Discussing Your Mental Health with Your Boss

by Deborah Grayson Riegel

When I started my first job, I worried about disclosing my struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to my boss. I was almost certain that she wouldn’t understand. Once she knew, I told myself, she’d assume I was unreliable and uncommitted. I imagined she’d deem me unworthy of a promotion or, worse, be dismissive.

For two months, I ruminated about how the conversation would play out, envisioning every negative outcome. Eventually, I came to this: If I didn’t talk to my boss, I wouldn’t be able to ask for the support I wanted.

So, one day I mustered up the courage, and contrary to my fears, she was empathetic and reassuring. Slowly, I began opening up to my ...

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