Disclosing PTSD in the Workplace: Do's and Don’ts

Whether you are starting a new job or have recently been diagnosed with PTSD while working at your long time job, you may be considering what and with whom you disclose information about your illness. It can be a real dilemma when deciding what or how much to disclose, sooner or later, now or never, or who exactly you tell. When it comes to disclosure in the work place it can be especially tough when dealing with a hidden disability such as PTSD.

The decision to disclose this information with your employer is yours and yours alone, however if you choose to do so, consider the following factors. If you will need an accommodation, it’s a good idea to disclose the information with your employer before you need the accommodation, not after you need it. Don’t wait until something is preventing you from continuing to do your job, try to get accommodations before there is a problem that could possibly halt your work productivity. 

Depending on your employer, there may be guidelines for who you will be disclosing to, which is often another aspect of disclosure that some people are confused about. If your employer doesn’t have a human resources department or an EEO office of their own, you may be speaking with your supervisor or manager directly. When thinking about who you disclose to in the work place, you should think about whether you trust this person and feel comfortable with them knowing. Another option is to simply tell a coworker who you know and trust and who can give you support or assistance in the event that you need them during working hours. 

You’ll want to find the right time to disclose as well. Not too early but not too late either. Remember, you aren’t obligated to disclose this information at the time of interview but you shouldn’t wait until you come across performance problems related to your disability either. If you do disclose, make sure that you are only giving necessary information, to necessary people. Limited information should include your limitations, what if any accommodations you may require, and basic information about your condition. 

N.D. “Do’s and Don’ts of Disclosure”. Brainline. (Website). 2015

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