I actually found the reverse to be true, in that as BP II is one of those "disabilities" that are illegal to discriminate against, the following seemed to happen:
1) As a 'disabled' yet functioning person, you can very useful to a prospective employers by being part of the percentage of 'employed / disabled' workforce required by law - whilst actually being quite easy to accommodate within the workplace. This is more applicable if your medication and therefore mood balance is reasonable by now.
2) It sorts out the ethical from the discriminatory employers. Often this means the large players who can offer good career prospects because
they operate within laws, correct structures and guidelines.
3) If changing jobs, or after a protracted episode of poor mental health - the employment services offer contacts and short cuts to interviews that we might not get if we were totally 'well'.
I also had reason to be glad I was honest and "let the label fall about my neck" - as in my last job (with the Civil Service ) - I declared a past history of mental health problems, but with current functionality.
Sadly I had to retire on ill health grounds in 2005 when the previous diagnosis of "Uni-Polar Depression" was more accurately identified as "Bi-Polar with mixed states" - and I had a severe crisis point leading to hospitalisation.
Because I had pre-declared my mental health record at the outset, it was far easier to gain fair treatment and financial support from my employer and the Benefit Services when I 'failed' three years later. This was because I had in effect warned them in good faith at the outset - therefore proving my willingness to try and function normally in the interim between interview and ill health retirement e.t.c.
Like you I still gave them years of hard work in the meantime.
Also people helped me to help them, by structuring the workload with me better - and a lot of people respected and empathised with me for 'coming out'.
The Management still take me out to lunch occasionally, and remind me that if the medications keep me stable/comfortable enough, for long enough - they would re-employ me having learned that a Bi-Polar person is usually the opposite of apathetic or lazy.
Hope some of that made sense ...