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suspect my personal details have been shared widely - what if anything can i do(6 Posts)
A few months ago I finally fessed up to my manager and one other female manager that I was experiencing some MH issues and on a waiting list for counselling. I was experiencing some difficulty with colleagues due to depression and really feeling very unable to communicate, had almost completely withdrawn, trying not to burst into tears all day etc etc. I have suspected PTSD due a personal situation. The limited 2 people who know about this know that I'm struggling to get the proper MH help due to waiting lists etc, verbally they have seemed helpful. I expressed to them that I absolutely wanted no one else to know, was not asking for any adjustments apart from occasionally just being able to take a walk or similar if I needed a breather - they were open to more but really I just want professional help when it's available. It all seemed supportive.
However, recently a few comments have been made that lead me to suspect someone has not been as discrete and I wonder whether I should have disclosed at all. For example, I ended up having a conversation with a colleagues about MH issues in a more general sense as we work with equality/diversity issues in some aspects of my job, and they talked about 'if someone had depression' and looked at me in a pointed sort of way (we were the only 2 in the conversation). This person is closely linked to my manager socially. It's only one example, I have a few more but nothing that would resemble proof of my personal info having been shared. If the colleagues I suspect know do know, the likelihood is a much wider group of colleagues know across a fairly large organisation due to the gossip mill. Essentially I'm worried about my professional reputation and being treated as weird/different (those I suspect of knowing, are already being a bit standoffish or slightly patronising, I'm not sure how else to describe it). Things are hard enough. I would never have disclosed anything if I didn't think the managers would keep it in the utmost confidence.
Not sure what if anything I could do, or even want to do, but posting here in trying to avoid over-thinking it.
trust your instincts.. if you feel something has been shared inappropriately then trust this .... particularly as it's an HR issue.. I'm not sure of the Law ... but I'm sure someone with experience will be along soon..
It's very plausible that they may have guessed you've been suffering from depression or similar and are trying to be helpful. Or they've asked your manager and manager, not wanting to lie, has been vague or said you need a few breaks, and they've figured it out.
I've disclosed similar to managers a number of times and some have said things like "I won't tell your colleagues, but they're not daft, they've probably guessed. If they do say anything, I can assure you they didn't hear it from me."
It's possible that your manager said something but also equally possible, or more so, that your colleagues have noticed a change in your behaviour. You said yourself that you have almost completely withdrawn and are on the point of tears frequently. Your colleague may have been concerned and was trying to give you an opening to speak up? If your manager hasn't shared, your colleagues have no way of knowing that you are trying to access help already.
While it could be the above it may also be you're more tuned in to talk of mental health issues (particularly if it's part of your job) and you're worried they know because you're anxious about being found out. While I understand wanting to keep it private maybe if they have guessed they're trying to hint to you that they don't see stigma attached to having mh problems and trying to open avenues for you to approach them if you want?
Thank you Bonny. i was thinking about it earlier this evening and the only, absolutely only place I have actually used the word depression rather than referring to the PTSD/counselling, is in writing, in a chain of emails exchanged with my direct manager. It crossed my mind that a third person could potentially know - their PA. Whereas everything else has been verbal disclosure, that bit was in writing. If the PA has access to their emails (I have no idea) I suppose they could have read and shared it. I mean, I would be shocked if they did but it's within the realm of possibility.
My behaviour has been like this since the beginning so colleagues won't have noticed any change in me, and trust me when I say I've largely done a good job of hiding it all. If anything I've experienced people thinking I'm arrogant/aggressive and treating me badly because when I'm withdrawn they think i's about them (which is partly why I disclosed to my manager). It would be nice to think people are trying to be nice/helpful but that seems a bit like wishful thinking, and not the behaviours I'm experiencing.
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