Who have you told?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by elvinchild, Aug 29, 2009.

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  1. elvinchild

    elvinchild Well-Known Member

    Have any of you "come out" to the world about your illness(es)? Not only to your family but also to all of your friends and co-workers?

    I'm seriously thinking of it. I am terrified of being judged. I am afraid it might cause me trouble with my job.

    But at the same time, living life with a mask and trying to hide this secret is an enormous burden. I feel if I make people aware, it may give those who are empathetic the chance to understand and deal with me better. Perhaps my boss can help make work easier on me. Perhaps my friends will understand when I am really quiet or disappear from their world for awhile.

    I am afraid though that the majority won't be empathetic. That co-workers will avoid me as if I am some sort of freak. That I'll lose my job. That my friends will abandon me.

    Have any of you really, completely, opened up about your illness? How did people react? Are you glad you did?
  2. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    After I was hospitalized for the OD attempt a few years ago, I did kind of feel some of my friends thought differently of me and were a little more distant. I wouldnt tell people at work thought, as personal issues shouldnt matter in my opinion. Just understand if you tell friends and they start becoming more distant you may have to try to find new ones... this can def be good as your friends should accept you no matter what and this would prove as evidence if they do not, but if you are on the edge maybe now is not the time to make such drastic changes.
  3. HOW

    HOW Well-Known Member

    I've only told my girlfriend. No one else knows the real me.
  4. white_feather

    white_feather Member

    I just started to tell my friends and I also told my new work about it. They don't seem to judge, but everyone's different.
  5. Tray

    Tray Well-Known Member

    Other than that i did some cutting no one really knows about me. I think no matter how good of a friend you have some judgement will arise. I think its something you wanna only tell to very close friends. Those that have open minds and seems interested in your life. I wouldnt tell an employer unless its a friend of your like i just described. Other wise its not something you would want them to know.
  6. SweetSurrender

    SweetSurrender Well-Known Member

    In some respects. I have a brilliant mask but it is impossible to keep it up all the time. Having said that it utterly amazes how much people don't notice when they either don't want to or aren't looking! But there is obviously only so much you can get away with before it becomes clear that you have difficulties.

    I've told a few friends, most have been good about it but the majority (no make that all), don't actively ask me about it. So it has been brought into the open but it is carefully ignored at all cost. I will mention it lightly at times if they go on about me not calling etc, i'll laugh about how they know i have paranoia but it is only lightly touched upon. Am i glad i told them? To a degree as it makes me feel more real, but generally it doesn't matter either way they're not exactly more sympathetic because of it or anything. And probably thankfully so, i don't want to be pitied!

    I don't get how people can keep it from their family (well unless they don't live with them, or have any real contact with them). I can pretend, and do, mainly because i hate closeness when i'm depressed and it allows me to avoid hugs etc, but i'm not going to shy away from it. They know i self harm etc, but we don't talk about it and as long as i'm in therapy they'll happily ignore it. I'm very glad i told my family, without them i wouldn't be alive today!

    I had to let occupational health at work know about the depression because it can cause me to stop functioning. Plus I had pdr appts when i first started work (which were ironically a waste of time) and i had to show documents to say where i was so my manager knows something is up but i don't ever discuss it with her and never will unless very needed. I don't believe that co-workers are anywhere near educated enough to understand, especially if you seem to be perfectly okay in work. And it would be too awkward, i'm not friends with these people, our relationship is professional and should be kept that way.

    All in all i believe most people don't care enough to listen, let alone empathise so i don't bother shouting it from the rooftops. Sometimes, i wish i could be supported at work, but it isn't going to happen so there is not point thinking about the ideals.

    I sound pessimistic. Or realistic. Either or.
  7. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    I don't say much to "The Public at Large" as I call them. Most people don't want to know. Our society is groomed by commercials that the world should be full of rich, happy people.

    Even the commercials for anti-deppressants are a riot. It gives "normal" people the impression that a pill fixes everything.

    The responses I have received from most people include Pollyanna statements of "if only you did this or that" which immediately tells me that they don't understand at all.

    I don't hold it against them anymore. I give thanks to God that these people don't have to suffer from this.
  8. Little_me

    Little_me Well-Known Member

    Only my family knows everything. My best childhood friend A knows some, and another childhood friend I don't have much contact with knows about my eating disorder as we met outside the clinic twice (she has it too)... And the principal knows why I'm not allowed to go to PE.

    I feel, somewhat, ashamed. I would never even think of telling people at school or so... I'm not ashamed to my family, but to others.
    My father is a professor and a manager of 100 people. Many of his employees talked negatively and mockingly about anorexics in the cafeteria once "blame the parents", what would they think if... Well I hate this world
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