View Full Version : Do you tell your employer?


Jiberish
06-28-16, 07:16 AM
Curious if anyone tells their employer. Only reason is I've been reprimanded for not paying attention to detail enough, which was before I was diagnosed this spring......... Not sure, I dont like using it as a crutch, but if they knew, it might help them help me for the details part? The issues were really non-issues, but none the less its something for them to use against me I suppose.

Fuzzy12
06-28-16, 07:31 AM
I guess it's usually safer to not tell them, for exactly the same reason you mentioned. They might use it against you orbit might bias them in some way.

I guess some people are lucky to have brilliant employers who try and work with you to find adhd friendly ways once you disclose your disorder to them but you can't count on that.

Gypsy Willow
06-28-16, 11:04 AM
Curious if anyone tells their employer. Only reason is I've been reprimanded for not paying attention to detail enough, which was before I was diagnosed this spring......... Not sure, I dont like using it as a crutch, but if they knew, it might help them help me for the details part? The issues were really non-issues, but none the less its something for them to use against me I suppose.

I wouldn't. They will use it against you. Treat it to the best of your ability, take your meds and learn other coping skills. (i.,e., listening to music, working slower) but I know the reality is that some jobs are not a good fit for this condition. I work great when I'm not interrupted constantly. I can focus, catch mistakes, etc. But with interruptions, I'm like this:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcrzfj4Rom1rjoqnuo1_500.gif

sarahsweets
06-28-16, 05:21 PM
NEVER. Unless 100% absolutely necessary. Usually it becomes a weapon for them to f**k with you.

emperorpenguin
06-28-16, 06:44 PM
Heck no. It's none of their business. As others have said, it can be used against you by people who have misconceptions/prejudices about the disorder (or just plain don't like you).

Tetrahedra
06-28-16, 08:39 PM
I had some coworkers who told our boss. One of them openly admitted it to everyone she worked with, while the others were more reserved in who they told. I'm not sure if it helped or hindered them.

From a coworker perspective, I appreciated the people who told me that they struggled with it because I was able to help them more. The one who told EVERYONE about it always did so like, "Well I have Disorder 1, Disorder 2, ADHD, Disorder 4, Disorder 5..." or "Yeah, but I have ADHD so I can't do things that way." Needless to say, I wasn't so keen on the way she presented it to us. I don't think she was aware that it came across as melodramatic and weird. Especially when *I* have ADHD and could do things perfectly fine the way that she said she couldn't. She made it sound like everyone with ADHD functions one way which, as we all know, isn't true.

Therefore, if you do plan to tell people at work about it, do so discretely and with care. Don't flaunt it or announce it to everyone. Don't use it as an excuse. Tell only your boss and those who need to know, but assume that over time everyone in the office will find out. Never assume that your boss, or anyone else, will keep it a secret.

From a personal perspective, I would not tell people that I have ADHD. Firstly because I don't ever want people to think I'm using it as an excuse, which is very likely due to the negative way society thinks about the disorder (and certainly not helped by those who make blanket statements like my previously-mentioned coworker). Secondly because if I'm keeping up, there is no need to share that detail. Now I might disclose something that's relevant. For example, if it's too distracting, I may tell my boss that I need a more distraction-free environment in order to work, noise-cancelling headphones, etc. A good boss will realize that not everyone works the same under the same conditions. This only works in places where the job permits if. For example, you can't tell your boss in a noisy kitchen where people are yelling orders back and forth, clanking dishes, cooking, etc- that the environment is too loud. You took the job knowing that it was loud. You can't alter that culture.

anonymouslyadd
06-28-16, 08:41 PM
You only want to tell them if you're job is put on the line. That's it. That came from an ADD coach.

casper
06-28-16, 09:11 PM
I have a new role at my workplace.ci am now working with trainees who have various disorders. Could be autistic, add, ld, ocd, hearing issues, reading, you name it.

I often wonder if they could benefit from me sharing my history and current struggles and how I cope. I could even share with the trainees trainer (boss) but I know if I do that it will def spread like wildfire.

