Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Emily Ahrend (University of New Mexico), Structured Silence: Mental Illness Disability and Disclosure in the Workplace, SSRN:
Evasive, silenced, and contested, mental illness is an invisible form of disease that can create disability and is impacted by sanism in social institutions. Ascribed and prescribed, mental illness diagnoses and experiences vary based on medicalized norms. Medicalization of mental illness occurs via three main authoritative professions: psychiatry, psychology, and clinical social work. The institution of medicine holds absolute authority over what is considered “natural” and “normal” in mental health and creates stigma. Disclosure has historically been discussed as a remedy but is limited according to social identities as well as determinants of health. Disclosure of mental illness as a disability can be problematic in workplaces. Experiences of sanism, or discrimination based on perceived level of sanity, are common. Madness experiences deserve attention, in the workplace and beyond.