Reasonable Accommodations

My name is Debbie. I am 45 years old and have suffered from major depression, anxiety and panic attacks since I was a teenager. Some days are manageable and some days feel like I am drowning...but I always keep going. Here lately it has become harder and harder to not just let it take me. It is a never ending battle and I am so exhausted. It is hard enough to make myself go to work on any given day but now it is almost impossible. Unfortunately, I work in a field that requires one on one social interaction. I have always had difficulty keeping a job. Thankfully, my husband has always been able to make up the slack for my inability. I want to quit but there is not much opportunity for someone who does not have marketable skills and can't keep a job. I need this job. I have done some research about depression and anxiety as a disability. I have found references that talk about reasonable accommodations. I want to ask my employer for this but I am so scared how they will react. That and I am not sure what reasonable accommodations might even work. I am so embarrassed that I have reached this point but I know that I am struggling and it is affecting my job. I don't want to go to my immediate supervisor because we do not get along and I would be so humiliated if she rejected my request out right or told anyone else. Has anyone ever requested reasonable accommodations for depression and anxiety?

5 Replies

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  • Hi dmstodge,

    I haven't requested any accommodation at the workplace, but I just wanted to tell you you have nothing to be ashamed of you are not alone! What others think about YOUR situation is irrelevant I get that you need the job but these people do not control your life! This is a journey that you've been on for a long time now don't let others determine your next steps or how you deal with your conditions. I definitely agree that some days are better than others but please remember you are not alone and that this is nothing to be ashamed of! :-)

  • Hi I guess you are in the USA? I am in the UK and UI went through this in my last employment. Over here we call it Reasonable Adjustments. I told my employer about my depression and they had a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to see what could be done to help me.

    I was referred to Occupational Health and was given 8 days extra leave and more breaks. Any RA however is subject to business needs. It must be much the same in your country.

    Have a think about what's causing you most stress and see if they can do something about that. For example you might ask to go part time, or even be moved to a different job.

    Good luck with it.

  • I didn't ask for reasonable accommodations and it ended up costing me my job. By the time I finally started and was approved for FMLA twice a week, it was too late. I had already had so many warnings and write-ups prior to that, so it was too late. I say ask now while you still have time. I don't know if you qualify for FMLA, but if you do, try to take some time off to regroup.

  • Thank you everyone for your thoughts. It truly means a lot.

  • I don't know much about this, but I wish you the very best of luck, strength, courage, and loving support from your employer and co-workers. I am proud of you, even though I don't know you, because just reading your post gave me a little hope.

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