Kayyluhh74
06-28-16, 11:32 PM
Noo, I wouldn't. I don't think it's any of your employers business what medications you take & for what.

My employer knows though because I got promoted to pharmacy & to be back there, I had to take a drug test. So I just casually asked "Will my adhd medication effect me working back there?" & it wasn't a problem!

sarahsweets
06-29-16, 01:06 AM
Another thing to consider is,if you tell your employer would you want them to think that if you did a good job, it would have been better if you didnt have adhd?
"wow, sarah did a great job for someone with adhd'. or " i bet if sarah didnt have adhd or were medicated, she would do an even better job with that paperwork".

Jiberish
06-29-16, 12:12 PM
wow, thanks for all the responses. Im not worried on the medications, i have to disclose them for drug tests anyways. I work at hospitals mostly, so im not too worried about them using it against me. I believe its also under the American Disabilities Act, so their is that, but i get what your saying!

Thanks all!

Tetrahedra
06-29-16, 08:11 PM
wow, thanks for all the responses. Im not worried on the medications, i have to disclose them for drug tests anyways. I work at hospitals mostly, so im not too worried about them using it against me. I believe its also under the American Disabilities Act, so their is that, but i get what your saying!

Thanks all!

Yeah, some places are good at honoring that, but some places aren't. Obviously they can't do anything that would go against it, but they could mess with you in other ways. It sucks, but it happens.

anonymouslyadd
06-29-16, 08:45 PM
wow, thanks for all the responses. Im not worried on the medications, i have to disclose them for drug tests anyways. I work at hospitals mostly, so im not too worried about them using it against me. I believe its also under the American Disabilities Act, so their is that, but i get what your saying!

Thanks all!
Using the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) should always be a last resort, something to give you time to get another job.

Roundmouth
06-30-16, 01:44 PM
I've heard about so many people losing their jobs after telling. Having you fired is of course illegal, but doing it anyway and paying the bill will be a small problem to them. Or they may make accomodations in a way that will make things impossible. Maybe move you to another unit 100 km:s away. Maybe make your work easier - for example give you an office of your own, deep down in the basement where you will spend your working days sorting paperclips. Sooner or later you will get so completely understimulated and make some careless mistake.

This is more or less exactly what my boss would do.

But still... I'm thinking about being open about it from the start the next time I apply for a new job. They will probably not hire me, no - but the problems will appear sooner or later any way. Hiding and overcompensating - yet always eventually failing - exhausts me. An employer knowing about my condition and hiring me any way will probably be a good employer.

C15H25N3O
06-30-16, 07:43 PM
If you appreciate help on details just ask for another opinion. 4 eyes always see more than 2 eyes.

I would never tell it any employer. Almost friends and family can look different at you. There is still too much stigma, attitudes and labelling on mental disorders and on stimulant meds.
They might could be abused and the substances are completely abused by addicts or are misused in self-medication. absolutely any narcotic or drug can be used in medicine if it is safe use.

Just imagine sitting in a plane before take-off and the pilot tells over the speaker:
I am diagnosed with a mental disorder and take heavy meds. Please, fasten your seat-belts extra tight and trust my mental-state. Enjoy the flight! :D

:giggle: No one will trust a manic depressive pilot flying a Boeing747 or a pilot being addicted to narcotics.

People having mental disorders themselves or people using, abusing or misusing substances have less attitudes and look for acceptance, tolerance and solutions themselves.

Goofycook
07-02-16, 04:04 PM
year of hiding it wore me out and I didn't even know what I was hiding. Know that I'm DX and on meds I'm more open but I don't anounce it with trumpets.

Cyllya
07-04-16, 07:38 PM
I'm "out" at my job. It was too much of a pain to hide, and at one point I accidentally blurted it out when talking to my manager, so I just stopped trying to hide it. I'll mention it to coworkers if it comes up in conversation. It hasn't been a problem.

But there are some particulars in my situation that allow this to work well when it might not for others. At the time I first told my manager, I was already known to be an excellent employee, and if I remember right, we were discussing a problem that was distracting and annoying and misery-inducing for my entire team--it was just worse for me, and it was interfering with my ability to do the awesome job they already knew I could normally do.

