I’m constantly reaching out to potential new clients, and I am also looking for part time work so I have a stable income. That hasn’t stopped me from being open and honest about my struggles with depression.
Why shouldn’t I be open and honest? Hiding this part of me would only perpetuate the stigma which is the last thing I would want to do. A lot of people who struggle with depression and other mental illnesses are afraid as it is to talk about it due to fear of being mocked or judged. Sadly many suffer in silence as a result. That is also problematic because not talking about it keeps building that stigma that needs to be crushed. Another reason to be honest and upfront.
I also point out that I am hard working, dedicated, honest and I produce good quality work. If a client or employer doesn’t want to hire me only because I deal with depression, then I would say it is for the best. That in itself tells you a lot about how they are as people and I wouldn’t want to work with someone who is shallow and judgmental anyway. You could say that this is a great way to weed out potential bad clients and employers. However, the only time I would give them the benefit of the doubt is if they are concerned that my depression could at some point tarnish my quality of work. That is a valid concern and that is when I would reassure them if I end up in a very bad place, it is my responsibility to take care of it, and either way my work will not be affected it. If I must, I would hire someone temporarily to take my place however that has never happened due to my depression. Either way, they would be reassured that my depression will never get into the way of my quality of work.
It is critical for anyone who deals with depression or any mental illness to talk about it whether they are looking for a job, or looking for clients or both. Those who will hire you despite your struggles are likely to be good clients or employers anyway.
This is a tricky question. I think if its for regular, long-term employment then you need to disclose if they ask about it. But if its just short-term freelance work, like just setting up a website or something, then surely there is no need to disclose.