may be in a hypomanic episode if you notice 1three or more of these symptoms:
- Racing thoughts
- Increased distractibility
- Increased talkativeness
- An exaggerated sense of ability or well-being
- Feeling wired or jumpy
- Sleeping less
- Making poor or risky decisions
People with bipolar disorder can also enter depressive episodes. They may:
- Lose pleasure or interest in most or all activities
- Struggle to concentrate
- Feel hopeless
- Experience a sudden weight change
Other markers of a depressive episode can include feeling worthless or thinking about self-harm.
Sometimes, more severe symptoms like psychosis can happen. Learning to recognize when any of these symptoms appear can help.
It’s critical to reach out to mental health professionals. Some accommodations can help you continue your dissertation work while managing your symptoms.
Get Familiar With College Resources When You Are Not Sick
This strategy is crucial for every student. Knowing your options and where to go when sick is key to long-term academic success.
Bipolar episodes can be extreme. Setting up accommodations when you are not having an episode is a good idea.
You may not need the accommodations when you are well. But bipolar disorder is unpredictable.
Students with a psychiatric diagnosis by law can get reasonable accommodations.
Identifying and setting up accommodations when you are well could reduce the risk of triggering an episode.
Connect With Your Medical Team Often
Your university must provide reasonable accommodations. It can also offer some on-campus health care.
But often, they handle a large volume of students and may be unable to provide adequate long-term care.
Throughout your doctoral work, stay connected with your health care team.
And when you are beginning your dissertation, discuss potential roadblocks and triggers with them.
During the dissertation writing process, touch base or check in, especially if you have hit a roadblock or noticed a change in yourself.
Try Not To Take On Too Much
Telling someone writing their dissertation not to take on too much could elicit some eye rolls.
But adding more stressors can make you more likely to experience an episode. List all the things you want and need to do.
Then, think about your priorities. You may need to work more slowly or avoid some non-academic activities.
Even fun things can become overwhelming and derail you from your writing goals.
Routines aren’t exactly the forte of many college students. Even graduate and doctoral students often have poor or inconsistent habits.
But bipolar students can reduce the likelihood of entering a manic or depressive episode by designing a plan. Healthier routines can mean:
- Establishing a regular bedtime and wake-up time
- Sticking to specific mealtimes to help avoid nutritional deficiencies
- Setting alarms or reminders to take prescribed medication
Routines encourage stability, which is so important for bipolar students writing their dissertations.
Stability can also help the dissertation writing bipolar student to manage expectations.
Talk To Your Professors About Your Diagnosis
The best time to talk to your professors or dissertation advisors is at the beginning of your dissertation writing.
They may be able to help you create a plan for your dissertation with accommodations.
The plan may provide you with extra time to complete your dissertation. You can also work with your advisors if you have a hospitalization or medical event during the dissertation process.
But if you don’t talk to your professors about your diagnosis ahead of time, they may not be able to be as helpful if an episode occurs.
Use Online Tools and Organizational Apps
Online resources can be your best friend when writing your dissertation.
These tools can range from essay and dissertation writing help to interior design software such as SketchUp.
All college students can benefit from online tools. But students managing bipolar disorders can incorporate these resources into symptom management.
Organizational apps can also help you during manic episodes. You may feel very energized and excited about your dissertation.
Or you may have a million things going through your head that have nothing to do with your topic. Writing with bipolar disorder can mean you need more help to stay focused.
Revisit Your Work Often and Get Proofreaders
Your bipolar disorder can affect the quality of your work. You may feel excited that you have written a lot.
But the large volume could be a side effect of a manic episode and may not be very good.
Trying to write during a depressive episode can also generate subpar work, although at a much lower volume.
Revisiting your work often can ensure you’re sticking to your thesis. And getting trusted friends and professionals to read over portions is also helpful.
They may spot missed issues or note places where you deviated from your main point during an episode.
Finally, depression can cause you to doubt the work you’ve done. Before you hit the delete button and erase all your hard work, ask your trusted team to review what you have.
Getting another’s perspective when dealing with depression can be helpful. It can ensure you don’t toss out your dissertation or give up.
You Can Succeed At Dissertation Writing
A bipolar disorder can be challenging in day-to-day living. Adding the stress of a dissertation can make it more difficult to manage.
But you can develop strategies that will help you achieve success. It’s possible to reach your goals and finish writing your dissertation with a solid plan. You can do this!