We don’t want to keep things hidden from people. We want to feel like we can openly talk about what we struggle with on a daily basis. We want to be able to feel like we won’t be shamed or judged for something that we can’t control or change. Mental illnesses can affect every part of our lives and we have to be aware of what can happen with whatever ails us. We have to be mindful of these things when approaching new environments, and that extends into our job. When we are coming into a new job or even just a job interview, we have to remember these things that can spring up during the day. We don’t know if an employer will ever ask, point-blank, about anything like mental illness in an interview, but we have all been in the place of wondering whether or not it is something we need to mention.
It really depends on what you are comfortable with and to the degree in which you expect your condition to affect your ability to perform your job. It also depends on the kind of job as well. If you are working in a job in an office, at a desk, or some environment that isn’t as physically demanding, you may be able to not worry about having anything triggered. If the environment is high-energy, stressful, and hectic, then that could change things dramatically. We always want you to keep your own health and safety in mind when making these kinds of decisions. So that question comes to mind when approaching this situation: do we, or should we mention our condition to our employer? We think it depends on what feels best. It may be better for you to ease yourself into the role first and then, if necessary, bring it up to your employer. You don’t have to start out on that foot, as that could bring about an awkward feeling and idea about it all. Ease yourself into it, see how it is going, and if you are seeing things that cause you concern, then you may want to bring it up to somebody at your work. We believe the most important thing is to maintain open, and honest, communication if things begin to pop up. If you feel overwhelmed and that your body and mind are reacting negatively to your environment, then be sure that you are being honest with your employer. Their biggest concern will probably be that your work is still able to get done and that your coping won’t cause any negative consequences for the job. We are also lucky to be living in a time where mental illness is becoming more recognized and accepted, and because of that, your employer very well may want to help you any way that they can. You shouldn’t be afraid of getting into trouble because of it and you won’t. And to be honest, if you do get in trouble, is that a place you want to work at? Is that the kind of culture you want to be a part of?
Figuring Out When It is Best to Share Our Story
Don’t force yourself into those places and don’t force yourself to say or do anything you don’t want to. If you’re not comfortable sharing your mental health challenges and afflictions with the company or employer, then, by all means, don’t say anything. It is your choice and your prerogative to share what you want to share. Trust yourself and your gut feeling about the situation, and you will be okay. We have learned so much about ourselves throughout the recovery process and we can apply those lessons to any situation we find ourselves in. You know what’s best for you and you don’t have to change anything about yourself to make it work.
It’s a very daunting experience, going into a new job, and we can often feel like we are bringing baggage into it with us. First off, don’t let your experience feel like baggage. Let yourself feel pride in the work you have done and that will immediately help your mindset about the entire thing. Understand who you are and what works for you, know the things that will trigger you, and learn if the position is a good fit for you. We often are made to feel too guilty about not wanting a job, like turning it down is some kind of insult. But it’s not and we have the right to decide what we do with our lives. There is nothing wrong with saying no to a job because you don’t think it would be healthy with your mental condition. Always take care of yourself and keep your safety in mind. Everything else will come and you will find a place that you are happy with, and a culture that you are happy to be a part of.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us today at (866) 399-6528.