Disclosing Depression to a Future Employer
Should you disclose your depression to your future employer during the interview process? Let's take a look at telling vs not telling your future employer about your depression.
You step into the room with an air of confidence. You have cleared all the rounds of the interview except the last one, and you are pretty sure the job is already yours. But then your interviewer asks you a question that gets you thinking: Is there anything you'd like to ask me? And you become anxious because this question makes you wonder whether you should ask about the company's mental health policy and reveal that you have depression. At least, that's the way I think and I am sure at some point, you have wondered whether your employer should know or not know that you have depression. Let's take a look at both the scenarios.
When You Disclose Depression to a Future Employer
First off, kudos to you for being brave enough to talk about your mental illness with your potential employer. With increasing mental health awareness, chances are your interviewer may appreciate your honesty and transparency. But remember, for most people, mental health is still a taboo topic and comes with more than its fair share of stigma and discrimination. So more often than not, you will not get the job once you make this disclosure. Of course, no employer will tell you to your face that your mental illness is the reason he or she is not hiring you, but for some "reason" or the other, someone else will be hired over you.
When You Don't Disclose Depression to a Future Employer
If you don't reveal that you have depression and everything else goes well, the job is sure to be yours. However, once you begin working, you still have the option to either continue to keep your employer in the dark or open up and tell your employer about your medical condition. It's probably best to be upfront once you have been hired because your employer may cut you some slack during depressive episodes that affect your productivity. Also, since depression is a legitimate medical condition, you cannot be discriminated against or fired due to it.
However, whether you choose to disclose depression to a future employer or not is a personal choice. There's no right or wrong in this situation and your employer does not have a right to know about your mental health. Ultimately, you should make a call based on how urgently you need the job and whether the company has a pro-mental health culture. You also need to trust your intuition and read the room before making a decision. No matter how much you will it, at the end of the day, you cannot change people, you can only adapt to them -- especially when your livelihood depends on it.
Watch the video below to know why, despite being a mental health advocate, I believe that you should not disclose to a potential employer that you have depression.
Shaikh, M. (2019, October 30). Disclosing Depression to a Future Employer, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/workandbipolarordepression/2019/10/disclosing-depression-to-a-future-employer
Author: Mahevash Shaikh
If they aren't okay with it, well I don't want to work with someone as discriminatory and judgmental as them anyway.
Anyway, liked the video. It was to the point and seemed to be shot all in one take, very natural.
I understand where you are coming from, Andy. Thank you, glad you liked the video.