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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today we had an informal staff meeting at lunchtime with our newly hired printing supervisor. The meeting was basically 95% chit-chat, with me mostly listening, of course.

At one point, someone brought up the story of a former employee in the department who left before I started working there. This former employee was described as suffering from severe depression that caused her to engage in strange behavior and badly affected her work, e.g., she was out sick a lot, had major emotional breakdowns, had disabling headaches, had to take naps, etc. They described what a nightmare it was to work with this woman, but there was "nothing they could do about it" because it was an "ADA issue."

Now, I have never disclosed my anxiety and depression to anyone at work so far. I didn't even list it on the EOE/ADA disability accomodations form. I'm just afraid of what people might think, you know, because of that big stigma, the big mispercetion of mental illness, that people who are mentally ill are violent and psychotic and delusional and so forth. Or that people that have anxiety or depression specifically are just faking it because they don't want to deal with the responsibilites of life.

I also don't know how to explain what kind of "acommodations" I might need. My anxiety and depression haven't really badly affected my ability to perform my job in the past, although I can't say they never will. There were a few times when I took a "mental health day" at my previous job; calling out sick because a "stomach problem," when the real issue was mental/emotional.

So now I don't know wether, or how, I should ever bring up the issue of my mental health to my boss or my co-workers. I mean, how would they react to me? I guess that my biggest fear is that I won't be believed, won't be taken seriously, if I were to disclose and describe what I have.
 

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I wouldn't say anything unless it came down to your boss wanting to fire you because he doesn't understand some of your actions that are a direct result of your problems that you are dealing with. It just seems to risky IMO. I probably wouldnt fill out that EOE form either. The last thing you want is a "strike" against you and a reason to be fired. Of course they wouldn't fire you for that reason since it's probably illegal to do so. But they could fire you anyway and blame it on some other reason.

The term "mental illness" has such a negative conotation attached to it. People would look at you differently if you told them.
 

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"Semi-retired" SAS Member
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I agree with you, Futures. But one good thing I do have going is that I have a union-represented job at a state university that takes EOE and diversity issues VERY seriously. The collective bargaining contact that covers me forbids termination without "just cause," too.

Still, I should probably err on the side of caution and not disclose unless I have to....
 

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Jamesofmaine,

I would agree to not disclose anything unless you absolutely have to. I was diagnosed with SA in February, and it was during a very rough crisis at work. Long story short, I never revealed what I went through - thank goodness!
 
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