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Stigma/embarrassment/awkwardness associated with mental illness

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I`m interested to know what people say in response to the questions `how are you?` `are you alright?`, whilst in the throes of crippling depression.

When a stranger or relative says to me `how are you?` and I feel mentally ill (which is nearly always to some extent) I just say `oh fine`, reluctant to bring up the whole mental illness thing, yet if I have flu and someone asks me the same question I have no qualms about telling them what is ailing me.

The irony about it all is that physical illness has probably accounted for less than 1% of illness suffered throughout my life, yet I`ve talked more openly about that than the torturous mental burdens I suffer on daily, and sometimes hourly basis.

I wonder if we will ever get to a stage where people can say to each other `are you alright?` `no, I`m suffering from crippling mental illness` without giving it a second thought.

Will the stigma/embarrassment/awkwardness of having mental problems ever be fully removed or will it just get worse?


Well-Known Member
When people ask "how are you" they don't really want to know how you are, its just a greeting.

Anyway mental illnesses and disorders are never going to become ok to just openly talk about. I sure as hell am not going to tell random people about mine.


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
People will never be comfortable with openly acknowledging other peoples pain, either they have no concept of mental illness or it hits a vunerable spot in their own psyche.


Staff Alumni
Yeah, I feel pretty strange on occasion when confronted like this as well. Though it's not really a good feeling, I get these weird cramp type things min my chest, and it hurts, I'm not sure what it is...but whened I'm asked, I feel like I have a mental illness, I just don't bother to ask anyone for help.


Well-Known Member
I remember once.. I was honest on MSN when someone asked me how I was.. they just said "Lol" i got shitty and wrote something on the computer that if seen sounds like i should be in anger management..

Yeah, it is a greeting, but there are those honest ones.. so we cant sterotype the population.


Account Closed
i don t know about that i find people take the real accounts its just i had to rehearse and come up with lines i could use so i felt real and it wasn t done in a fashion that leaves them stunted for words. its a akward thing but if we don t figure ways to make better bridges we will get stuck in ourselves and that is no good


Well-Known Member
I know what you mean... when someone asks how are you, you just lie and say oh I'm fine...

It's even harder if someone who knows you have a mental illness asks how are you because they're addressing that inparticular... I dunno it just seems like saying how you really feel will just get them upset or frustrated with you...
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