If you are going to tell, it shouldn't be in the vein of "I can't do [task] very well because I have ADHD." It should be more like "Since I have ADHD, I need something like [proposed accommodation] to do [task] well," or "Since I have ADHD, [problem] is getting in the way of me doing [task] well."

Actually, if you need minor accommodations, I'd suggest starting with just mentioning your symptom by itself, e.g. "Wait, let me write this down, I'm bad at remember verbal instructions."

There's a limit to how much the Americans with Disabilities Act can help you. It makes it illegal for companies to fire you just for being disabled, and they have to provide reasonable accommodation for you do your job. But depending on your situation, they're probably still allowed to fire you for almost any other reason, so if they want to fire you for being disabled, they just need to pretend they have a different reason. Plus, they're not required to keep employing someone if that person's disability actually interferes with their job despite accommodations.

finallyfound10
07-04-16, 10:34 PM
wow, thanks for all the responses. Im not worried on the medications, i have to disclose them for drug tests anyways. I work at hospitals mostly, so im not too worried about them using it against me. I believe its also under the American Disabilities Act, so their is that, but i get what your saying!

Thanks all!


Healthcare systems are shockingly bad at showing empathy for employees with illnesses/issues. I'm an RN and would never tell any employer but ESPECIALLY a healthcare system.

lntense
07-05-16, 05:00 PM
No I would not tell them.



Mostly from a legal standpoint. If I'm involved in an incident and they drug test me but know I take adderall for add that can sway their opinions on certain things. The results should be kept between you and the testing center.

KarmanMonkey
07-08-16, 02:45 PM
There are benefits to telling your boss, and huge risks, as the other replies likely show you already. To quote a Russian expression:

"Birds aren't words. When you let them out, they can't be put back in the cage."

My job has "Living with a serious and persistent mental illness" as part of the job description, so in a way it makes it easier for me. I don't have to make the decision about whether or not to be "out". Then again, the cat's kind of out of the bag for any future job I apply to.

I'd suggest taking a look at this document:

https://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/pdf/Supporting_Employee_Success_Booklet_Sep2015.pdf

I'd start on page 5, where they have the tables showing what the job expectations are, what issues the person might have, and reasonable accomodations/recommendations.

This is the tool I'd use at any future new job, especially if I didn't want to disclose. It can have some good ideas about things that could be changed about my work environment without much burden to the employer or colleagues. A lot of the changes can be requested without even mentioning a diagnosis. Instead, one could say:

"Hey, can I ask that someone take minutes at this meeting? I want to make sure I didn't miss an important point during the discussion"

Accommodations don't need to be labelled as such, and they don't need to be drastic things. Often they are changes (like having meeting minutes) that would make life better for everyone!

HaBaChic
07-13-16, 12:18 PM
This is my first post, and I appreciate the thread. However, my situation is a little different. I wish I had been fired; instead, I was demoted. 4 years after that was I finally diagnosed. It made complete and total sense. I have spent the past year working on emotional recovery and developing new skills. I am finally at a point where I am looking at getting my career back on track. However, I feel like their is also additional healing/strength building in getting it out in the open. People are going to wonder what happened. Would like your thoughts.

sharansingh
07-13-16, 05:22 PM
I'm in favor to not to tell your Employers, because it may impact in your career.

Radio Hiker
07-19-16, 08:59 PM
I fall firmly into the camp of don't tell anybody. In the interview process it may be used to weed you out of the myriad of candidates under consideration. In the work environment, it becomes a weapon to be used against you by the office politickers.

sarahsweets
07-19-16, 09:54 PM
This is my first post, and I appreciate the thread. However, my situation is a little different. I wish I had been fired; instead, I was demoted. 4 years after that was I finally diagnosed. It made complete and total sense. I have spent the past year working on emotional recovery and developing new skills. I am finally at a point where I am looking at getting my career back on track. However, I feel like their is also additional healing/strength building in getting it out in the open. People are going to wonder what happened. Would like your thoughts.

What do you need to get out in the open? What other people think of you is none of your business. Only what you thinks matters.

