Accommodating Employees with Psychiatric Disabilities: Myths About Psychiatric Disabilities

  1. People with psychiatric disabilities are dangerous.
    People with psychiatric disabilities are more apt to be anxious, timid and passive. They rarely present a danger to the public. Violent behavior is the result of many different factors and may not necessarily be indicative of a psychiatric diagnosis.

  2. People with psychiatric disabilities are unpredictable.
    Most people with psychiatric disabilities are more likely to be depressed, withdrawn and anxious than wild and aggressive. Also, according to experts, most relapses develop gradually, and if physicians, friends, family or persons themselves are alert and knowledgeable enough to recognize early symptoms, recurrences can usually be detected and dealt with before they become too severe.

  3. People with psychiatric disabilities can only work at low-level jobs. They are not suited to be in the college setting and may never hold important or responsible positions.
    People with psychiatric disabilities are individuals. As such, their career potentials depend on their particular talents, abilities, experience and motivation, as well as their current state of physical and mental health.

  4. Psychiatric disability is the same as mental retardation.
    The two are distinct disorders. A diagnosis of mental retardation is chiefly characterized by limitations in intellectual function, as well as difficulties with certain skills of daily life. By definition, mental retardation begins before age 18. In contrast, the intellectual functioning of persons with psychiatric disabilities varies as it does with the general population.

  5. People with psychiatric disabilities tend to avoid social contact and prefer to be left alone.
    People with psychiatric disabilities can be introverts or extroverts. As with any individual, social interaction is affected by many internal and external factors. Invitations to be included in activities will encourage any employee to be a part of the team.

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