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What should I do? I am really stuck. :-(

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Claire

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
11
Hi everyone,
I have a job application that involves me working in the US for 3 months... It is a really exciting opportunity that I would love to do. The problem is the application form asks: "Have you ever suffered a nervous breakdown, depression, mental disorder or been a victim of attempted suicide or self-harm? Yes answers will be assessed on an individual basis. If necessary, obtaining clarification by a doctor is at your own expense."
So far I have ticked no, and am very reluctant to tick yes, because I have been fully recovered for a long time... 5 years, and although I did suffer from a pyschotic/depression episode, it was the only time it has ever happened to me in my life. I was 16 at the time and I think its so unfair that now I'm an adult, my opportunities are being affected because of something that happened when I was a teenager.

I don't know what to do because you also need to provide a medical form signed by a GP doctor (maybe stamped by the surgery too - I'm not sure).
I know that in an ideal world I'd be able to tick yes and the employers would investigate properly that I have fully recovered and just as capable of doing the job as anyone else... But I also know that in reality this probably won't happen. If faced with two applicants, me and another person with no previous mental health issues, even if we both had the same qualifications and experience; the employers are more likely to pick the other applicant. Its less work and worry for them - I do understand that... But its really unfair for me, because I'd love to do this job and have this experience... and think I'd be good at it too.

I was told at the interview that there aren't that many positions available this year (I think because of the recession), so I feel even more like anything working against me will really decrease my chances of getting the job this summer.

What do you think I should do? Any kind of advice, thoughts or comments would be helpful. Thank you.
 
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jamesdean

Guest
I wouldnt mention it because you have answered your own question in so much its at your expense to provide mediical info so they are not going to cahse it I dont know the legal answer but you could go n have a chat with your gp best wishes James
 
C

Claire

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
11
I wouldnt mention it because you have answered your own question in so much its at your expense to provide mediical info so they are not going to cahse it I dont know the legal answer but you could go n have a chat with your gp best wishes James
Thanks for that answer... I would like to know the legal answer too...
And I would follow your advice, no doubt, if I didn't have to provide a medical form too... But its essential for everyone to provide a medical form, no matter whether they've always been healthy or not... And the fact that it has to be signed and possibly stamped too, makes it much harder to fake it... Would you have a go at faking it if you were in my shoes?
 
J

jamesdean

Guest
proberly not but find out the legal answer but my condition is on going and quite severe, yours was a one off so really it shouldnt be held against you good luck, James:hug:
 
intelgal

intelgal

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
1,413
Location
Yorkshire
Much as it annoys me cos at the end of the day if you ' dhad an episode when you were 16 of breaking your leg u would not hesitate to mention it. But I really think that as this was an isolated incident I cannot see the need to declare it. You were very young and have fully recovered ! Id maybe even go and have a chat with your GP and explain the situation. My GP had to to recently right a letter for my empolyer and although this is totally different I was in complete control of its content...



Good luck
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
Very glad to hear that you have completely recovered. Goes to show that people can do. :hug:
 
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jamesdean

Guest
Thats right you can see a broken leg for example but a broken mind well let me see no dont know how do deal with that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:doh:
the thing you proberly can control whot the gp writes apparently we are arcitecs of our destiny, not sure about that one but there you are, Is it a good job? JD
 
C

Claire

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
11
Thats right you can see a broken leg for example but a broken mind well let me see no dont know how do deal with that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:doh:
the thing you proberly can control whot the gp writes apparently we are arcitecs of our destiny, not sure about that one but there you are, Is it a good job? JD
Thanks for all your replies. It is really nice to have some feedback and support.

I will go and talk to the GP this week and see what she says... Luckily, for most jobs you don't need to disclose any of this kind of information... but for this job I suppose because its in America, working with children, they are trying to be very careful. Is it a good job? Well I don't know if you've heard of Camp America? Its where you work on a Summer Camp in America, look after the children, and you can specialize in teaching them particular activities if you've got the appropriate skills, e.g. watersports, horseriding, dance, art, music... Its not paid very well at all... and you might end up spending more than you earn if you travel afterwards too, but I really want to do it for the experience and fun, even though I know it will be pretty hard work! So to me its a great job.

I would rather the GP didn't have to write any letter at all, since its getting to be a later stage in the application process... But I suppose I'll talk about it to her first and see what she thinks... Hopefully she will understand, but I don't know if she'll be willing to fill the form the way I want it... Its a tricky situation, and I don't know what the organization will say if I change my answer at this late stage... They do say if you are not honest and are found out later you will be cancelled from the programme. So I don't even know if its ok to admit what happened now or not!
 
