Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Reader Response: Should He Tell?

Thanks to reader Rich for his question about how much to disclose about mental health in a job interview. If he’s going for a position in a psychiatric unit, he asked, is it okay to tell them about the mental help he has received in the past?

That’s a toughie.

As I confessed in my “Lies, Lies, Lies” post, I have fibbed on more than one occasion with regard to my depression. (Please God, forgive me.) Because if I was completely candid (like when I renewed my driver’s license) I would be confined to my bedroom and kitchen.

Now, having said that, I think it’s best to shoot for very vague answers that can have different interpretations wherever possible. Think Clinton on this one, buddy. What would he say? “It depends on what you mean by mental….”


I don’t think anyone can make you disclose your medical history in a job interview. Any lawyers out there who want to help me out on this one? I was under the impression that you have a right to that privacy, but maybe there are exemptions when you’re applying for jobs within the health (or mental health) field. If they do press you for information on your brain, I say, be discrete and only give nuggets of the story if you can.

I guess my perspective on this comes from the fact that I just don’t have that much faith in people yet when it comes to understanding this stuff. There is still way too much stupidity in the air.

What do you guys think? Oh, and of course there’s this too: Can I be a liar and Catholic?

  • http://HASH(0xd112438) marvin

    Some employers get brownie points for hiring disabled or special needs people, or minorities. You might be able to spin it as a condition under control by medication, like epilepsy or something. When it comes to insurance, it is best to disclose everything. You can lie like a sidewalk and get insurance, but if something happens and you make a claim, they can investigate and you could wind up with a void contract even if it is not directly related.

  • http://HASH(0xcfa1ab8) David Kuo

    Forgive me for newbie exuberance – as opposed to irrational exuberance (?) – but this is hysterical and wonderful and maybe I love it so much because I face similar questions sometimes about what to do with a host of my own neurological conditions (including a very mild seizure disorder – words I never would have believed I would have written five years ago but alas…)…anyway, what to disclose? I don’t know. Thanks again for doing this blog, it is beautiful

  • http://HASH(0xcfa1db8) Kate

    No one knows how I feel. I wake up every day wishing that something horrible would happen to me. The life I Knew and loved is gone forever.My husband took off for Florida to work and tomy surprise, hes having a grand old time without me after 18 years of marriage. He could care that I tried to commit suicide a couple of months after he left and then flew back to Florida, leaving me in a psych ward when my attempt did not work out. I think every day about doing it again, except we have a 17 year old daughter, whom he also screwed on. Sorry but I guess I cant handle this as well as I thought.

  • http://HASH(0xd115cdc) Jeff Laughton

    I don`t know how literal to take your comments but that is disturbing indeed. It has taken me around the world when my brother and business partnet committed suicide. I wish you the best.

  • http://HASH(0xd11665c) melinda

    I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

  • http://HASH(0xd116980) Nel

    Sometimes when things seem so impossible that there isn’t away out. If a person is a believer that we need to have endless faith. Sometimes we wonder what are we here for. I just read the book “The Purpose Driven Life” and “God’s Power to Change Your Life” by Rick Warren. I hope this helps someone. Reading Psalm 91 is a wonderful verse. I wish you the very best. Nel

  • http://HASH(0xd1174e8) Babs

    “No one knows how I feel. I wake up every day wishing that something horrible would happen to me.”Think about your daughter. She deserves better than having both parents run out on her.Get the help you need. Your problems didn’t just start when your husband left — they just became more than you thought you can bear. I too, suffered for years. But meds and therapy from a caring, Christian psychologist who doesn’t leave God out of the mental health picture, have brought me increasing peace and strength.God has plans to bless you. Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

  • http://HASH(0xd118cb0) Shauna Baker

    Dear Kate, because you are so depressed you put most of your energy into wishing something horrible would happen to you. Can’t you see that you are living your wish? Something horrible IS happening to you love – the way you are living is your own private hell. It seems to you that no-one cares and that you cannot find the bottom of the pit, let alone the top of it so you can climb out. Do you think you could try wishing something lovely would happen to you for a couple of minutes? Every time you find yourself wishing something horrible would happen, change your thought pattern. You do not have to know HOW that change to your life will occur, you just need to change your thoughts each time you recognise the bad things coming up again. Even if you are crying your eyes out, and you start yelling, “I’m so happy, I’m so happy, I’m so happy” over and over again, eventually it WILL change what you are experiencing. It is called, The Law of Attraction honey. That which we focus on, comes to us. Even if you can put on a comedy to watch, if you can’t stand to watch it, just listen. Laughter is contageous. I know where you are at Kate. My first serious depression I was lucky enough to have chosen to see a clinical psychiatrist who taught me that I was worth it, that my life was worth living happily. When you believe that, you begin to change your thinking, and you can crawl out of that hole. If you don’t know anyone who will tell you that, then I will. Kate,, you are a perfectly complete and natural expression of life itself. You are the creation of love and the expression of beauty and joy. You are worthy and worthwhile, and you DESERVE to live well and happily. TRUST ME, I KNOW. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS. Angel Blessings to you Kate, love, Shauna (o/) (o/)

  • http://HASH(0xd1193e0) Teresa Hayes uk

    Be with like minded people. Self help groups, voluntary work. There is always hope.You just have to look for it. I think depressives {myself included} have a tendecey to give up, {fatalists}. I’m learning to believe in myself {sometimes, evan when others don’t} we have more power than we realise. Some people would not like to know this as its not in their interest. I believe everyone has the ability to be strong.

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