Over my coaching career, I’ve worked with clients diagnosed with invisible disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, chronic fatigue disorder, and depression. Some want to know when it’s appropriate to notify their employer of their conditions, while others are curious about disclosing their disabilities during a job search.

Their questions are valid but involve legal and ethical considerations beyond my pay grade. My clients worry about the unintended consequences of sharing too much personal information or asking for workplace accommodations, and there’s a reason for their concerns. A protected condition doesn’t guarantee compassion.

On the contrary, a diagnosis can hinder getting the job you deserve. So, I often recommend conversations with lawyers and advocates specializing in clients with invisible disabilities. It’s crucial to consult with a team because even mentioning a diagnosis can cause unforeseen consequences in the workplace. Being prepared and informed is essential for making the best decision.


The reality is that society has long-held biases and misunderstandings about invisible disabilities. This lack of awareness has contributed to a culture that often dismisses or minimizes the unique challenges faced by those with these conditions. As more people openly discuss their experiences — especially on social media — we must work together to change the narrative around invisible disabilities and foster greater understanding and acceptance.


Human resources play a significant role in addressing and mitigating unconscious biases within the workplace. It includes raising awareness about invisible disabilities, providing training and education for employees and managers, and implementing inclusive policies and practices. By fostering an environment that supports employees with hidden disabilities, HR can help create a more equitable workplace where everyone can thrive.


Ultimately, disclosing your invisible disability to your employer or during a job search is a deeply personal decision. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and weighing the potential benefits and risks is essential. Some considerations to keep in mind include:

• Legal protections: Familiarize yourself with the laws and protections in your country or region, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, which prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires reasonable accommodations for eligible employees.

• Workplace vibes: Evaluate the company or organization. Is it inclusive and supportive of employees with disabilities? Researching the company’s policies and speaking with current or former employees may provide insight into the environment.

• Timing: If you disclose, consider the most appropriate time. For some, this may be during the interview process. Others prefer to wait until they’ve been offered the job or have established themselves in the role to understand how their body and spirit adapt to this new situation.

• Necessary accommodations: Assess whether you need accommodations to perform your job effectively. If so, disclosing your disability may help guarantee you have the support you need to succeed.

By seeking advice from legal experts and disability advocates and carefully considering some of the factors listed above, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your values and career goals.

As a coach, I have a personal perspective on silent illnesses: Nobody can care about you more than you, and you should always ask for what you need. My perspective is hard-earned, and I practice what I preach. But I know I’m lucky because my Meniere’s Disease and chronic inflammatory arthritis are easy to explain. Plus, I’m self-employed and work from home with the luxury of asking for help or assistance. Nobody can fire me but me.

But you can get there to the promised land, where you have a shot at contributing at work without fear of discrimination or exclusion. That’s the essence of my coaching. Need some assistance or just quick advice? Please contact me on LinkedIn to see if I can be helpful personally or professionally.