Quote from JerseyPersian
Is it a bad idea to go into nursing? I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It's rapid cycling and though I am on medications right now I still get hypo mania every now and then and a bit of short lived depression. I can intellectually grasp the material and definitely do well in the coursework but I am afraid I'll lose my mind. I was accepted to social work school and deferred it as a back up plan. I am doing this because I've come to like nursing while working in a hospital for the past half year and because it affords a decent pay unlike social work. Please don't blow smoke up my butt, I need to know if this is realistic before shelling out the money for prereqs.
You've come to the right place to discuss this! There are a number of nurses with bipolar disorder right here at AN who are willing to talk about it (myself included) so the short answer is YES, you can do it
Nursing school and working as a nurse are stressful, so you want to be as prepared as you can be for the inevitable ups and downs of your disorder. Medications, exercise, a nutritious diet, and SLEEP will be your best friends, so if you haven't yet established healthy habits, now is the time. Regular visits to your mental health professional are also important in assessing how well you're functioning and spotting warning signs of an impending mood episode.
A lot also depends on what kind of nursing you choose to do. I've noticed that many nurses with mental health problems tend to go into psych nursing, and they do surprisingly well (I'm afraid I'd over-identify with the patients!). IMHO, anything that's not too fast-paced or detail-oriented is better suited to nurses with BP, as we are often easily distracted and memory problems are common.
Work within your personal limitations and possibilities to help you determine whether or not you can do this, and if you believe you can, go for it!