Knowing that my friends and I are of age now to go out into the “real” world because most of us have graduated college or will be graduating in two or three more years. I’ve asked myself a million and a half times if I should tell a potential employer upfront about my mental illness.
There is one conversation I had with a close friend awhile back about our mental states, seeing that both of us have been under a lot of pressure within our mental stabilities. It went like this:
Me: So pano yan? Sa susunod ba sasabihin ko na agad na may anxiety problem ako or sasabihin ko lang pagnangyari na?
(So how about it? On the next interview I get will I admit theb and there that I have an anxiety problem or should I just wait?)
Friend: Feeling ko kasi double edge sword yung ganung situation e.
(Somehow I feel that it’s a double edge situation)
Cut short, that was the gist of our “double edge sword” conversation. I mean as far as it went my anxiety happens in different times, seeing now as I have new triggers and the old ones that I thouht were long gone but I guess not.
Recently, I had an internship and it was everyday work and sometimes I even bring work home, but I had fun because it was something I wanted to do. But one thing is, I never told my boss that I had an anxiety disorder. I felt that if I had told them beforehand that they will be hesistant to let me join the team and not have the experience that I want. After awhile, I had things under control even with the long commute and the traffic, I handled it well and then it wasn’t.
The last week of my internship, my anxiety kicked in and then an assortment of physical issues. I was rushed to the ER and got checked for my heart was a little bit not okay too, but anyway, I ahd texted my boss about the anxiety and how I won’t be able to finish my internship and how deeply sorry I am for the inconvenience, she did not reply to me once.
I know what you’re thinking, “You should’ve said something. At least they’d have known that you were going through something.” That’s what I thought at first too but I realized that the reason I did not say anything in my interview is because they might have labeled me an incompetent and unstable just because of my anxiety and when I told them that I had anxiety when it happened, they just thought that I was a quitter. Which I am not, and that’s for another story. I wanted to finish my internship so bad but I really just couldn’t the attacks were severe and just thinking about going to the office and working scared the crap out of me.
So what then? How do I decide whether or not to tell a potential employer that I have a mental disorder and it’s not just a sham? Do I say it on the interview or just when the attacks happen?