ADHD, depression, and anxiety: A coming out story

James Deagle
4 min readJan 13, 2020

For a long time since being diagnosed with depression and anxiety a few years ago (as part of a deluxe package deal with ADHD Inattentive Type), I had made sure to keep all of the above under my hat when engaging in any sort of public communication, or whenever I was in any workplace conversation.

Especially in this day and age, when people are expected to scrub their social media profiles of anything indicating a life outside the cubicle— which is to say any hint of a pulse — there can be a tendency for people with any of the above conditions to keep their mouths shut. Stigma is real, and I have discovered firsthand how quickly and thoroughly it can make a person self-censor. This was reinforced shortly after my ADHD diagnosis — which came before I discovered depression and anxiety riding comorbid shotgun —when I consulted with someone who counsels people who are similarly attention-challenged, and asked her how someone with that condition should go about keeping their employer in the loop. “You don’t,” she answered, quickly and unequivocally. (Instead, she recommended requesting reasonable accommodations that would not necessarily tip off the employer, such as asking to have one’s desk moved to a quieter area.)

Further complicating matters is the fact that a lot of people either misunderstand these conditions, or simply doubt the validity of them altogether, as if they believe that people who have ADHD, depression or anxiety must be trying to “medicalize” their shortcomings.