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Turned down for job due to depression

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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I recently applied for a job and was offered an interview. I was told that the position was fast paced and my interviewer asked the question ‘how do you deal with stress?’ During my answer I made a huge mistake of admitting that I was being treated for depression. I know now that this was an incredibly stupid thing to do, and I have learnt from my mistake.

    However, my interviewer did not seem overly worried, and even went so far as saying that he felt I could do the job, but that he did not want me to compromise my health. I was told to decide if I still wanted the job and to call with an answer.

    I confirmed that I did, but I got a call back to say that I had been unsuccessful, not because of lack of experience but because the company were put off by my depression.

    I have never been ashamed of the fact that I am being treated for depression. However, for the last few days I have found it increasingly difficult to cope with what I view as an attack on me as a person. I am embarrassed and ashamed and it has really knocked my confidence.

    Has anyone experienced something similar?
    NEVER EVER admit to mental illness! You'll be on the breadline for life if you do. I have Bipolar and Aspergers, do you think I would be employed if I told them in interview how just getting by in day to day life is a struggle? Its a sad truth, but you have to lie.
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    (Original post by sheepy18)
    NEVER EVER admit to mental illness! You'll be on the breadline for life if you do. I have Bipolar and Aspergers, do you think I would be employed if I told them in interview how just getting by in day to day life is a struggle? Its a sad truth, but you have to lie.
    If they find out, they can sack you.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    If they find out, they can sack you.
    They won't find out unless I tell them, which I'm obviously not going to do.
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    (Original post by sheepy18)
    They won't find out unless I tell them, which I'm obviously not going to do.
    What happens if you need a lot of time off or need reasonable adjustments?
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    If they find out, they can sack you.
    That's absolutely not true at all; you're free not to declare disabilities, unless you're so disabled that you're not able to do the job.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    What happens if you need a lot of time off or need reasonable adjustments?
    I'm just having to get on with it. Work is a real struggle and I've been told off for how I've come across (which I can't help with the Aspergers). But if I want to stay employed I have to pretend I'm ok when I'm really not.
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    Declaring a disorder/disability is a bit of a hit and miss issue. I was once explicitly told (by a recruitment consultant) to never put it down as many potential employers will see you as a liability, especially with mental issues. He must have liked me for some reason and gave me another form to fill in, omitting the disorder and waxing more about how most employers actually behave behind closed doors. Don't believe all that equal opportunities bull.
    #3

    My boyfriend suffers from depression and lost his job last year because he had too many sick days of because of it. He made a promise to start telling people (and interviewers) so that everyone was aware as it has got quite bad now (thankfully he is going to the drs next week).

    He now has a job, they are fully aware of the situation and have been really supportive. It's for Lloyds TSB so even the big companies can be nice sometimes, don't be put off telling them you suffer

    xx
    #4

    If you can demonstrate that you manage your mental health well, e.g. you take medication which supports and combats your depression, you have done other things to help yourself, then this will reassure potential employers.

    It's a difficult situation really. Especially given the economic climate, finding a job is hard enough as it is, without a mental health condition potentially adversely impacting upon finding that job and successfully being recruited etc.

    I'm currently applying for full-time, permanent jobs and I just 'play it' as it comes, e.g. if I'm not asked at interview about my health, then I certainly don't declare or volunteer any information or details. When it comes to filling out occupational health forms and I know that the employer will be getting in touch with my GP, then I'd have to tick the mental health and depression boxes.

    In my current part-time job, the employer was very supportive, didn't judge but did seem to ask for a few more additional references, probably because of my history of depression and anxiety. The recruitment consultant also asked me if there were any adaptations they/I could consider, to support me in the workplace. So companies and organizations can be supportive when it comes to mental health, although this is a caring profession I work in, and a social care organization - perhaps more caring and less judgemental than other industries.

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Updated: March 14, 2012
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