NPR

If You Have A Mental Illness, Should You Tell Your Employer? The Answer Isn't Cut And Dry

Nearly 10 million people in the U.S. live with a serious mental illness, and for many, that complicates finding and maintaining work. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly 10 million people in the U.S. live with a serious mental illness.

For Taylor Nieman, who has bipolar disorder, holding down consistent work has proven difficult, and she has struggled deciding whether or not to tell employers about her illness — a choice psychologist and lawyer Susan Goldberg says is difficult to make due to a variety of factors.

"We did research on people with psychiatric disabilities, and we found that the experts all had divergent ideas of [whether] to disclose or not to disclose for employment," says Goldberg, who is also an assistant professor of psychology at Duquesne University. "Certain people, usually attorneys, said never disclose, and vocational rehab people said always disclose."

That is why Goldberg recommends assessing

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