Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Mentioning your mental illness/history of mental illness when applying for work

On application forms for employment it sometimes mentions medical history. My question is do you write that you have had/got an ED? Is it best to be completely honest or is it wise to withhold this information?
Have you ever been in this situation regarding application forms for various things that require a medical history?

I think it depends on what the former is for. If it's for a job it's not necessary unless it will interfere with your work  (but even then you don't always need to mention it, that's a personal choice.) but for example if you go to therapy 2 times a week and certain hours you can't work then maybe you want to mention that. but if it's nothing that will affect your work then it doesn't have to be mentioned. I remember when I signed up for my first gym card and I had to write my medical history and I wrote that I had had an eating disorder but in all honesty they didn't care. The medical history is mostly if the illness can cause a problem or be a reason as to why you can't do something for example if you've have back problems maybe you can't lift heavy for a job and then you get assigned to something else.

Maybe someone else has some better advice to share or their experience. I think some can find that unfortunately - mentioning that you have or have had a mental illness can hinder you from certain jobs or things in life and it's best to leave it out unless it will infact impact your work abilities.  For example I'm sure if I had said that I was depressed when I applied for my job in summer I wouldn't have gotten the job because usually people with depression might not show up or there is the stereotypical picture that people with depression just lie in bed and do nothing and don't show up.  Whereas I did the exact opposite and worked an extreme amount which was in fact actually due to my depression and wanting to just work to fill time and not deal with stress or feelings.

Comment below if you have any experience or other advice or tips! I do personally think that if you do get a job and you are currently struggling with some forms of mental illness, then in the long term you can mention it if you feel that it will help the manager to get a better picture of you or understand you better. I have had some people email me and tell me that work was better once they had told the manager/person in charge and there was a better understanding. but I don't think it has to be mentioned in the interviews anyway!

4 comments:

  1. it is true -- the situation is better when people at work know. i am still amazed that i got myself into a situation where they did come to know -- i wanted to hide it -- but it changes one's world in good ways once people know -- contrary to my fears!

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  2. Some of it is just personal choice. Legally, a mental illness can't be held against you, but that doesn't mean it doesn't affect their decision, unfortunately. If it comes down between someone with an illness or without an illness, chances are they are going to want the healthier person. Employers fear instability, potential abscences, potential liability if your illness affects your work, potential financial ramifications (ie: will you be likely needing time off, use of any available benefits they offer within the company, etc). I personally do not disclose my history - even though i work in the mental health field! There are specific times when disclosure can work to your advantage, but in general, mental illness is still widely misunderstood and there is still a lot of stigma around it. Schools/universities are different - disclosure can actually help you there, as you can get services and support. But in the work force, at least in my experience, it is sadly detrimental to be open about any personal issues. I hate to be negative here, so I want to really emphasize that this has just been the experience I've had, in Canada. I would love to hear some positive stories of acceptance from other people who did choose to disclose up front, what that looked like and what it looks like now.

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    1. Id like to add that i do agree with the above sentiments, that once you are already hired, if your illness becomes an issue, it can be good to disclose then (ie: once your job is already safe!) because then there are potential supports available to you and your managers will understand your situation, and you, better. And they can't fire you for it. They can choose not to hire you in the first place, but they cannot fire you after the fact. But for me, I would want the job security first before I ever made any mention of illness... kind of dishonest, maybe, but my issues are all mostly behind me and so I don't feel like it's relevant to my career anyway. I also don't want to be treated any differently, or underestimated at work, so I keep my personal business personal. If I had a severe resurgence of symptoms, I would let them know, though, same as if I got diagnosed with cancer. An illness is an illness, and if I require time off or support I am entitled to it the same as anyone else.

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    2. I feel a bit differently about the risks -- if you do not disclose something that you should disclose because it may affect your work, then legally you are in the wrong. Conversely, if the employer discriminates against you for mental illness, then legally they are in the wrong. That's the way I understand it. If the employer is sufficiently afraid of the legislation or indeed the stigma around discrimination against people with mental health issues, then they will bend over backwards both at appointment stage and when you are in post. But if there is an issue that you did not disclose, then you set your relationship with your employer off to a bad start, and legally they do have something that they could use against you if they chose to -- though I think most would not. I might be wrong about this, but that's just my understanding.

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