Disclosing to Your Co-Workers
Because co-workers may also be close friends with whom you share information about your personal life, you may feel like talking to them about your MS. However, there are several important issues to consider first.
- You will have the opportunity to educate them about MS and the symptoms you’re experiencing.
- You will have the opportunity to get their support.
- You will be relieved of the stress of keeping a secret and trying to hide how you feel.
- You will feel more comfortable on the job and less isolated.
- You will feel more able to ask for some help if and when you need it.
- Some people may react negatively — e.g., pulling away from you, not knowing what to say to you, doubting your ability to do your share of the work, worrying that your MS might be contagious.
- People who have limited knowledge of MS may make incorrect assumptions about the disease and its impact on you.
- Co-workers are not required to keep the information confidential so you may lose control of who knows about your MS and who doesn’t.