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Do you count your mh condition as a disability?

(26 Posts)
CaulkheadUpNorth Sat 10-Jan-15 14:17:40

I'm currently applying for new jobs, and not sure if I need to tick the disability box or not.

Current diagnosis is BPD and bi polar, and I'm under the care of a psychiatrist who I see fortnightly.

I work full time now, but this diagnosis has happened since beginning this job, so I didn't have the question before. Thanks.

Malef1cent Sat 10-Jan-15 15:12:26

I did not tick the box, because I can work even though I would be low. I have bipolar 2, so I won't go fully manic.

Treaclepot Sat 10-Jan-15 15:15:27

I don't. I'm bipolar.

CaulkheadUpNorth Sat 10-Jan-15 15:25:50

Ok. Thanks both. grin

Enpoid Sat 10-Jan-15 15:32:26

I do consider myself disabled and I tick the disabled box on forms - I'm in the support group for ESA and get DLA, currently at lower rate for both care and mobility, but I used to get medium rate care. My diagnosis is... fluid, but the only current definite diagnosis is depression. If I were working, though? I'm not sure what I would put. I know people talk about having Equality Act protection and being able to get help/reasonable adjustments made if you declare, but TBH there's so much prejudice out there I might rather just not mention it.

CaulkheadUpNorth Sat 10-Jan-15 15:56:26

The current Fear is that i don't mention if, get offered the job subject to occupational health clearance and then get turned down on it then. But it might all be fine. confused

Catypillar Sat 10-Jan-15 16:10:44

Bipolar disorder counts as a disability under the Equality Act (even when you are well as it is something that is likely to recur) I have bipolar 2 and always tick the disabled box even though I don't feel "disabled" as it allows my employer to know I need protection from discrimination under the Equality Act and am entitled to "reasonable adjustments" to my work if required for my disability (for me these have included not doing shifts that involve me being up all night and having a phased return to work after some sick leave). If I didn't tick the box I would worry that if I had to ask for adjustments I would be refused as I didn't tell them I have a disability. I've just spent most of this afternoon writing a module for the RCPsych which includes quite a bit about the Equality Act so am happy to answer any questions about it.

Catypillar Sat 10-Jan-15 16:13:00

Btw being able to work does not mean you don't count as having a disability- I used to work with an oncologist who was paralysed from the neck down for example. Here's a bit of information on the Equality Act You still count as disabled even if you don't have the impairment continually.

CaulkheadUpNorth Sat 10-Jan-15 16:13:45

Oh, thank you. Does Borderline Personality Disorder count as a disability? That one feels more me than bi polar!

Can people be turned down for a job due to these conditions?

merlehaggard Sat 10-Jan-15 16:21:48

Not quite the same, but I've got myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening illness) and I don't tick the box. What I do is not restricted, therefore I don't feel "disabled".

Catypillar Sat 10-Jan-15 16:22:06

Yes borderline counts as a disability as well.

No you can't be turned down for a job due to a condition that counts as a disability, unless they can show that due to your disability you cannot do the job.

cruikshank Sat 10-Jan-15 16:28:49

I don't. The only time I disclosed, I had the job offer withdrawn. So now I don't say anything. It's a very personal choice though - some people would feel vulnerable without having the protection of the Equality Act; other people (and this is me) don't think how the EA works in the actual world is sufficient to justify releasing this information. It can and does backfire if you don't disclose - I've lost a couple of jobs due to becoming unwell and unable to work and being 'made redundant' while an inpatient. But then, I figure that those employers were bastards anyway and probably wouldn't have adhered to the EA even if I had disclosed.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 10-Jan-15 16:34:59

I only disclosed AFTER receiving the job offer. I have since learned they really truly considered rescinding the offer, until the lawyer set them straight and told them I would SLAM them with a lawsuit. Bipolar BTW.

