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Q.
I'm being treated for depression. Should I reveal this to my boss or keep it to myself?

A.
Depression in the workplace is a widespread problem. In fact, The Impact of Depression at Work Audit reported about a quarter of employees had been diagnosed with it and about half of that group didn't tell their employers.

So while many in the workplace suffer from depression, there is no one universal solution to your individual situation. There are several important aspects you might consider here, however, such as how your company culture deals with these issues and how strong your relationship is with your boss. Essential as those considerations are, perhaps the most crucial one may be this: Is your depression interfering with your job? If it is, I advise a private chat with your manager. Explain that you are undergoing depression and receiving treatment for it. You may also wish to address the particular areas that are affected and how you are coping.

If you conclude your depression is not affecting your job adversely, you may wish to stay silent on the issue, or you could talk with your employer if you feel not hiding it would lighten your burden. In either case, know that your company is required to make "reasonable accommodation" for you and should be willing to work with you during your treatment. Granted, you may have a less-than-positive experience with some employers, but it's just as likely you could discover that your boss is in your corner. E



Dan Lumpkin, organizational psychologist, is the president of management-consulting company Lumpkin & Associates in Fairhope, AL. Need answers? Email your career-related questions to askdan@exhibitormagazine.com.
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