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    Includes Expert Content
    Depression & Work. Should I tell my boss?
    avatar
    Jeune1 posted:
    So, last week a new therapist confirmed what I pretty much knew - I'm going through another bout of major depression. It really has affected my work but as much as I say depression is just another illness, I know that lots of people don't view it that way.

    I mean, if I found out I had something like a heart condition and needed time off for surgery, there'd be no problem telling my boss or someone in HR. But with this ... I don't know how to have that conversation or if I SHOULD have that conversation. I mean, I know that if anyone would understand it would be the people here (I'm 99% sure). But I don't know.

    Any thoughts? Anyone dealt with this?
    Reply
     
    avatar
    alaska_mommy responded:
    I'm not sure about that. Are you needing time off of work because of the depression? Are you needing a change in your work schedule/hours etc because of it? Will it affect your performance pretty substantially? If so it might be a good idea to tell your boss the reason why. Is your boss typically a pretty understanding person?
    It might help to get a note from your therapist detailing what the diagnosis is and what they recommend for your work load. That way it's not just you saying "Yeah I'm depressed" but it's an actual medical professional.
     
    avatar
    Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
    Hi
    If you know that depression is affecting work, you are performing poorly, you might want to tell HR (that should be confidential) and see what they say. You could lose your job due to poor performance as HR doesn't know you are ill. If you come clean, they know and they could have you out on disability but the cannot fire you due to depression because of the americans with disabilities act. What does your doc think>?
    Depression disability at work ranks up there with heart disease, diabetes etc and it is a medical illness.
    Finally, I urge people to work, keep a schedule as best they can. Sometimes going out of work and sitting around gives too much time to ruminate and feel worse...


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