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Major Depressive Disorder and disability

I started a new job today and I've been feeling bad that I answered a question about disabilities as unwilling to answer. My other chooses were yes I have a disability, and no I do not have a disability. It listed major depression as a possible disability. I didn't put yes because I feel like it dosnt effect my day to day life enough to be a disability, and I didn't put no, because I do have it and it could flair up. Did I make a mistake?

2 Replies

Hi Ladyanxiety,

If you don't feel comfortable disclosing you have a mental illness and it doesn't affect your workplace performance then your answer is correct at the time you made the statement.

As we know, things can change. If you find issues occur later, then it is time to acknowledge the problem, disclose your health status and ask for help e.g. some accomodations to help you at work.

The reason for completing the form at all is to collect data about employees and secondly to put in place the support for the employee in their workplace.

Disability can be defined in different ways, depending on the type and purpose of the data collection. For instance, definitions in population surveys on disability differ from those used to determine eligibility for disability-related support services or payments.

In Australia, many data collections define disability based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), which uses ‘disability’ as an umbrella term for any or all of the following components:

•impairments—problems in body function or structure

•activity limitations—difficulties in executing activities

•participation restrictions—problems an individual may experience in involvement in life situations.

Environmental factors influence the components above.

All the ICF components are distinct but interrelated. On the one hand, a person’s negative experience relating to any one component may be considered to constitute disability. On the other hand, a person’s experience of disability is often complex and multidimensional, meaning that all the components together may constitute disability. A person’s functioning or disability is considered as a dynamic interaction between the person’s health condition and environmental and/or personal factors.

If you can secure a copy of Fawn Fitter's book, " Working in the Dark" you can find tips for coping at work whilst dealing with a mental illness.


I would not mention this now and only if it would become a serious barrier in you doing your job would I mention this.


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