Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 disorder which is being controlled very successfully due to medications and a lot of work on my part. My close colleagues at school knew about it because I chose to tell them; they've been an incredible support network and have never treated me as less capable or like I was going to break when something difficult happens. In November during the 2004-2005 school year, I started taking a new medication which wreaked havoc with me physically and emotionally. I was in-patient in the hospital for ten days, then in a day program (I could go home at night) for five weeks. So, I missed seven weeks of work. I had no problem with people knowing why I was gone. I'm not ashamed of my illness an have become very active in educating other people about it. There are two teachers at school who still don't "get it". When I have a difficult student in my class, they tell me I should have the principal move the student to a different class because it might make my bipolar disorder "kick in". When we found out some staff members may be reassigned for next school year, one of them said I should get my doctor to write a note saying I couldn't handle a reassignment. I'm not sure if they really think I'm emotionally unstable or too weak to handle tough situations, or if they think I should use the fact that I have this disorder to manipulate people to get what I want. Either way, it really bothers me. I've told them over and over, in many different ways, that I can handle anger and other strong emotions as well as anyone...maybe sometimes better because of the work I've done with doctors and counselors. Have they seen my angry? Yes...when a child's education is short-changed for any reason. But, not red-faced, yelling, screaming obscenity angry, and never in front of kids or parents. Have they seen my cry? Yes...when our favorite janitor died unexpectedly, when one of my students was diagnosed with leukemia, when I'm frustrated because a student baffles me and nothing I do seems to help. ~takes a deep breath~ Anyway, I've done everything I can to teach them that bipolar disorder doesn't necessarily mean a person who's falling apart, unable to handle criticism or tough situations, or has to be treated with kid gloves. So, do I keep trying? Decide what they think doesn't matter...because I suppose in the long run it really doesn't? Maybe what I needed to do was just vent here, because I've seen how supportive and helpful the a to z members and moderators are. Either way...thanks for "listening" and letting me get this off my chest.