KarmanMonkey
07-21-16, 10:49 AM
What do you need to get out in the open? What other people think of you is none of your business. Only what you thinks matters.

What they think about me doesn't matter, but how they treat me does. And how they talk about me when I'm not in the room does affect my ability to foster and maintain working relationships.

As much as gossip has been shown time and time again to be harmful to everyone, it still somehow ends up being human nature.

Pilgrim
07-21-16, 01:01 PM
I told a work colleague today but I think this guy is ok. I just had to there were certain accomodations I needed and I had to say something, I was using another excuse before, but it wasn't really explaining away the issue I was having.

I thought about this heaps, I'm pretty sure the guy won't let me down. I'm actually more afraid of others knowing.

KarmanMonkey
07-21-16, 01:26 PM
I told a work colleague today but I think this guy is ok. I just had to there were certain accomodations I needed and I had to say something, I was using another excuse before, but it wasn't really explaining away the issue I was having.

I thought about this heaps, I'm pretty sure the guy won't let me down. I'm actually more afraid of others knowing.

That's one of the bigger downside of disclosing; you can't control what people do with that information, including sharing it with others. Hopefully your trust in this person was well placed.

Pilgrim
07-25-16, 09:09 AM
That's one of the bigger downside of disclosing; you can't control what people do with that information, including sharing it with others. Hopefully your trust in this person was well placed.

Yeah I hope I don't live to regret it. There was things I couldn't explain any other way.
I must say by waiting, and carefully thinking I hope I haven't signed my own warrant.
Under normal circumstances , big no no. Why take the risk. It will be used against you.
I probably ****** up by saying:(

sarahsweets
07-25-16, 02:01 PM
What they think about me doesn't matter, but how they treat me does. And how they talk about me when I'm not in the room does affect my ability to foster and maintain working relationships.

As much as gossip has been shown time and time again to be harmful to everyone, it still somehow ends up being human nature.

Yes but can that be controlled or changed just because you know about it?
We teach people how to treat us, if we allow people to treat us as second class citizens, they will continue to do so. We can only control how we act or respond. Knowing what people think or what they say might seem helpful but at what cost? what toll would that take on your self esteem?

KarmanMonkey
07-26-16, 04:16 PM
Yes but can that be controlled or changed just because you know about it?
We teach people how to treat us, if we allow people to treat us as second class citizens, they will continue to do so. We can only control how we act or respond. Knowing what people think or what they say might seem helpful but at what cost? what toll would that take on your self esteem?

The most we can do is challenge their behaviour as much as we feel safe to do so.

If I tell someone in confidence and I find out they've been talking about it, regardless of how well intentioned it might have been, I'll usually bring it up with them; stressing that it's not their place to tell people I have ADD; that if it becomes necessary, then they can let me know who they feel I should tell and why.

I agree, though, that the only behaviour we have control over is our own. We can only decide how we respond when we feel we are mistreated or misrepresented.

Most frustrating for me is when people make it their personal mission to convert people to their personal philosophy about how ADD "is a made up diagnosis" and they forcefully push their own ignorance and misinformation as fact. It's one of the biggest things we fight with stigma; that the lies, false beliefs, and misinformation often get told more often than the truth.

maysarieltiff
07-27-16, 12:05 AM
I was fired from a job for admitting I had borderline personality and ADD and possible bipolar. I had a good relationship with my employer, it was a small bar where I bartended. From that point on she shadowed me, disparaged me, and accused me. I regret being honest, and I really feel honesty is important. it is discouraging.

Hermus
07-27-16, 02:35 AM
Yesterday I talked to a job coach who works with people on disability benefits who want to go back to the job market. He advised me to tell it at the interview. However, in this case there are benefits involved for employers. Employers are obliged to employ a certain percentage of people with a handicap, in case of sickness social security pays the costs that the employer has to pay in the case of a 'normal' employee etc. So employing someone who is on disability benefits actually has specific advantages for employers.

