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Thoughts on telling people you have Bipolar instead of BPD?

Z

Zanebrain

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My question to people is what are your thoughts on telling people (i.e casual acquaintances/colleagues) that you have Bipolar (instead of BPD) if it comes up in conversation?

My thought process is that most of the time if someone is asking about my mental health and I say "I have BPD/Borderline Personality Disorder", very few people have heard of it and it then turns into a conversation where I try and describe it to the person.

As a sufferer of social anxiety I don't always feel comfortable going into great detail about how I struggle with emotional instability with people I'm not that close to.

However most people seem to have heard of, and have a vague understanding of Bipolar and from my experience people usually seems to respond with "oh like up and down a lot, that kinda thing?" Which is much easier to deal with when I'm also trying to use Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness skills simultaneously to avoid hyperventilating into their face.

My conflict with doing this is that I am also highly aware that doing so would not be great for BPD awareness / BPD stigma. Or is it just a bad idea to begin spinning a web of lies?

Anyway, anyone's reply would be much appreciated, look forward to hearing people's responses. (This is my first post btw 😁)

[I have BPD and have been diagnosed for about 7 years and after approx 3 years of DBT am now successfully managing it (with the occasional relapse/nervy-b)]
 
Tanzz

Tanzz

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Don't make a deal about it keep your diagnosis to yourself then people can't judge
 
M

Mistral

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Don't make a deal about it keep your diagnosis to yourself then people can't judge
I agree with this. A diagnosis is to guide mental health professionals on what treatment can be given. It can become an unwanted label if you share it with people who really do not need to know.
 
Z

Zanebrain

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This is good advice 🙂 thanks! Do you have any suggestions on the best way to tell people you struggle with mental illness / BPD without going into much detail or actually specifying the details? Or if they ask you direct questions about if you have a condition, what is a good way to respond to this?
 
Signofthetimes

Signofthetimes

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Hi Zanebrain and welcome to the forum, I don't tell people. I will share with a few close friends that I'm stressed. I don't share my information. I shared only with my husband, but there are things that I can't say to him. I have shared with my sister that I am depressed but no specifics. The few times that I tried sharing more for reasons to help make things more productive or for help it went wrong, so I don't.
Do you have a therapist?
 
M

Mistral

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This is good advice 🙂 thanks! Do you have any suggestions on the best way to tell people you struggle with mental illness / BPD without going into much detail or actually specifying the details? Or if they ask you direct questions about if you have a condition, what is a good way to respond to this?
Say something very vague such as "I have my struggles" or "I have some good days and some bad days". You do not have to go into any details. It is your business.
 
I

IndigoCorkscrew

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I have to agree. Safer to not say anything. Despite what we are led to believe unfortunately many people in society at large still have a huge problem with talking about and accepting mental health issues. Sometimes it's perhaps safer to suffer in silence. Wrong, but safer.
 
D

dewey

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Yeah, I agree don't tell them.

Neurotypicals don't understand jack shit about the hell we go through.
And what's more: they are judgemental.

Most of the time they project a feeling that you are a weirdo or unstable or incompetent onto you, due to their own highly repressed mental issues and lack of empathy.

Open up about it even to those who are supposedly in caring roles and you'll one day get thrown under the bus for it.
Source: a lot of bitter experience with a range of people.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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The few people who know about my mental health issues are either my closest friends, who also have issues and understand as best they can and don't judge, and my partner who knows all of it and who is supportive but can't grasp how it actually feels.

If ever the topic comes up with acquaintenances or in a social situation, I kind of get very flippant about it, say I have depression, anxiety and some other stuff, but no one believes me.
 
C

cranialdamage

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yeah man who cares I go to work and just start talking out loud all day to voices myself what ev people call me crazy they dont understand, neither do some doctors they may have knowledge but not understand one day we are gonna be free from whatever it is you got and be either with some type of god or fade into nothingness.
 
I

IndigoCorkscrew

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Yeah, I agree don't tell them.

Neurotypicals don't understand jack shit about the hell we go through.
And what's more: they are judgemental.

Most of the time they project a feeling that you are a weirdo or unstable or incompetent onto you, due to their own highly repressed mental issues and lack of empathy.

Open up about it even to those who are supposedly in caring roles and you'll one day get thrown under the bus for it.
Source: a lot of bitter experience with a range of people.
Have to agree there, with experience too.
 
C

cranialdamage

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yes my friend its a long long road from which there is no return..
 
C

cranialdamage

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its a hollies song he aint heavy he's my brother
 
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