Having a mental illness makes finding work hard. This might sound many things; sad, ridiculous, surprising, frightening, unlikely, justifiable, or understandable. You might secretly feel something you would not publicly air. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we all have overt or latent prejudices, but it is most certainly something to be aware of and to open your mind about.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of 'the glass ceiling' in relation to various forms of discrimination in the workplace, whether it is gender, race or even sometimes religious. The belief, no, the fact, that people are exposed to opportunities they will never be allowed to realize. The employer is seen as blameless as they have complied with anti-discrimination legislation, but the employee knows he or she has been denied the chance, knows he or she has been wronged despite being suitable for the role, purely because of gender, race or religion. There is no way of absolutely proving beyond doubt this is true, but we know it happens don't we?
Socially, this is a problem. Admitting to mental illness is seen as a sign of weakness or inadequacy and commonly engenders a response which is overly patronizing, disdainful or aggressive. The latter is what we depressives call the “pull yourself together" syndrome. If only it were that simple.
Beyond the social stigma is an equally serious and personally crippling problem. Having recovered sufficiently to look forwards in a positive frame of mind, how do I find employment?
If your 'friends' and family fail to understand the condition, how can we expect potential employers to comprehend? With a vast gap on your resume, this leaves the applicant with a potentially life changing dilemma.
The options such as they are. Lie about your condition taking the risk you may lose your job upon the employer finding out or being frank from the outset, risking never gaining employment at in the first place.