Emotional Intelligence & Bipolar Diso... - Action on Postpar...

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Emotional Intelligence & Bipolar Disorder


How can I find out if bipolar disorder and emotional intelligence correlate? Since suffering PP in 2014 I’m diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and I’ve had feedback from a couple of managers at work that I need to work on my emotional intelligence. I was wondering if this issue is impacted by my illness, or vice versa.

5 Replies

Hello Jessi_D,

Wow! I find it quite shocking that managers at work have made such an insensitive statement. I am very concerned about their moral issues towards equality of opportunities and actually wonder about their level of "emotional intelligence".

It will be interesting to find out what other mums, who have been diagnosed with bipolar think about this, in my view, unreasonable comment towards you. From an analytical point of view I do believe that they have not any substantiated knowledge about bipolar nor emotional intelligences.

My "emotional intelligences" and in fact any other "multiple intelligences" (established by the American theorist Howard Gardener) have not changed, but may have been affected when feeling poorly, whether it is "a high or a low".

Despite having survived PPP and other traumatising experiences throughout illness and recovery (grief), suffering from fear and anxiety and mood swings, my pragmatism is alive and kicking and my emotional intelligence is still intact :-) Mental and/or physical health and social/cultural/emotional experiences including alcohol and recreational drugs and/or prescribed medication of course affect our performance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that your multiple intelligences have been altered, because of bi polar .

Maybe you should give your managers a present; the number 1 Bestseller Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman :-)

However, I find it quite a fascinating discussion point and I am very curious and will do some research into this hypothetical question.

If you feel concerned, it maybe worth while to discuss that with the Union, Occupational health or your GP...but I am sure you will get further responses on this subject matter via the forum.

I will feedback, if I should find any evidence/quotes. Please, do not worry about this. I usually ignore "stigmatising comments" by others.

Look after yourself


in reply to Hidden

I’m often frustrated, so don’t feel the feedback is unreasonable. I feel balanced in myself (not high or low), but maybe I need to talk to my GP about this irritability. I don’t think these managers know I’m diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and wouldn’t want anyone to feel unable to speak openly about how my mood impacts other people. It would certainly be better to be calm, patient, kind and empathetic at all times, with all people. Perhaps I need medication, or perhaps this has nothing to do with a mood disorder and I just need to improve my character flaws!

in reply to Jessi_D

Hello Jessi_D,

thank you for responding again. I still have been thinking about your question;

Obviously I do not have any details about the other party nor do I know about your skills and approaches at work.

OK, let's delve a bit deeper with an example of mine: You have details about my condition and I can tell you about my struggles which could be "assessed" by "externals" such as your managers as LACK OF SOCIAL SKILLS.

Because of my Social and Agora Phobia I find it rather difficult to be with people and find it awkward to talk to more than 2. I get so anxious when having to confront crowds. Thus, events and activities are rather exhausting, even worse, if it is a new environment and strangers. When tackling the obstacle, I usually get poorly before the event and afterwards. Therefore I do understand your frustration. Here I would like to highlight that my social skills do exist, but they are diminished or disabled at that particular moment.

Yes, my moods can affect the once I love, but there are coping mechanisms at hand (I use alternative methods i.e. breathing technics, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, gardening, painting, playing with my son etc.)...however, my partner says that the highs are so much more difficult than the lows. He can not reach me when mind racing and dissociated...I am not taking any medication. How do you try to keep emotionally and physically balanced?

Gardener's personal intelligences are divided into 5 domains:

Knowing one's emotions (self reflection/monitoring feelings)

Managing emotions (handling feelings in order to build on self awareness i.e. soothe oneself, shaking off rampant anxiety, gloom ...)

Motivating oneself (marshalling emotions, thus trying to achieve objectives/goals by paying attention, self motivation and mastery, creativity, emotional self-control, delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness according to Gardener can develop "a flow" and subsequently develop "performances")

Recognising emotions in others and in my opinion that is exactly reflecting what we are doing on this forum: sharing our experiences and supporting each other through the skills of compassion and empathy...

...and the final point is handling relationships, this means managing largely emotions of others...despite my mental health issues and needs I can summarise that my emotional intelligence and interpersonal effectiveness is still "rock 'n rolling"... :-)

You are doing exceptionally well ,because you are out there in the public domain within the working environment. It is good to share and the occupational health, GP and Union representatives all have to be confidential. Do not be to harsh on yourself, because I still feel that the approach of those managers were insensitive. Remember you have choices and a voice, too with rights and responsibilities at your work place.

Gosh, I better finish, but as promised will read up on it and see whether there are experts who have linked bipolar with emotional intelligences.

Bye for now,



Hi Jessie and other mums

as promised some feedback on my findings-

Only a few studies have been conducted according to researchgate.net. in analyzing emotional intelligence in bi-polar. On this rather scientific site some articles are on offer and I found it quite a fascinating read. In my opinion there is not enough evidence to claim that bi-polar will alter level of intelligence.

Anyhow, I found blogger Fenny very interesting, who reflected on bipolar and emotional intelligence. More of an easy read, but based purely on experiences.

the cracyrambler.wordpress.com/201105/04emotional-intelligence-bipolar-disorder

This is all for now,

Wishing you, well Jessi


It seems this blogger has therapy/counselling. I’m recently having couples therapy, but this isn’t addressing the issues arising at work. Months ago I had five individual sessions with a counsellor over the phone but seems all he wanted to discuss was my relationship, which wasn’t helpful. I’ll pick this up with my GP to see what they suggest.

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