The only reason they are allowed to ask you before the interview is to find out if you need any reasonable adjustment for the interview e.g. holding the interview in an accessible room for a wheelchair user.

sharklion Sat 10-Jan-15 17:02:21

I certainly do. I haven't worked for 15 years though (partly due to MH, partly due to other issues) so have never thought about disclosing it for jobs. I have BPD, major depression, anxiety and eating disorder. I get disability living allowance, a disability bus pass and I got disabled students allowance when studying though, so I'm quite accepting of/used to the disability term in relation to myself. Also I've studied the Equality Act and dealt with it for others so I'm comfortable with using the term and how it can be used.

Needtoemigrate Sat 10-Jan-15 17:06:09

Sorry not mental health but what about Ms where mainly affecting cognitive side of things ?

OmnipotentQueenOfTheUniverse Sat 10-Jan-15 17:08:45

This is a really tough one.

Although legally they are not allowed to take it into account, of course that doesn't mean they won't.

Depends what sort of employer it is - some of them you can trust when they say they separate that stuff off and the person who is hiring doesn't see it.

Bottom line is it's a risk between declaring and not getting the job / not declaring and getting found out and losing the job.

OmnipotentQueenOfTheUniverse Sat 10-Jan-15 17:10:22

FWIW I have had PN depression + anxiety which lingered on and I don't think I'd mention it.

It won't affect anything to do with my work and so will only count not at all or adversely IYSWIM.

OmnipotentQueenOfTheUniverse Sat 10-Jan-15 17:11:37

Although I have a feeling I said about it in an employer related healthcare thing which was guaranteed confidential.


What are you going to do? Is there definitely going to be an occ health check thing?

CaulkheadUpNorth Sat 10-Jan-15 17:17:25

Thanks for all the replies.

It's a school based job, not teaching but same pay scale, so my employer would be the council. I know for teaching jobs you have to have an occ health form, but I don't know about this, just assuming.

I had issues when teaching with diagnosed anorexia, which I hadn't declared, so spent the next five years not saying anything. Now it's a new job, with new diagnosed conditions, so I'm just not sure.

The only changes I can think of is that I might need time off for appointments, but I could probably keep most out of work time. I don't cope well with conflict, but I don't know of anything can be done about that, and I know I work better following a scheduled day.

creamhearts Sat 10-Jan-15 19:04:43

Yes I do. I am glad I did because I was sectioned in September and because I had told work (well occupational health) I was covered, if I had not declared it things would have been more complicated. I have never had trouble with getting a job with MH problems (keeping one is a different thing!)

SilverStars Sat 10-Jan-15 19:12:21

If you do not declare it then I think it could cause problems for you if you later have time off due to those conditions. If you do declare it your work should refer you to OH for support and to make any reasonable adjustments - such as would you need time off for medical appointments etc?

SilverStars Sat 10-Jan-15 19:13:58

Oh with jobs you should be entitled to time off work fully paid of you cannot get an appointment up of work ours but you will have to declare what it is for. For eg I am pregnant and have to show proof of midwife appointments then get time off, or hospital letter etc.

toothpasteinthetree Sat 10-Jan-15 19:29:41

I don't think there's ever an easy answer. I've swung all my life between disclosing and not disclosing. At the moment, I "qualify" as disabled for my physical health alone, which allows me some latitude with weasel words whilst circumventing most of the stigma: prospective employers have always seemed far less alarmed by the prospect of me having a life-threatening cardiac arrest than a few days off with depression [hmmm] But if my "disabilities" were "only" MH ones, I think at present I on balance probably wouldn't disclose. There's too much prejudice and discrimination out there, and the Equalities Act seems fairly impotent.

CaulkheadUpNorth Sat 10-Jan-15 19:31:55

I appreciate all the honesty here, thank you everyone. It seems quite mixed responses, and I've still got a few days to think about what I'll say.

Mitchy1nge Sat 10-Jan-15 19:33:08

I do sometimes in everyday life eg: 'would you mind doing this slightly bothersome thing mitchy?' usually gets 'I can't, sorry, I have a Severe Mental Disorder' and a regretful face

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