Should I tell my employer I have anxiety?

I have had some time off work but have not told my employer it is due to anxiety. I am really worried about telling them in case they right me off as a nut case and it ruins my chances of promotion or progression. Also I am worried if I don't tell them my anxiety will get worse and I will just end up quitting. I don't know what to do.

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  • Hi Ally, when i started my new job i had to answer some questions on a starter form given by HR, they asked how many days i was sick year beofre, so i wrote 2 weeks and the reason behind it cz of anxiety and mild depression. now obviously by that time i was already accepted for the job. week after when i was workign i received a phone call to my direct landline at work from the company's doctor, asked me about my anxiety just few short questions and that's it. oviously HR and managers know but no one said anything to me and they are very nice.

    i told few people in here, but the way i say it not in a dramatci way, i just tell them due to anxiety i had this or that, or i don't drink coffee cz of anxiety and i wasn;t given the weird look, obviously they didn't have anything to say and it might be in their mind thinking i am nut case but i don't look like one :)

    at the end some can be very supportive and some depends, just use your judgement and decide if you want to tell them or not.

    hope this helped a bit

    rouri

  • hi ally, i was recently attending CBT for about 6 months for anxiety and panic, and i must say it did help a little while i was there.

    but the whole 6 months i was there i was telling my employer i was attending physio for a sore back through fear and some embarassment of what people would think, if they actually knew where i was going and what for.

    i still haven't told my employer i suffer anxiety and panic, i'm in the same boat as you, i don't really know what to do for the best. hope you're well

    jocky

  • Hi there,

    I have suffer from anxiety and depression on and off for most of my adult life.

    A couple of years ago it was really bad, and I undertook CBT for the first time. I kept my employer in the loop, and they were very helpful. There is a strong overtime culture in my work, but they ensured I was able to work basic hours, they allowed me time off for my therapy, and were generally very supportive. I have been unwell again over the last few months, and again they have been very helpful and understanding.

    Under the H+S at work act your employer is legally bound to help you manage your stress levels, but they can only do that if you tell them. For more info on stress at work check out hse.gov.uk/stress/ it tells you were you stand legally speaking

    Hope U feel better soon

    Jonny

  • Hi Allysum. It is difficult to face the attitude of others in regard to nervous illness. Even after half a century of so called education there is still this stigma about it. If you are all doing your jobs to the best of your ability then I do not feel it matters if your employer knows or not. jonnywombat has been fortunate to find an understanding employer. Every case has to be judged on it's merits, but I feel that if your employer sees you doing a good job in spite of knowing about your problem, then I am sure most would help. Hope you all find solutions. jonathan.

  • Hi Allysum,

    I actually work for a company called Clearkit.co.uk and we advise employers about the recruitment and retainment of employees with various protected characteristics/disabilities which Anxiety does fall under.

    As someone who experiences quite strong anxiety my advise to you after going through this with a previous employer at a small company is to weigh things up carefully before taking action.

    Legally speaking they cannot descriminate against you which is good, but I know that speaking for myself I also wanted my employers to understand and that is more difficult.

    Legally speaking you and your doctor are in the drivers seat, if you think something like a phased return to work will help etc then contact Access to Work who can give you guidance and mind the mental health charity too.

    I had a rough time with my employer and then went on to work for this new company which was a blessing as they understand my issues. If I am having a bad morning we have certain things in place so that I can take a break and relax, I am also working from home now which is a massive help.

    Please do message me if you want to talk more about this.

    x

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