I too think your first move is to find a new psychiatrist asap and to make an appointment with a therapist. Most of us who have BP see both. The combination compliments each other and is a great deal of help. The therapy helps us with steps to implement new behavioral changes that are so important.
I agree with the others that medications have come a very long way. That is probably why your father got discouraged with not finding a combination that worked for him. Maybe you both could find a psychiatrist together.
Keeping in close contact with your pdoc and letting him know what's working and what’s not working is key! Many of us are on a combination of medications.
I have had a very hard time sleeping in the past as well and am a very vivid dreamer too! There are meds to help you sleep and you can learn how to adjust your sleep schedule to a proper one with help from your psychiatrist & therapist.
It's true, many, many people with bipolar have very successful jobs. I think more do than don't. With proper medications & taking them you can have a better outlook on things.
I don't like pdocs that make quick assumptions like telling you that you won't be able to work! Especially from THIS one who won't even give you any medications. If you stay with him...you won't be able to work or function properly!!!!
There is a great book out titled "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know
by David J. Miklowitz
It would be a great read for you, your fiance & father!!!
Best of luck...keep us posted.