They most definitely can, but it is difficult for those with bipolar to keep a job when not taking medication to regulate their mental mood swings. A relative of mine had this issue (amongst others), and he wouldn't stay on the medication. He is now being taken care of by a certain unnamed state.
Of course! As long as the person stays on their medication and keeps a steady relationship with their therapist. It would be a good idea to notify your employer of your situation, but let them know that you have the symptoms under control the best you can.
I work with someone who is bipolar and I have to say it has been a HORRIBLE experience. I had no idea that she was bipolar at first and neither did my students. However, within a week it was very apparent that something was definitely wrong with this woman. It has gotten to the point where she antagonizes the children. She placed tape around her desk that said, "Do not pass this line or their will be serious consequences." She also took all of the furniture in the classroom, moved it next to her desk and blocked the door with a bookshelf. Many times she just sits at her desk and does nothing. She tries to blame the children for her incompetence and says that they don't like her because she is white. I tried to explain to her that 95% of the school staff is white but she is convinced that the children hate white people. She has also insulted me several times for absolutely no reason. At times she has done it with a smile on her face. The administrator recently told me that while I was at a workshop she had screaming matches with the children and was recording them and taking pictures without their consent. Her behavior is extremely bizarre. I personally feel that she has no business working with children. I even fear that she may become violent towards me or the students. She is taking medication but if you ask me it is not working.
I have bipolar disorder and take meds regularly, have for years. I not only have a job, but I work with addicts and alcoholics as well as with patients who suffer from a myriad of mental illnesses. And my employer knows I'm bipolar!! Of course, there's no reason to tell your employer or potential employer that you are. It just works out as an asset for me in my line of work. Unfortunately, there's still a great amount of prejudice and stigma attached to mental illness but don't get me started on that one!! I know several people who have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who are holding down jobs! How 'bout that?!! Pending universal agreement on the definition of 'normal' I will say that bipolars can be just as 'normal' as the next person. I challenge the average person to pick a bipolar out of a crowd!! I had a t-shirt made that says "bipolar and proud of it" which I do wear occasionally. My wife isn't too thrilled when she's with me and I am wearing it but, oh well!! I kind of like the looks I get sometimes!