Disclosure of Illness to Employer

No one knows the details of my health at work. I never missed a day of work in 4 years but they know I am underweight and make up their own ideas as to why.

I have been under doctor's care for the last four years too. And take treatments for depression and anxiety. I have disabiliating anxiety and panic attacks - but if anything hAppens at work I blame my obvious signs of distress on basic things like migraines or low blood sugar- even though I have no problem with that.

I took a major panic attack at work in December. One of my worse. Still No one knew why but I had a few ideas.

I am being vague because the particulars are not that important but basically I was put on a special project at work to be in charge of training people. I did it maybe three years ago. And my boss complained over and over that I did a bad job because the staff didn't work out. What they did has nothing to with performance as more of their difficulty to work with. Everytime there was something wrong I was responsible. I ruined everything - etc. - which even me with a low self esteem does not believe. He has a personality where he blames absolutely everything on someone else even if it is obvious it was his mistake. The staff joke about it all the time. Yet they don't find it so funny when they are singled out in front of everyone and ridiculed.

Well.. A new team is being hired. And I am supposed to do the training again!

I can not do,this. I can not be blamed for everyone's mistakes three years down the road. I can't deal with the jabs and rude remarks. But I am in charge of this department.

I went to my doctor because of a severe pain attack and major depressive episode because of my stress at work dealing with this. It is not the training itself - it is being the scapegoat three years later when I have nothing to do with anything!

I told the assistant manager kind of already. Laying the foundation if you will. He knows what the boss is like more than anyone. He told me that he- the assistant manager used to have to do the training before me. But he thinks I can still do it because he trusts my work, etc. And I said I can't because of being blamed for things- and my assistant manager is says - you know what he is like... who cares what my boss 'is like'. He gives me such extreme anxiety I honest to God was having sucidal thoughts and had to change my medications. I couldn't sleep, didn't want to eat - and anytime away from that place Incould not get it off my mind!

So.. I am thinking about getting a doctor's letter to make it look more professional - saying because of previous extreme anxiety and negative effects on my health doing this particular training- I should no longer should be apart of this project .

It is 100% true. But.. Then everyone will know I have GAD or panic attacks or obviously some mental Heath issue. It is not something I want to admit. What is even the best route to go- saying I suffered panic attacks and anxiety in former experience of being apart of this project and my doctor recommends I do not be apart of training again?

I know they will think I am crazy and they are so mean. And I know they will try to say - oh never mind what happened before - it won't happen this time. But it will happen again. And I can't loose further nights sleep over being blamed for ruining everything if I have nothing to do,with it. 😕

What should I do please ? Thank-you for your time and kindness.❤️

3 Replies

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  • Umm Can I throw my 2p in, I don't think this has to do with your anxiety. Obviously how you feel does but as to your manager, there is a way round this.

    You'll have to help me here but maybe we could start the ball rolling. So leaving your anxiety and health problems aside can we agree that if you are being asked to train people again someone high up has faith in you.

    So now to your manager, it's about managing expectations, I totally agree he uses you as a scape goat, now I'm not in management (I was once but it wasn't problematic like you as I total autonomy so excuse me if I can merely feel around this).

    Is there a way you could agree on metered outcomes so say you had Fred, Joan and Arthur an at the end of their training they could construct as car (come on we have to have a little fun with this).

    Okay so stage one training, they read and understand the manual, stage two they start to build, stage 3 you do evaluations and find their weak points, stage four you evaluate their weak points and assign areas to be worked on stage 5 you asign appropriate sections and give grading.

    If Fred needs more help because he has comprehension problems you pre- agree with your boss that students with comprehension problems can through you have access to more resources and or time to learn.

    Joan cant understand gears ( maybe my name should be in here...lol) but she is great with electrics, so gets allocated only electrics, Arthur is great with clients but can't work with cars at all. Maybe you could highlight strengths and weaknesses, heading your boss off at the pass, and show how those weaknesses could be limited or be changed into strengths.

    Dont let this guy off, get him to sign off on everything, say you want to make sure this time no mistakes are made (not like you made them last time ) and you need him sign off on a minimal number of assessment stages ( in case he says he hasn't got time). I would suggest you have stages when you specifically ask for his input and opinion, so later you can say it was 'his' idea. Dont be bullied.

    Management between managers is almost text book these days, there is so much accountability, write everything down. That said as you know you get further with honey than vinegar, if he give good advice somewhere acknowledge that.

    You know better than I how this all works, all I want to do is kick start your problem solving skills, if it helps find a management consultant out of your business and ask how you can arrange this training session so there are no come backs. There used to be a mentoring website for free advice I will PM you.

    Im not suggesting you do more work, Im suggesting you structure this so that sections are signed off and you work smarter not harder.

    Im sorry I haven't helped with your anxiety but please don't let someone bully you especially when you are obviously doing a good job :-) XX

    Good Luck XX

  • Thank-you so much Caroline. I sent you a novel to your PM box! I am definately looking into your advice. I just feel I am a whirlwind of mistakes and lost in my own good intentions. I think you are very right saying this is just not my anxiety- it would be even a mentally fit person feeling like I do if they were in my position.

    My dad used to say work,smarter and not harder too.❤️

  • You have sooo much to contend with, you expect so much of yourself Aspen, you really are a hardworker and try always to do your best. I hope you get the professional business advice you need which I cant quite give you. Most of all I want you not to be so hard on yourself when you can. Thank you for your lovely PM and sharing, you are a truely wonderful and talented person. Whatever happens I am rooting for you XX

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