Decision-Making Flowchart for Disclosing Your ADHD Diagnosis

Rachel Worsley  |  29/03/2024

Should You Disclose Your ADHD Diagnosis to Your Manager?

The short answer is that it depends. ADHD is a condition that receives a lot of stigma and misunderstanding from professionals. Here are the pros and cons of disclosing ADHD in the workplace. 

The Yes Case

  • Telling your boss means you can ask for accommodations for your workplace reasonable adjustments, especially if you are struggling at work. 
  • You may be protected from unlawful discrimination when your employer is aware of your ADHD, which is classified as a disability under anti-discrimination law.
  • Your manager will help you succeed at work rather than performance-manage you, while you help to educate your manager about your ADHD.  

The No Case

  • Your manager may have unfavourable views about ADHD, which may mean you may experience discrimination, which can be stressful, expensive and time-consuming to prove if you make a complaint. 
  • You can ask for workplace accommodations without having to bring up ADHD, as many accommodations for ADHD (such as a quiet space or headphones) are already extended to other people in the workplace. 
  • Your colleagues may have misunderstandings about your working ability, which may negatively impact your experience at work. 

Factors to Consider:

  • Rationale: Most people disclose their diagnosis to obtain reasonable accommodations from their manager that they are not otherwise able to receive through usual channels. 
  • Performance at Work: If your boss is commenting on your inattention to detail, distractibility or other struggles related to ADHD, you may be at risk of losing your job or being performance-managed. Disclosure may be one way to allow you to improve your performance at work. 
  • Timing: You are not obligated to disclose your diagnosis during any part of the hiring process, including when applying for a job with your resume or during an interview. It makes sense to disclose when you are already at work. 
  • Knowledge: You may want to keep the disclosure private to your manager. Depending on your company’s HR policy, the HR department may also be made aware (particularly if you are currently being performance managed). You must also decide whether your co-workers should know. 
  • Length of Time in Role: When you are starting out in a new job, you may wish to keep your diagnosis private until you have established yourself in the workplace and you have gained your footing.

Here is a decision-making flowchart to help guide your decision as to whether disclosing ADHD is the right answer for you. 

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