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Advise on how to disclose Bipolar Disorder to Manager

Community Member

I need to be admitted into hospital for management of my Bipolar Disorder, I am coming off one medication and onto another & my Dr would prefer this done in hospital.

I have a 'sick note' from my Dr and I have set up a meeting with my boss to discuss having time off.

Any advise on how to have this conversation with my boss? (My boss can tell by the sick note that it has been written by a Psychiatrist although my condition is listed as medical illness

3 Replies 3

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Over1t, I have found that by being open and honest always works well. If you could book you boss in for a meeting set in a few days time then rehearse what you are going to say and how to say it.

You could start off with a bit of your history with BPD and that you are medicated for it and that sometimes a re-adjustment or change of meds is required for you to keep a good level of health.

Then say that you have been recommended for a change of meds and that the safest and best place to do this is in hospital.

There are always things to consider prior to this though:

  • Is your boss sympathetic or empathetic?
  • Does your boss have any knowledge of BPD or mental health conditions in general?
  • Is your boss generally pretty good with sick leave?

If you have a supportive boss, the conversation should go well. It may be a bit difficult for you as you are disclosing a personal matter.

I have found that telling people that you are on meds, I also add that it is no different to a diabetic taking insulin or a someone needing blood thinners for a heart condition. Makes people think about it and that mental and physical is no different.

If you rehearse the preamble to the conversation, it will help you on the day that you do tell him.

Good luck and I hope it all goes really well for you.

Lastly, welcome to the forums, a very caring place this so more than happy to keep posting and chatting away if you feel you need other questions answered or just a general chat about mental health.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello OverIt

Paul here and pleased to meet you. Thanks for having the courage to post too and welcome!

BiPolar disorder is a branch of the Depression tree so to speak. Having any form of depression is a major pain. I understand as I have clinic depression for 21 years and medicated with AD's to have some quality of life.

I have had my GP write me out a few letters re my depression and he used the words 'medical illness' as well.

You dont have to describe your illness in any shape or form. Even though BiPolar is a form of depression you may just want to mention 'clinical depression' to help you avoid any further discussion.

The change over of meds is important to get right and good on you for having a great Doctor to understand this.

You can even bring up your condition as 'severe anxiety' if you wish (just my opinion of course) Its a matter of what you makes you feel more comfortable. To be blunt its none of your boss's business whether its BiPolar or Claustrophobia. It still a chemical imbalance that makes your condition partially physical anyway.

You can even have the conversation over the phone if that is more comfortable for you as well.

Face to face meeting...Just keep it as brief as you can. Your condition is your business...not your boss's.

I think you are an amazing person to have reached out and posted Over1t

Ive been involved in HR for years and if you have any questions I am happy to answer (when I am online :-))

There are also many gentle people here that can be here for you too. Even if you need some support through your meds changeover you are more than welcome to post here.....even just for a chat!

be kind to yourself (when is your meeting with your boss Over1t?)


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hello Over1t,

Welcome to the forums and what a wonderful thread idea.

I just want to let you know that you are not alone in this. I, too, am finding new employment that provides support for my Bipolar. I found with my previous job in retail, I honestly didn't feel I could disclose more than I wanted to to my manager at the time. So I am sorry I cannot help you specifically with your question cause I haven't managed to 'successfully' disclose it with my past manager/s. But I think you raised a really good thread, especially for those in recovery and wants employment, and learn what to say to their manager for employment. I will be following this thread, and look forward to hearing your updates, should you like to share.

Keep us posted.