What You Need to Know Before Talking to Your Employer About Depression
If you are struggling with a depressive episode and you feel you should talk to your employer about it, there are a few important things to consider.
First of all, from a legal perspective, you do not need to disclose your mental health condition unless you want accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This can be helpful to make your work life easier, or help you get through the day, but is not always essential.
As I talked about in my last vlog, I recently had an extremely bad depression. I have gone to work with depression many times throughout my life without telling my employer, but this time was different. This time my treatment was causing mental haziness and extreme fatigue, and I found accommodations essential. I asked for accommodations and told them what I needed. They were extremely supportive. I was able to get a reduced schedule through FMLA and am happy I asked.
Here was what I did:
I got organized: Anxiety is normal, so knowing what you are going to say and request in advance is crucial.
Then I chose whether to go to HR or my supervisor. HR can help you gain accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it is important to know: depression is a disability, one with which you have legal rights.
Be confident and stand up for yourself. Remember, two things: You are protected under the law, and according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 16 million U.S. adults (in 2015) experienced at least one major depressive episode.
In the comments please write tips and tricks for how you disclosed your depression. Again, this is Linea with bp Magazine’s bphope vlog. And remember, You’ve got this!