C

Claire

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
11
Very glad to hear that you have completely recovered. Goes to show that people can do. :hug:
Thanks. Yes it does go to show people can do... :) My experience was absolutely terrifying and pretty depressing, and it does knock your confidence such an enormous amount; but you can get better and many people do, and I can honestly say I have my confidence and energy back again. This is a real cliche, but maybe it holds some truth: "Whatever doesn't kill you can only make you stronger"! :hug:
 
C

Claire

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
11
Much as it annoys me cos at the end of the day if you ' dhad an episode when you were 16 of breaking your leg u would not hesitate to mention it. But I really think that as this was an isolated incident I cannot see the need to declare it. You were very young and have fully recovered ! Id maybe even go and have a chat with your GP and explain the situation. My GP had to to recently right a letter for my empolyer and although this is totally different I was in complete control of its content...



Good luck
Thanks for you support and good wishes. I will go and talk to the GP, and see what happens. I wonder what she'll say...
 
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Dollit

Guest
If you don't mention it and it comes out in the medical report from your GP - which she has to disclose if you give your permission - then that's technically fraud. The offer will probably be withdrawn.

I have bipolar disorder and have just went through the same vetting procedure with a police force as a warranted officer would and with their full knowledge of my bipolar disorder (which is quite severe) and was accepted.

If your episode of illness was a long time ago and your GP is saying that you are fully recovered then it's pointless trying to cover it up. If you lie and are inevitably found out what will be the long term consequences?
 
C

Claire

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
11
If you don't mention it and it comes out in the medical report from your GP - which she has to disclose if you give your permission - then that's technically fraud. The offer will probably be withdrawn.

I have bipolar disorder and have just went through the same vetting procedure with a police force as a warranted officer would and with their full knowledge of my bipolar disorder (which is quite severe) and was accepted.

If your episode of illness was a long time ago and your GP is saying that you are fully recovered then it's pointless trying to cover it up. If you lie and are inevitably found out what will be the long term consequences?
Hi,
Thanks for your reply. Its great that you could be honest and get the job you wanted with the police.
I don't think it is pointless trying to cover up an illness that was a long time ago though... I think people still have misconceptions about mental illness and if I can get away with not telling them, that would be great. It just makes things so much more complicated.
I don't know what the long term consequences are apart from not being able to get the job. I know its not a probably that the offer will be withdrawn, its a definitely... that's one reason I don't know what to do - because I have not been completely honest with them so far, it seems like it would go against me even more to tell them about it now. Do you know what any other consequences would be if I got found out? Apart from getting "disqualified"?
Do you know if there's any laws working in my favour? E.g. its illegal to discriminate against someone who's had a mental illness (I made that up, but if you know anything like that that's true, it would be helpful to hear about it.)
Thanks for your contribution, I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.
 
D

Dollit

Guest
It is illegal to discriminate against someone with a mental illness under British law and also under British law it is fraudulent to misrepresent yourself on a CV though this usually refers to qualifications.

The reason why employers ask about past illnesses is because they can impact on your present and future life. If you had another bout of depression then they would be aware of your history and be able to deal with it correctly. The trouble with mental health problems is that they can never be classed as cured, there is always the chance of another episode. The questions they are asking are standard when it comes to working in an country where there would be medical insurance as part of the package - it makes it more expensive.

You cannot ask your GP not to reveal this. That is not a good idea. Any doctor will tell you that they must answer honestly and fully when giving a medical reference or their job is on the line.

I do understand where you're coming from but you are making presumptions based upon your own fears. If you're not honest then I'm sorry, but it probably will go against you. Honesty is sometimes the most frightening thin but if we all hide in the closet we have no chance of fighting the discrimination and stigma that you're so afraid of.
 
KP1

KP1

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
1,500
I think I'd take the risk and not declare it. On balance this is a 3 month job only, if you declare it you will never be able to prove if they do discriminate. If you don't declare and they find out the worse they can do is sack you.
I have a full work history until depression hit 18 months ago now I'm making applications left right and centre and have not got any where. Disccrimination???? who can prove it.
Good luck with what you do,if this doen't work out there will be lots of voluntary organisations that would love to have you I am sure.
KP
 
C

Claire

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
11
I think I'd take the risk and not declare it. On balance this is a 3 month job only, if you declare it you will never be able to prove if they do discriminate. If you don't declare and they find out the worse they can do is sack you.
I have a full work history until depression hit 18 months ago now I'm making applications left right and centre and have not got any where. Disccrimination???? who can prove it.
Good luck with what you do,if this doen't work out there will be lots of voluntary organisations that would love to have you I am sure.
KP
That is what I have been thinking... It seems a risk I would rather take. I feel like I'm more likely to regret not taking it than taking it.
Thanks for your opinion, I wish you the best of luck with you applications... I think it is a hard time for everyone right now - there don't seem to be enough jobs to go around at the moment. But I hope you find something you're happy with soon, and if you have a full work history - you're going to be much more valued than people without the experience; so you could say you are ahead of a lot of candidates already.
Thanks again for your support, I have been trying to think about the worst consequences... And I don't think its something that will affect my entire life, otherwise they wouldn't just say "you will be cancelled from the programme", they'd go on to tell you how ugly it could get, to put you off even more!
 
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