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Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 02:01 PM

I am wondering, have anyone been open that they attend therapy to co-workers or to your supervisor?

I am comfortable where I work and who I work with, all my co-workers including my supervisor knows I attend therapy. They don't judge or ask many questions. I usually say, "I am available any day other than Tuesday mornings as I have dedicated this time for the last four year to go to therapy." Usually, they say, "you go to therapy, cool, is it helpful." Type responses.

I can't be fired over mental illness or attending therapy. I am in a union which provides good things and benefits (until you are there for 6 months you get amazing perks) I am comfortable and enjoy my job. I don't want to have it be a stigma to not say anything because it seems now, that work is really accepting of it. (its not about the laws that are in place, but other things)

Have you ever been honest about it to your co-workers or at school?


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 03:03 PM

I am in the US but I have been advised by someone who dealt with discrimination in the work place to keep it quiet because even if they are not allowed to discriminate for things like illnesses...there are ways that they can get around it and there are companies that have done so.

So, when I start working, I will not disclose that until after I have worked with the company long enough to file for FMLA. This would, essentially, protect me in a way that typical discrimination laws here do not. When someone is on FMLA they can still get fired but it definitely takes a whole lot more for the company to fire them.

Like I said, I am really only aware of this information because I am well acquainted with someone that's job was to deal with discrimination in the workplace. So, they had to familiarize themselves with state and federal laws and any and all loopholes that companies can and have used.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 03:54 PM

I have ADHD, does that count? I think it really depends on how you view your mental health. Personally, I am very open about it to most colleagues (servicemen) in the military. They treat me the same way they would treat everyone around them.

I don't feel like I have to keep mum about it because I have kinda learned to manage and embrace ADHD, like it is a part of me and that's who I am.
   
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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 04:31 PM

I have been honest about it to some professors, as well as to some people where I did my internship (which is like free work? :nosweat). As far as my internship I didn't tell my preceptors, who were basically like my "bosses," but I did tell some of the people who worked there who I worked closely with. Some of them were actually able to relate on some level. The people I worked with had varying levels of openness about their lives anyway and sometimes we've even talked about sex at work so. I feel as if those particular bosses at my internship wouldn't be upset with it or discriminate, but I know at some workplaces this may be the case.

At school I have told some professors but not all of them. At one point I tried going to the disability center at my school for help but since my GPA was too high they were basically like "what can we do for you?" but I don't hold a grudge. If that weren't the case and they did help I would have probably disclosed more fully to all my professors when I gave them accommodation letters so they could have helped me better. I have mentioned my anxiety disorder casually to some professors, then I've mentioned anxiety and depression to others in the course of assignments, and others in conversation, as there's one professor who I've had some really deep conversations with.


   
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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 04:47 PM

I am not overly open about my mental health in school. I have met with the disability counselor and have put different accommodations in place, however. I have to meet with him once a semester and I know of a few accommodations I'd like to add. Using accommodations has been hard for me, and I am afraid he'll know I haven't used them a lot or he'll look at my grades and say I can no longer have accommodations.

One of my instructors knows and that is because one of my accommodations is sitting wherever the door is. In her class it is in the back of the room and I think she initially was confused because if I had a learning disability it would be better for me to be in the front. She took me aside to talk about my accommodations one day and due to this I just explained that I have PTSD among other things.

I did speak to her a few weeks later because I left class early and wanted to ask if I could test ahead of time because I couldn't focus and she asked why I couldn't focus.

All of my instructors will know that I have some sort of issue but they won't know what it is unless I specifically tell them what it is and I'd like to keep it that way. Not because I want to hide it, but because my mental health is such a huge part of my life and I'd like a small portion of my life to be "freer" meaning that I can kind of reshape myself to be more of me and not my mental health.

If it comes up, though, I will be honest and discuss it if needed.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 07:17 PM

Unless I needed an accommodation specifically for depression or anxiety, I wouldn't bring it up. Once I had a consistent schedule, I did my best to arrange things around it. If I have to schedule something during my normal hours I either request off or request a change for my hours on the day of my appointment, and if they denied it I would tell them it's for an appointment and can't be changed on short notice. It's not that I'm ashamed or uncomfortable, it's partly due to the fact that they can work around discrimination protections and mostly that my health and life outside of work is none of their business as long as it doesn't bleed over.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 08:13 PM

I hadn't done this up until recently. Though I showed symptoms of mental health issues at school, I didn't recognise nor get help for them, so never had that issue of having to explain. That said, when I signed up with an agency for teaching assistant work, I had to fill in a health declaration for being 'fit to work'. I have had counselling, but never an official diagnosis, so I just mentioned that I went through a hard time after university and had counselling and asked if that would affect anything. I was told that it wouldn't matter, and that if I stated I had things that would affect my ability to work, then it would get sent to my doctor and I would have to be judged by the doctor as fit to work.

