I am not bipolar (or at least, I don't have that dx yet), but I have struggled w/anxiety & depression for some time now. My anxiety levels reached their peak during my 4th month of Med-Surg nursing. My doc had just put me on a trial of anti-depressants, which sent me into a nasty spiral. I ended up having a panic attack in front of a coworker & then quit w/o notice the day after. I was told by my manager that because I didn't give a notice, I would not be able to work for that hospital system for at least two years. I was devastated & facing $32,000 in student loans, two sick parents, and a host of other issues.
I ended up taking a 1.5 year break from nursing after that. I kept my license active but I did other things instead. I was lucky in that I had saved a lot of the money I had made. I could still pay my bills & pay for my medications. I worked on my self-confident & applied to other nursing jobs
. I finally landed a job that was better suited to my personality nearly two years after I left my first nursing job. I have been at that job nearly 6 months. I haven't have a panic attack yet (though I did have angry tears one day, but my supervisor told me she was surprised I hadn't done that yet, considering the string of stressful shifts we were all experiencing). I don't dread going to work every day.
Is it perfect? No. Some of my skills are slipping, and I would eventually like to go back to acute care, maybe in the ED, but this much I've learned: life is a marathon and not a race. If I push myself before I'm ready, I'm only going to fail. I still have more learning to do, more lessons to learn & more improvements to make in my mental health before I jump back into the insanity of acute care. But I will get there.
If I were you, I would seriously consider taking a break from your current work. Maybe not a long break, like I did, but I would NOT make any serious, impactful decisions while you're feeling this overwhelmed. You don't want to damage your resume like I did. It took a LONG time to find 1 employer that would take a chance on me after that. You don't want that to happen to you.