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I'm looking for advice, I'm trying to decide if I should disclose my mental health issues to a professor or not.

So I had knee surgery on February 28th and am dealing with some complications mainly pain, am still on crutches and I have an incision that keeps reopening. This coupled with a lack of support and the frustration and pain have made my depression worse and everything combined has made it incredibly difficult to function. I had several days where I basically didn’t leave bed except to go to the bathroom and that was a huge battle to do.

As a result of all of this I am behind in all of my classes. I talked to one professor and she said I have time to catch up before the next test (the only grades in the course), another I had already told about my depression and knee issues and gave me an extension to finish a project that would normally be due this Thursday.


Finally, I have my Photography professor. I have a project due Thursday but I’ve barely started it and am not sure if I will be able to finish it in time or not. I want to ask for an extension but I’m not sure if I should disclose my depression and mental conditions or not with her.

I am a student assistant in her department and one day she was talking to me and complained that she doesn’t like when students come to her with their mental health problems. She then tried to clean it up and explained that she wasn’t a professional and thinks it happens because she is an art instructor. As a result I didn’t inform her of my depression, anxiety and ADHD like I normally do with my professors at the start of the semester. I talked to my therapist about it and she said that she wasn’t sure what I would gain by telling her then and that I could always do it later if it was necessary.


I think it’s relevant and a big part of why I am behind and struggling to catch up as I am miserable and can barely take care of myself right now but don’t know if she’ll be receptive or not. I also went to office hours one day and she said that her sister has depression and that she thinks she might have ADHD but hasn’t been tested for it. I’m not sure what to do because I’m getting mixed messages and don’t want to ruin the rest of my semester by disclosing my illness to a professor who may not be receptive.

This is what I was thinking of sending: “Hello,

I’m not doing well, my knee is still swollen and very painful and I reopened one of my incision sites by stretching.


I know you don’t like it when students do this but I feel that it is relevant. I have depression, anxiety and ADHD and the issues and pain with my knee have had a strong negative affect on these conditions. My health conditions combined have made it extremely difficult for me to be able to function and concentrate. It’s hard for me to be able to take care of myself and complete everyday tasks. It also has affected my ability to perform and attend work and school. I haven’t been able to return to work and won’t be able to until next week.

Unfortunately, my health problems have resulted in me being behind in all of my classes. I’m worried that my health will prevent me from being able to turn in a decent project on Thursday.


I hate having to do this but I wanted to know if it would be possible given the circumstances to be given an extension on the project. Either way I will do what I can to improve it this week before the turn in time.

Best, My name etc.”

I would greatly appreciate any advice you have, thanks for reading.

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