Welcome to Allnurses.com!
You have more company here than you might think; there are a number of nurses with bipolar disorder who post regularly on this site---myself included---and who support each other through the difficulties we face as nurses and students with mental illness.
I know what it's like to worry about bipolar at work. In fact, I lost my last job because of a wild, stress-induced mixed episode that ended in what used to be called a "nervous breakdown", causing me to have to go on medical leave for almost a month. I was also nearly hospitalized. When I returned to work, my psychiatrist gave my employer a list of reasonable accommodations for my illness that was promptly rejected, because they decided they "couldn't" make those accommodations. I still don't know how they got around the Americans with Disabilities Act on this one, but like most large companies, they have an office full of lawyers who figured out a loophole. At least I got unemployment benefits.....
I'll never forget the day I was let go. My administrator and the corporate nurse consultant were there in the office; both were very sorry about having to do this, but I'll never forget what she said: "It's not your fault. It's chemical." What a way to sum up almost three years of dedication and hard work.
After that, I vowed never again to disclose my BP diagnosis to an employer, although it would've been hard because I AM that manic motor-mouth with the blue eyeshadow! But what do you know, I got lucky and went back to work for a former employer where everybody
knows I'm bipolar, but they like and respect me anyway.
I hope you'll enjoy your membership here at AN, and that you'll post often. Some members are very open about their diagnosis and are happy to share their experiences. One of the things I
like to do here is educate people on mental illness (bipolar in particular because that's my area of expertise), and I'm happy to report that thanks to the many members who've told their stories, the stigma here is much less than it used to be.