A friend once told me that I shouldn’t allow possible employers to my personal blog and if I do, that I shouldn’t talk about that “depression stuff.”

You know what? I don’t care. I don’t want to be in “closet” anymore.

To be clear, I have anxiety. More specifically, generalized anxiety disorder. I also have post-traumatic stress disorder from a house fire and dating abuse. Because of the traumatic experiences I had, I also experience obsessive thoughts. I worry constantly that someone or something is going to come along and destroy my life again.

It’s not fun. And I should have the freedom to talk about my struggles without fear of work discrimination.

Anxiety and depression is not me. It’s a disease I have. Anxiety and depression don’t reflect my work ethic or my personality.

Even though I’m terrified of driving, I do it so I can get to work. Even though I’m terrified of meeting new people, I do it because I’m at work. Even though I’m terrified of learning new things and doing those new things, I do those things because I’m at work.

If anything, you as an employer should hire me because I have GAD. At least you’d know that I’m motivated enough to get my butt out of bed every day despite feeling crippling anxiety.

Telling someone not to come out because of the stigma of mental illness only supports the mental illness stigma.

Treating mental illness as a weakness is not the answer. What we should do instead is support each other.

Bottom line, no one should not have to hide that I have any type of illness for fear of not getting a job.