Disclosing Schizophrenia in the Workplace

April 7, 2022 Robert Vickens

Disclosing a schizophrenia diagnosis can be a daunting decision to make. At work, it can be helpful or harmful. In your personal life, it can be scary. But, disclosing schizophrenia at work can be a necessity. In the workplace, it can be the difference between getting the proper accommodations or not. The Americans with Disabilities Act will protect you at work. Disclosing will give you the rights you need to receive accommodations. It can be a weight off your shoulders. You can even be a resource for others with disabilities. Living with schizophrenia can help others to connect with you by allowing them to share their stories with you.

Positives and Negatives of Disclosing Schizophrenia at Work

There are plenty of examples of people living with schizophrenia who work and go to school. As long as those important disclosures are made, your success will be secured. It is better to disclose schizophrenia than to have your managers or coworkers feel alienated by odd behaviors. Certain medications can affect you in ways that may stand out in public, and you want the people around you informed. It can be daunting, but it may help you in the end.

Reasons to disclose include getting accommodations at work and school. Reasons to not tell include facing the stigma which surrounds schizophrenia. You may want to keep your privacy and avoid the stigma. Certain people may treat you differently, and it may affect your chances of being hired. Even though it is illegal, people still discriminate.

Discrimination against people with schizophrenia happens. It can be helpful to avoid immediately disclosing your specific diagnosis. Revealing you have a mental disorder or psychiatric disorder can be enough. Steering clear of a precise diagnosis protects you from the stigma certain people may have.

When to Disclose a Schizophrenia Diagnosis in the Workplace

You can disclose your schizophrenia diagnosis in your cover letter, during the interview, or while on the job. I chose to disclose my diagnosis while on the job. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. The downfall of disclosing as early as your cover letter or interview is that you risk not getting the job due to stigma. By disclosing while on the job, you have the full protection of the law.

We can dramatically reduce the effects of stigma by disclosing once hired. You can set up accommodations right then and there. If you need to take a trip to the hospital or need to take personal time off, it will be known and accepted. It is illegal to fire someone for a mental illness, and that protection can save your employment. Being public with your diagnosis can be relieving if you feel like you're hiding a secret. Knowing your safety and rights will help you with disclosing. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects you from discrimination in the workplace.

APA Reference
Vickens, R. (2022, April 7). Disclosing Schizophrenia in the Workplace, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Robert Vickens

Robert has written the book DARCCI Diaries: A True Tale of Recovery on his journey through the South Florida recovery system and the pitfalls within the system.

Find Robert on Instagram and Facebook.

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