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Not sure I did the right thing



In the past I have gone to great lengths to hide my MH problems as when I was a lot younger, and I did admit it to some friends I did come across alot of misunderstanding and dare I say it prejudice. Admittedly they were young adults, and as much as I came across some stigma, I also had a lot of caring, open minded and non-prejudiced friends who were in fact very helpful.

However being in the mind I was back then I took all the negative responses to heart, and decided to hide my problems to avoid any more.

Recently, I have had a change of attitude, mainly because I know of alot of people with MH issues in all walks of life, because I feel very well supported now, have a more in depth understanding of my issues/where these problems came from and because I have achieved things in my life that most people thought I was 'incapable' of. I tell more people now, not as an introduction but when things interfere in my life like having to take time off, can't meet them, when I have been in hospital or when I lose gain weight substantially and they ask questions. These days the response has been quite different. I have rarely come across any negative reactions. I put this down to people being better educated, that these people are older/wiser, more MH issues being intelligently discussed in the media (bar the sensationalised stories that are negative, we all know what they are, can't wait until the press get bored of these stories, and put the blame back on the shoulders of failures in the health system). Even this site has given me confidence to be more open.

However last night I was having a discussion with some friends. I do not know them very well, and most of them are retired/elderly, bar one or two. Few of them know about some of my problems, none of them know the true depth. A discussion came up about people that we found hard to communicate with or be around. After a general discussion one person opened up and said that they find it really uncomfortable to be around people with mental health problems and to communicate with them, this person was one of the younger friends, 40s-50s I think. They were sat next to me. I piped up with a response, that "I have mental health problems and I believe you communicate very well with me!" And laughed light heartedly. This was reciprocated very well in the group, I hope they were being genuine. I explained some of my experience of communicating with others with issues, and that we are all very normal indeed. I did not tell them about what my problems were. Another person piped up that in fact most people at points in their life do experience some mental health issues and that it is a human condition. And as things do in general discussion things moved on.

I felt alright about this, but had second thoughts when I got home. I don't want them to think I was looking for any form of counselling/sympathy, and I don't think that I came across that way at all, in fact I was very light hearted. But I kind of want the opportunity to explain to that person, that the only reason I brought it up was that I didn't want them to leavethat night and then for someone to say to them on the QT that I had MH probs and I might have been offended. I would rather have brought it up then. I also wanted to explain and prove that this person may well communicate and associate with a lot of ppl with MH issues but they don't know it because maybe they never discussed it with them, but I didn't get the chance. I don't associate with this person on my own so would feel uncomfortable bringing it up with them. Do you think I got the message across without spelling it out to them? I know this probably sounds a silly problem compared to others, but I do feel bothered by this. Sorry for my rambling, I don't seem to be able to condense my thoughts succinctly!

Your thoughts will be much appreciated!



You had a conversation, you proved you weren't the bogey man, you probably shifted that person's opinion a little.

If they ask questions in future make sure you don't overstep the boundaries that you feel comfortable with otherwise don't mention it. Just keep on being you.


Thanks Dollit, I will bare that in mind. I do hope I have helped clear up some prejudices that person may have held.

And I will take heed of your advice, probably best not to mention it again unless they ask!

I do have a habit at times of saying more than I feel comfortable with then regret it afterwards, but with age and the wisdom that brings I have managed to control it a little more! Thank goodness!

Thanks again!



Well-known member
Founding Member
Feb 14, 2008
Birmingham UK
Handled it brilliantly IMO sapphire - I wish I felt confident that I would do as well. I think my own trajectory has been similar to yours really - I mean towards more openness. And I do think that there has been a very gradual shifting of public opinion and attitudes although there remains an enormous amount to be done.

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