I have wondered about disclosure in general though. I know that when filling in the 'fitness to practice' forms it's best to be honest in case symptoms flare up and it comes to light that you suffer with mental health issues, especially if it's chronic or re-occurring as there may be consequences for not declaring. That said, I do worry about stigma, and unless I had to declare it, I wouldn't, more so since I can't think of any accommodations that I need or could benefit from. But with the counselling course I hope to get on someday, I have thought about disclosing, mostly due to the content of the course and it requiring some disclosure anyway.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 10:17 PM

It hasn't come up yet-. I usually schedule therapy around work/school- though I did have to tell a professor I had to leave early "for an appointment". I wouldn't be too embarrassed with telling a teacher that- but I would avoid telling an employer.

In the US, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act that is supposed to protect against discrimination--but too many employers here interpret it to mean ," we just need to blame something else for why we fired/didn't hire you." Discrimination is almost impossible to prove unless you have a recording of them saying "people with mental conditions aren't allowed here". They can fire you after disclosing a mental illness and then blame it on that "one time" you were 2 minutes late---not that realistic for most people, but if you have a condition that has a lot of stigma, it would not be that far fetched.

I think here in the states- you can be fired though for missing work due to appointments. ADA allows for reasonable accommodations -- but I don't think that being allowed to miss hours would be considered reasonable. And honestly, I am wondering what people do when they need to work full time?
   
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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 11:13 PM

I have mostly not been open. My relatives don't know I have a diagnosis, nor do my immediate family even know the multiple diagnosis I have.

At school and work I think people see me as the one prone to depression or the one who seems to be constantly worrying. At least in grade school, I was told by teachers "chill" "calm down" etc But maybe they saw it as me having a hard time coping with stress rather than an illness. At the time I wasn't diagnosed with anything anyway. It was only until college when u got my first diagnosis.
I told a few friends alone with friends I've made through support groups and such. That's actually a source of a lot of my friendships.

The job I had over the summer was for "at risk youth" and really whether sone of us went to therapy or not, we all have tendencies for depression and anxiety. On the last day a lot of us were open about depression. But I don't know if they meant if clinically but still, we are ages 18-24 , low income inner city women so....we all faced our battles.

There was one friend, whom I told on the very last day of work that I was diagnosed with bipolar, depression, anxiety and ptsd.

When I think about it, I only told 1 offline friend about the bpd diagnosis. I usually leave it out and say the other ones.
   
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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 11:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassado View Post
I am not overly open about my mental health in school. I have met with the disability counselor and have put different accommodations in place, however. I have to meet with him once a semester and I know of a few accommodations I'd like to add. Using accommodations has been hard for me, and I am afraid he'll know I haven't used them a lot or he'll look at my grades and say I can no longer have accommodations.

One of my instructors knows and that is because one of my accommodations is sitting wherever the door is. In her class it is in the back of the room and I think she initially was confused because if I had a learning disability it would be better for me to be in the front. She took me aside to talk about my accommodations one day and due to this I just explained that I have PTSD among other things.

I did speak to her a few weeks later because I left class early and wanted to ask if I could test ahead of time because I couldn't focus and she asked why I couldn't focus.

All of my instructors will know that I have some sort of issue but they won't know what it is unless I specifically tell them what it is and I'd like to keep it that way. Not because I want to hide it, but because my mental health is such a huge part of my life and I'd like a small portion of my life to be "freer" meaning that I can kind of reshape myself to be more of me and not my mental health.

If it comes up, though, I will be honest and discuss it if needed.
It might be different in other states but GPA is not a determining factor in disability services. However, there are those that think that someone with a disability should have a lower GPA because they believe those services are for people who have learning disabilities etc. So, in a lot of instances, you have to be able to provide documentation that explains that the services aren't being used because you have trouble with school.

Also, once you are in with their services it's really difficult for them to remove you. You just have to go to them once a semester or they might remove you.

I know plenty of people who utilized the Disabled services at my college and they have 3.5 to 4.0 and never got questioned. My boyfriend utilizes those services and has been getting 3.6-4.0's consistently and they don't question it at all. That being said I am in a different state so it might be different. That being said, if you are really concerned about it you could discuss it with your disability counselor or you could talk to your therapist. He would probably have some knowledge about it as.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 11:52 PM

My friends know about my ADHD.

