Did you/ would you disclose your ED t... - Anorexia Bulimia ...

Anorexia Bulimia Care
2,928 members1,338 posts

Did you/ would you disclose your ED to your employer?

If you had to take time off for treatment..did you tell your boss about your ED? did they have the right to ask your diagnosis?

I'm not sure about what to do. Part of me says if I tell and they are supportive, I will have more help and support at work, part of me is afraid they'll have some stigma or misconceptions about eating disorders and could make things worse or that someone could tell other and gossip about it.

Did you have any experience with dealing with work and your ED?

Have a lovely night xx

7 Replies

Hi Kessa,

I'm sorry that you are in this situation, but I'm proud that you are considering and taking steps towards having treatment for your ED.

My own experience with disclosing my ED with my employer is slightly different from your situation, but I have found that communicating what I have has had more beneficial impacts than negative.

I have been in recovery for 3 months. I'm not obviously 'cured', but I can see the signs of my ED and can now better cope with them in a healthier way. I will be a teacher in under a week, which is a very demanding job. It is the law to be completely honest with what I have, and sadly, people with EDs sometimes don't get the job. I was worried this would happen, so was at first apprehensive about being 100% frank. Yet, by making clear of what I have, the doctors are currently eager to keep an eye on me, and are very supportive of my choice to go forward with employment. In fact, they told me that I should be proud that I have been honest, it shows professionalism in their eyes, and also my drive and determination to fully recover so that I can be good at my job. A support system is currently being set up just in case I 'wobble'.

I haven't met your boss. If your boss is professional, he/she would not spread the private information you disclose. In the long run, spreading awareness of what you have will increase the support that will help you take really productive steps towards your self-healing.

However, is there someone else you could tell? For example, I have doctors who work with my employment company who do not spread private medical information. Some companies also work alongside mental health teams and doctors etc. which are provided to employers for no additional cost. If you are worried that stigma will spread about you, then it all goes back to whether the boss is a trust-worthy figure or not. If you believe your boss will do she/he's job properly, then perhaps, from my own experience, disclosing this informaiton may help you more or not.

As I said, my situation is different from yours, but hopefully somewhere in those waffly (sorry!) paragraphs you might have found something useful from what I have said...

All the best in your recovery, keep reminding yourself of why you are doing what you are doing, and be proud of the things you are and will achieve.

Best of luck xxx

1 like

Thank you Eli for your reply,

I'm so happy the ED didn't prevent you from getting the job and you found a supportive environment! Most of the times, in fact, we are capable of doing our jobs, we just may need a little more support in difficult times.

You know, honestly I don't know my boss very well, we don't have a bad relationship and I have always been polite to her but, aside from a few words, we don't speak a lot.

I don't see why she would intentionally tell other people so maybe I don't have reason to worry. I just know she has a good relationship with other people in the office so I was afraid she could accidentally tell someone and you know how it goes..the word spreads quickly..

But I mean should they have some policies on confidentiality right? So I guess she would be careful before telling anyone about medical issues..

Yesterday I was thinking that maybe it's even better disclosing it just in case I might need support in the future after this current treatment (hope not!), so that they already know my situation and they are prepared in case something happens.

Regarding what you said about doctors, that could be a really good thing but my company never mentioned anything about it so I don't know if they work alongside a team of doctors. How did you get a doctor from your company? Did you ask to see one? I don't know how it works in school for teacher but we are a big company and, as far as I know, you can speak to HR department but I think you would have to disclose your condition at this point..

Good luck with your job and your recovery, it's great you have a goal in your recovery and you are pursuing something you love xx


Hi Kessa :)

Your boss seems nice, and I'm sure that there are some policies on confidentiality that she especially is aware of.

I think it's responsible of you to prepare for a future you are not sure about, whether it needs less or more support (like you said, hopefully not the latter!). During my studies at uni I didn't make anyone fully aware until my ED had become really strong, and I wish I somehow made steps earlier in finding support. I don't want this to happen again, so even though it's difficult for me, I'm making doctors aware now.

The company I'm working with is set up with EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) which gives out support especially for mental health. Many big companies are set up with a group like this, so maybe it's worth seeing if your company is part of one too? xx


I've had to disclose to my employer as I've been off work for 3 months so far. It's a large company though so my HR are pretty good. Not sure how a small company would deal with it?


Thank you for the reply missingparts!

I work in a medium /big company as well. We have HR as well but our manager appreciate more if we talk with them as well so I wasn't sure if I had to disclose everything or there are things you can keep for yourself if you don't feel comfortable to tell.

I will be off just some hours in the week to go to outpatient treatment so luckly it's not a really long time and I hope they'll accept because I don't have money to pay for private treatment.

Hope your treatment is going well and it did go well in these 3:) xx


Hi I told my boss and I'm glad I did as I don't have to hide anything which causes me more stress and harms my recovery. My boss was very understanding and I have been really honest about my recovery and struggles even though I don't have to tell them. I was referred to our occupational health and they did an assessment on me deemed me unfit to work and are working between me and the company they will support me when back in work aswell. I have been off work since April and j thought I would have recovery cracked by now but that's not the case it's so complex eating disorder recovery and the oath is not a straight one. I looking to go back soon to work and continue my appointments aswell in recovery x

1 like

During the interview process on one of my jobs I was given a form asking for my medical history. After a deal of thought and panic I was honest about my ED. My boss actually saw that as a positive thing - my honesty was rewarded by being given the job - and she was very supportive - no problems with time off for medical appts etc. Hope this helps.

1 like

You may also like...