Like any serious health problem, depression requires professional help. People who are depressed should ask their doctors about therapy, antidepressant medications, and other treatments before they consider raising the issue with their employer, says Dr. Riba, who is also the associate director of the University of Michigan's depression center.
Clare Miller, the director of the American Psychiatric Foundation's Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, which helps employers develop effective approaches to mental health, urges people who have been diagnosed with depression to think carefully about what they are trying to accomplish by revealing their condition to their boss or human resources department.
If you decide to tell your bosses and coworkers about your depression, the good news is that it will likely be easier than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
Four years ago, Sandy received a new diagnosis: bipolar II, a form of bipolar disorder with less severe episodes of mania. Her doctor prescribed mood stabilizers, which have helped reduce the bouts of depression she used to suffer about once a year. "I'm very careful," she adds. "I make sure to see my doctor all the time. I make sure I'm really monitoring this."