I hope everyone is having a good week so far. The weather is getting nicer lately and that is always a pick me up.
Recently I had an interesting conversation with a friend. Her adult son suffers from a mood disorder and he just got a new job. She advised him to not talk about his mood disorder with anyone at work because she feels people would not understand. She also worries that he will be unecessarily stigmatized. I suppose in a perfect world, everyone would be understanding about mood disorders and mental illness. But it isn't always this way is it?
Then I got to wondering about my own biases and preconceived notions. Would I look at someone differently in the workplace if they divulged that they had a mood disorder? Would I treat them any differently? And would it make a difference if the mood disorder were clinical depression or Bipolar Disorder? Would our impression be different if it were a disclosure of another mental illness such as schizophrenia? Would it make a difference if the person disclosing such information was your boss vs. a co-worker? Would the profession matter? What if you knew your medical doctor had regular bouts of depression or that your child's teacher had Bipolar Disorder? Would it change how you view this person and how competently you felt they could do their job?
My question for you is: Would you view a co-worker or your boss differently if they disclosed that they had some type of mood disorder or mental illness? If so, how would your perceptions change do you think?
I am eager to hear what you have to say. We all think that we would be accepting but is this truly the case? Let us know your thoughts.
Published On: March 22, 2011