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Is your illness a secret?

NWiddi

NWiddi

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It's not a secret but I don't wear a badge or a T-shirt saying I'm a voice hearer, my closest friends and family know all about my experiences and if anyone else cares enough to ask I'll tell them the truth.
 
MoonShapedPool

MoonShapedPool

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I post about my Sobriety & Mental Health on Facebook proudly.
My GAD,however,I do keep quiet about as not many
people "get it"
 
J

jsmacks

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Are you one of the many who tells no one, and just soldiers on? Or maybe you'd like to tell someone but don't have anyone you're comfortable enough with to confide in with such information. Or you worry how they might react.

Seems like it helps to talk about it. Seems like many people don't.

I pretty much don't talk to anyone about it. I mentioned to my brother that I went to counseling but that was because he mentioned pretty much told me how he had an episode battling depression. That said I find it difficult to open up about stuff and keep feelings hidden.
 
Ozymandias

Ozymandias

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To an extent... I'm pretty open about my depression and anxiety, but much less so about my insecurities over how I look. It's not that I particularly care about people knowing how ugly I feel and how much I hate myself as a result... it's actually the trite crap that others tend to come out with in response that annoys me.

Then again, what can anyone really say to an unattractive person who's very aware of the fact? It's just easier for everyone if I don't speak about it unless the subject becomes very relevant, i.e. when people enquire into my (lack of) love life.

I'm also quite selective about who I disclose my BPD diagnosis to... I've found that even people who are generally sympathetic towards mental illness can struggle to comprehend and/or accept certain BPD symptoms.
 
sunset547544

sunset547544

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I generally don't tell people about my depression, except here. If you tell people this is how you feel most of the time they can't understand. And I definitely can't tell them about the constant suicidal thoughts, or I could find myself at the mental hospital again pretty quickly = probably not helpful.
 
Zasha

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i normally keep myself very shut off from how i am feeling. I don't even know how i would begin to open up to someone about what i go through. I tried all that when i was a teenager and i just couldn't deal with it. I am trying something new and that is being online and open up more about everything in the hopes that will start a new start to try again. I know i need help
 
Ras

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ᛁ ᚨᛗ ᛖᚹᛖᚱᛃᚹᚺᛖᚱᛖ
sometimes it is hard to keep a certain illness under check, eventually if people are around you enough they will find out.
Another diagnosis i have is fairly easier to hind and that is good because when people find out about that, it isnt handled overly well. Best to keep that one to myself i have discovered
 
jajingna

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Just from all your replies, then, it looks like it varies depending on the type or severity of the condition, and on the people in your life, plus your own preferences, how open you are willing to be about things... Some things are hard to hide even if you wanted to, and others can notice something is "off" over time or with certain things you do or say.

Of course some of us are keen at noticing things in others too. Things that may not be obvious. Illness isn't always obvious, and I'm sure there are people who keep it quiet for years. Things may not even look like "illness" but just seem to be part of personality.
 
HLon99

HLon99

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Yes, aside from my immediate family, no one knows of my specific diagnosis. I think that my friends suspected that something wa going wrong for me, but I doubt that they could put their finger on what it was anymore. We had a general conversation about mental health once, and at that point I realised that they have a very immature and backwards view of mental health. I knew that at this stage it was not approapriate to tell them of my struggles. If and when I get my life back on track and feel like having a heart to heart with them, I will let them know so that it comes from a postition of strength.

In the meantime, I very much enjoy taking the oppurtunity to discuss mental health on this forum. I am also going to be getting psychotherapy next month, so hopefully I will be able to work on my issues in a controlled and structured environment which I think would be more beneficial than prematurely become open with my friends and face potential stigma. I wish that society as a whole would take a more mature view of mental health, but let's face it, that will never happen in the near future. Politicians often talk of improving mental health services, but as long as we live in a country where they spend 3 times less money on mental health than we do on fixing potholes in the road, we won't be able to move forward until they put their money where their mouth is.
 
NWiddi

NWiddi

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I think that's a very fair assessment Jajingna, on the subject of voice hearers I know some that are very open about it and some who keep it a secret except with other hearers like themselves.

I have a friend that keeps her voice hearing a secret, she enjoys my friendship because she can be 100% open about it but with most of her other friends, her boyfriend and especially at work she doesn't talk about it. She works within the NHS and at times cares for people who hear voices and has told me about colleagues of hers who have come forward with having some kind of mental illness and how they've been treated terribly by management because of it.

She tells me "Shh, I'm undercover" lol. But for a lot of voice hearers it's easy for us to go about the world passing ourselves off as neurotypical if we so desired.
 
midnightphoenix

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Some people in my family, and my bosses at work, don't believe mental illnesses are even a thing. I don't have bipolar but thats one of the ones I have heard bosses at work have treated another colleague different just cause her son has bipolar (treated different as in targetted her without it being blatantly obvious, they dance along the reportable line)

she ended up being forced out of the workplace
 
Ozymandias

Ozymandias

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She works within the NHS and at times cares for people who hear voices and has told me about colleagues of hers who have come forward with having some kind of mental illness and how they've been treated terribly by management because of it.
This is very concerning, and it's not the first time I've heard such claims about the NHS... it's worrying when an organisation whose entire reason for being is healthcare can't even treat its own chronically ill staff with compassion.

However, the cynical side of me noted the word 'management' in the passage I've quoted... typical British (neoliberal, really) bosses' attitude of treating staff as though they're robots who live only to work?

Some people in my family, and my bosses at work, don't believe mental illnesses are even a thing. I don't have bipolar but thats one of the ones I have heard bosses at work have treated another colleague different just cause her son has bipolar (treated different as in targetted her without it being blatantly obvious, they dance along the reportable line)

she ended up being forced out of the workplace
It's one thing to treat somebody differently because they have a mental illness - and bad enough - but to do so because a relative is mentally ill?! Again though, bosses... a lot of the people who become managers in this country just aren't particularly great human beings; after all, in my experience you really do need to kind of be a dick to get ahead in Britain. As such, I think many folk who 'get somewhere' see mental illness as a weakness because, from the perspective of people who put material success first and foremost, it frankly is a weakness if that's what's most important to you.

Again though, judging someone because a relative is ill... that's especially bigoted.

For a long time my mum openly questioned the severity of my illness, but not because she didn't believe in such maladies. Quite the opposite - she suffered considerably from mental health problems of her own. The issue was that sometimes she wanted me to do things she couldn't do herself due to her illness, which happened to be difficult for me as well because of my own condition... I got annoyed, upset, and sometimes outright angry on those occasions because it was as though I was always supposedly to somehow magically and conveniently 'get over it' whenever she needed me to.
 
J

jsmacks

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This always astounds me. I just can't understand that depth of ignorance or denial.

Yes. It seems better than it was like 20 or so years ago but it is still an issue for some.

I remember being told to "fake" my way out of feeling depressed as a teenager. I think my friend was trying to give me the best advice they had but I think there are still alot of people who think you can fake your way out of depression.
 
Ozymandias

Ozymandias

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I remember being told to "fake" my way out of feeling depressed as a teenager. I think my friend was trying to give me the best advice they had but I think there are still alot of people who think you can fake your way out of depression.
A few years ago I had a friend who loved the saying, 'fake it 'til you make it!'... did my head in to be honest. She had an eating disorder and so very much 'believed' in mental illness, but... she was just one of those people who believed that 'positivity' and 'hard work' can get a person through anything and everything. And that's fine in and of itself... the problem is such people are often so fucking pushy about foisting that attitude onto others.
 

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