When I was depressed, I didn't tell anyone, except very very close friends who knew I was depressed/SH.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 20th 2017, 11:58 PM

For me, at school, I have always disclosed about my mental health to a counsellor and some of my teachers. Now that I am in college I will be disclosing it to the accessibility resources people so that I am able to get accommodations to better handle being at school. I don't mind doing that, and if a teacher has a question as to why I have one, I will tell them as little as they need to know or just tell them that I need it for the bettering of my grades and to be able to handle schooling.

For work, on the other hand, I do my best not to disclose anything about my mental illness. I think that work is separate from my mental illness, and they have no need to know about it unless it is going to affect the times that I must work. In the past when I have been hospitalized, however; I have had to tell them that I was in a hospital to excuse myself from not being able to work. Whenever I have had to tell them, I just keep it to the minimum amount of details about it.

Has anyone else ever worried that if they told a teacher or boss about a specific reason for something that they would treat you differently, or believed you were unfit to do a job? Just curious.





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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 21st 2017, 08:07 AM

I have not openly discussed or disclose to my co workers or employer about my mental health issues or my medication. It's my own personal issue, on top of the stigma it draws in. Also it's less ammunition for my co workers to have on me.


   
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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 21st 2017, 09:08 AM

At school, I was very open about it. It has a plus size to be open about it in college. If you have a documented forum from a therapist or psychiatrist you can get special accommodations like quit place to take test and extra time( if you have anxiety). I found it helpful to be open with the professors and they are very understand and accommodate you as much as they can without favoring you.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 21st 2017, 10:04 AM

i am not honest. i suffer from depression but no one at school would know that because I'm ALWAYS laughing. I used to self harm but my parents found out which btw went terribly and now they hate me and blame me for everything hat goes wrong in their lives. i miss cutting to be honest..
   
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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 21st 2017, 12:40 PM

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Originally Posted by ~Abibliophobe~ View Post
It might be different in other states but GPA is not a determining factor in disability services. However, there are those that think that someone with a disability should have a lower GPA because they believe those services are for people who have learning disabilities etc. So, in a lot of instances, you have to be able to provide documentation that explains that the services aren't being used because you have trouble with school.

Also, once you are in with their services it's really difficult for them to remove you. You just have to go to them once a semester or they might remove you.

I know plenty of people who utilized the Disabled services at my college and they have 3.5 to 4.0 and never got questioned. My boyfriend utilizes those services and has been getting 3.6-4.0's consistently and they don't question it at all. That being said I am in a different state so it might be different. That being said, if you are really concerned about it you could discuss it with your disability counselor or you could talk to your therapist. He would probably have some knowledge about it as.
It probably is the same or similar here but I guess I just don't like the idea that a person with a disability is supposed to have lower grades. I think mine are high because of perfectionism which sometimes is stressful in itself.

To add about school though I had to tell someone I needed to miss a class because of "an appointment" also. Not a lot of people in my school make fun of mental health to my knowledge but they describe it in ways that kind of go with the stigma, I guess. I don't plan on telling any students about it.

When I become healthy enough to work, eventually I don't think I will disclose anything about my mental health.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 22nd 2017, 04:30 AM

Since I work in dv work, they generally ask if I have any support systems and I do mention my therapist as a support system.
At school, I'm registered under the disability accommodations office so they know about it, but I don't really bring it up to professors or friends much because I don't want them to have misconceptions about me, nor do I want them to judge me or my therapist.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - September 22nd 2017, 08:26 AM

I don't tell anyone. When I was hospitalized I said I was ill and had to go to the hospital because of sleep issues (which wasn't completely a lie but not the truth either). Was the same for theraphy. I simply said I had an appointment. Which one was none of their buisness.
I absolutely hate the idea of people knowing and judging me.


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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - October 3rd 2017, 02:46 PM

I think you can always fix the current situation. the main thing is to start doing something and move to success
   
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Re: Are you honest about your mental health at work and school? - October 3rd 2017, 05:07 PM

at work, god no. i don't think it's really necessary. but at school, i talked to counselors and some teachers about it. it had to be very subtly and like a broad topic, or else they'd have to report some things.
i also wrote about it in several essays and even won a scholarship because of one.

while some people might have thought i was just using it to get attention or get rewarded, i just saw it as using a negativity in my life in a positive way, and that actually helped me with it a lot.


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