KarmanMonkey
07-28-16, 11:06 AM
Yesterday I talked to a job coach who works with people on disability benefits who want to go back to the job market. He advised me to tell it at the interview. However, in this case there are benefits involved for employers. Employers are obliged to employ a certain percentage of people with a handicap, in case of sickness social security pays the costs that the employer has to pay in the case of a 'normal' employee etc. So employing someone who is on disability benefits actually has specific advantages for employers.

I've heard about this too, and at the same time I have had an experience where I have been offered a job, then fill out an "anonymous" questionaire about disabilities for statistical purposes, then suddenly get a call from the person hiring me asking what accomodations I would need for the diagnosis I had included in the "anonymous" questionaire. Then suddenly the job offer evaporated.

Hermus
07-28-16, 12:53 PM
I've heard about this too, and at the same time I have had an experience where I have been offered a job, then fill out an "anonymous" questionaire about disabilities for statistical purposes, then suddenly get a call from the person hiring me asking what accomodations I would need for the diagnosis I had included in the "anonymous" questionaire. Then suddenly the job offer evaporated.

That really sucks. Saying it's anonymous, while it's not is a really sneaky method. Employers sometimes are afraid of diagnoses, while I would say people who are diagnosed at least know their limitations. Some who don't have an official diagnosis don't.

yepimonfire
08-29-16, 08:48 AM
This is an older thread but I'm hoping my story will be useful to some people. At one of my jobs, I was straight up with the manager of the department I worked in that I had ADHD and was currently receiving treatment for it. One day, the store director (big lady in charge of everything) wished me a happy birthday, I wasn't paying attention and didn't hear her and therefore didn't acknowledge her. She got ****** and wanted to fire me (obviously a stupid reason but either way). When my manager caught wind of this, she piped up and said I had ADHD and that I was on medication for it and sometimes I get distracted and don't notice things around me. I never got fired so obviously it worked in my benefit.

I also used to do other stupid things like forget to punch out, forget to complete a task on my list, occasionally leave u-boats of products in an aisle and forget to run them, and because I told my manager about my condition and what kinds of problems it cause me she was much more understanding. She would also make an effort to frequently remind me to do things and check in with me more frequently to make sure I was staying on task.

If your ADHD causes you to exhibit certain behaviors that might cause a problem with your employer, you should definitely sit down and discuss your difficulties, explain you have the best intentions, and ask them to be a little more understanding. If you're fired, sue their ***.

Joker_Girl
08-29-16, 10:11 AM
Oh my GOD, she wanted to fire you because you didn't hear her say happy birthday and therefore didn't respond?!?!?!
Holy crap. How was she even going to write such a thing up?!?! Bahahaha! THAT chick is the one with the problem, not you!
I always forget to mark in and out when I am there or leaving. Don't feel bad.
I don't tell anyone at my work about it, not my boss anyways, but I doubt they'd care. I could be wrong, though.
My biggest faults at work are probably lack of organization, underestimating the amount of time anything will take, and being a spaz and slob.

sarahsweets
08-29-16, 11:41 AM
This is an older thread but I'm hoping my story will be useful to some people. At one of my jobs, I was straight up with the manager of the department I worked in that I had ADHD and was currently receiving treatment for it. One day, the store director (big lady in charge of everything) wished me a happy birthday, I wasn't paying attention and didn't hear her and therefore didn't acknowledge her. She got ****** and wanted to fire me (obviously a stupid reason but either way). When my manager caught wind of this, she piped up and said I had ADHD and that I was on medication for it and sometimes I get distracted and don't notice things around me. I never got fired so obviously it worked in my benefit.
This is a very rare case. I would never recommend telling anyone anything about my medical history-its to risky. And for your boss to blurt out that you have adhd was f'ed up imo. And the fact that the woman wanted to fire you is ridiculous.


I also used to do other stupid things like forget to punch out, forget to complete a task on my list, occasionally leave u-boats of products in an aisle and forget to run them, and because I told my manager about my condition and what kinds of problems it cause me she was much more understanding. She would also make an effort to frequently remind me to do things and check in with me more frequently to make sure I was staying on task.

This is great, but not typical. What is typical is people with adhd being discriminated against and fired under other "causes" when really its because they disclosed adhd.