Should I Tell My Boss I Have Bipolar Disorder?

should i tell my boss i have bipolar disorder

There is always plenty of discussion around the question, “Should I tell my boss I have Bipolar Disorder?”.


I would like to tell you my experience and how this has affected my journey.


Let’s get started.




Throughout the years, I have had many jobs. I have never been one to just settle and stay at one place. I know that part must do with my illness, after talking to other individuals with Bipolar Disorder.


Back in 1999, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 1 when people did not talk about mental illness the way they do today. Trust me, I know there is still a HUGE stigma, but nowhere near that around the turn of the 21st century.


Towards the beginning when I was first diagnosed, a few of my employers fired me because of my illness. They used a different excuse when filing the paperwork, but I was aware having Bipolar Disorder ended my employment. These were mainly small businesses that I worked for when this happened.




As time went by, I learned something through my experience. It seemed larger businesses and corporations were more willing to accept my illness. Remember, this was through my journey. It was almost as if the bigger businesses had more to lose, so they followed the book and law to a “t”.


Now, back to the question, “Should I tell my boss I have Bipolar Disorder?”


Every individual has a different experience. I found that it is no one else’s business unless my illness affects my performance as an employee. If I must take a few days off, leave work early, or even go into the hospital, I will speak to my employer.


Most of the time, I have gone to Human Resources. The ADA protects individuals with a mental illness.


One employer was amazing. I spoke to HR and my boss together. They asked me what I needed. I explained to them, at that time, I could only work part-time and in the afternoons. They immediately approved the change and I was set.


I never tell my coworkers about my illness. It is none of their business and I do not like gossip.


When it comes down to it, I do not enjoy working for someone else. You must answer to them and being an employee is trading your hours for dollars.




After I came to this realization, I have started some of my own businesses. For example, this blog is one of those businesses.


I have been determined to find another income stream.


Recently, I found an online marketing business. It is kind of like owning your own franchise.


Please look and let me know what you think. You can CLICK HERE for more information.


Not everyone is wired to be their own boss or entrepreneur. If you can make it work though, the benefits are beyond compare. I am not talking about brick and mortar businesses. Having one of those forces you yet again, to be somewhere at a specific time.


I know I have not answered the original question with a blatant “yes” or “no”, but like most things in life, there is generally a gray area.


What has been your experience working as an employee? Have you told your employer about your illness?


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Until next time, take care of yourself! 😊


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