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Do I Tell My Boss? The Pros and Cons of Disclosing Your ADHD

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I also heard from others who chose not to disclose their ADHD to their boss.

Monica (whose name has been changed) explained: “I worked at a medical school for three years as a coordinator. My supervisor was a rehabilitation counselor turned manager and my second boss was a physician and professor.”

Because they knew about psychiatric disorders in general, Monica thought they’d be empathetic. But whenever she’d be struggling at work because of her ADHD, they didn’t show any compassion.

If she had disclosed her ADHD, she says, “I would not have had a chance of promotion or even the slightest chance to be given important projects that I successfully completed. Managers should be educated on mental health as a requirement or part of their training.”

ADHD is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) under certain, specific conditions. Even though there are federal laws in place to protect people with disabilities, my experience working in the field is that those who do disclose, unfortunately, are often unfairly penalized. And as seen in some of the examples above, some are even discriminated against by being fired or demoted.

Because of this, I usually advise adults not to disclose their ADHD in the workplace. However, depending on your work environment and your relationship with your boss, you may not have a problem being open about your ADHD.

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Working in the field I do, generally psych diagnoses and the necessity in the meds that treat them are viewed negatively. 

It might not be that way at my new workplace, but no one has said anything about their own issues and I'm not about to throw mine onto the table.

I've found that people usually peg it right off the bat, but I don't want it known that it's been made official and all. 

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I heard of one success story- with BP not ADHD but the pdoc wrote to them about how the BP prevented her from working night shift and it actually worked...but I would be careful of that unless you have no other recourse 

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i can see where it could be a problem. but there are laws against that. Again i know its not followed.

in my work environment, people would just laugh, im in healthcare. but i have a good group i work with. Terrible overall environment, but good group and boss

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