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Who do you tell your BiPolar?

H

healthybrain

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I thought it would be good to be open and tell people Im bipolar, as it would explain my behavior. But now Im finding lack of knowledge about it might make people betray you. Then you have this stigma attached to you, almost like its a choice. So all you nice folks out there who do you tell, who do you tell?
 
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fluffpill

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Nobody. Even the person i opened up to the most in a depressive state once doesn’t know my diagnosis. I am so scared of opening up about the exact diagnosis.
 
Zero One

Zero One

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My husband kept telling me that I am okay and there is nothing wrong with me and I need to stop taking my medicines. So I showed him how angry I really get...because I usually fix anger fast in my thinking If I'm not having an episode. The outcome was not good at all; it frightened him and he started to try to prove to me that he is more of a badass than I am. Really I just need to have mental health cared for so I'm not such a terrible person doing things I regret. Anyways with all of his touching and teasing I hit him on a few occasions but I was overall trying not to be violent.

Now the only person I tell is my psychiatrist, although he already knows.
 
Bipolarbear808

Bipolarbear808

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I thought it would be good to be open and tell people Im bipolar, as it would explain my behavior. But now Im finding lack of knowledge about it might make people betray you. Then you have this stigma attached to you, almost like its a choice. So all you nice folks out there who do you tell, who do you tell?
I'm not too self conscious about being bipolar anymore (hence the name), so I tend to tell anyone that ask. I find that mental illness is a lot less unique than we tend to think. If they're honest; I find that most people suffer from some sort of mental affliction, be it anxiety, depression, or even bipolar. And, I also find that most people can relate to my struggles even if they don't have a diagnosis.

I understand that other people are really private and don't like to disclose their disorders. I also know that there are stigmas about mental illness in general and that sometimes it's simply not worth the time or effort to explain things. I can completely understand that point of view and I respect it.

But, for me, I'm tired of hiding who I am in fear of being judged. Being bipolar for better or worse is now a part of who I am. And, if I am going to live a fulfilled life then I have to accept all parts of me. Just my 2 cents.
 
HLon99

HLon99

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In my experience, it should be on a need to know basis. You should probably clue in your family so that they can offer their support should you be in crisis. If that's not an option then a trusted friend perhaps. If you have a good, understanding boss at work then you could consider telling him so that he can give you time off when you're sick.

As for everyone else, the less they know the better. Mental health is a very personal issue and still widely misunderstood by the majority of people. Even though many people with bipolar disorder go on to live fairly normal lives, holding down jobs and starting families, we are still treated like whackjobs. I do believe its important to start a conversation to counter against this but not at the expense of your own wellbeing. Tell the wrong person and you will find yourself being met with criticism and judgement rather than support and no doubt rumours and misinformation will spread like wildfire. If you absolutely feel as though you need to talk to someone in the heat of the moment perhaps consider telling them you suffer from anxiety or depression, i.e. a more "socially acceptable" form of mental illness.

If you get to a point in your life when you feel secure in your abilities to cope, have a stable job and a loving support circle then yes by all means start that conversation. For now, keep your support circle small and be weary of who you trust.
 
K

keith74

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I'm not too self conscious about being bipolar anymore (hence the name), so I tend to tell anyone that ask. I find that mental illness is a lot less unique than we tend to think. If they're honest; I find that most people suffer from some sort of mental affliction, be it anxiety, depression, or even bipolar. And, I also find that most people can relate to my struggles even if they don't have a diagnosis.

I understand that other people are really private and don't like to disclose their disorders. I also know that there are stigmas about mental illness in general and that sometimes it's simply not worth the time or effort to explain things. I can completely understand that point of view and I respect it.

But, for me, I'm tired of hiding who I am in fear of being judged. Being bipolar for better or worse is now a part of who I am. And, if I am going to live a fulfilled life then I have to accept all parts of me. Just my 2 cents.
bipolarbear - I'm glad to hear that you feel this way. My wife has kept her diagnosis as secret as possible for all her life until now. She was rightfully afraid of the stigma attached to the illness. Unfortunately her desire to hide her illness led to additional stress/anxiety in her life... and frankly contributed to her last recent manic episode. She hid her diagnosis and medication when she went in for a routine surgery at hospital recently. This is because she also works at that hospital and was afraid that her friends and co-workers at the hospital would find out about her illness if she disclosed it to anyone. So before surgery when she was asked if she is on any medication, she hid the fact that she was on her mood stabilizer meds. She also did not bring her meds to the hospital so that no one would find them. During her stay, she started to get very paranoid that people would somehow find out. As we know, paranoia is a trigger (of course going off her meds didn't help either). It wasn't the main cause of her going manic but it certainly didn't help. As she reflects back on her manic episode, she has decided to be more honest about her diagnosis. In some cases she must since she had to explain her behavior to people who saw her manic. She found that most people were quite understanding and supportive. She felt if she was more open about it from the start, she may not have had an episode... or people would have recognized she was headed towards one sooner. As she discloses her illness to more and more people, she said she feels a weight being lifted off her shoulders and no longer feels anxious about it anymore. I'm very happy for her because it was a difficult step for her to be more honest about it. But so far it has been a good thing for her.
 
H

healthybrain

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Thanks guys. Yes be very careful who you trust. Maybe as some have said like bosses (could also get you fired) where it effects your work. People probable forgive more if they know something is wrong. But like a lot of you said telling people is opening a can of worms. I told a neighbor and now it seems when people see me on my street they shy away from me. People are very misinformed about this and their interpretation attaches all these negative connotations to it.

I'v been honest a lot of my life but it has backfired many times. People don't have to know everything about you.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I tell my parents, my psychiatrist, my counselor and my case manager about my mental health issues. No one else needs to know. If it does come up I tell people that I struggle a lot with Depression which is an illness I assume they understand.
 
HLon99

HLon99

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Thanks guys. Yes be very careful who you trust. Maybe as some have said like bosses (could also get you fired) where it effects your work. People probable forgive more if they know something is wrong. But like a lot of you said telling people is opening a can of worms. I told a neighbor and now it seems when people see me on my street they shy away from me. People are very misinformed about this and their interpretation attaches all these negative connotations to it.

I'v been honest a lot of my life but it has backfired many times. People don't have to know everything about you.
Absolutely, there will come a time in your life when you will be ready to tell your story. But it may not be right now. Stop worrying so much about what other people know and don't know and just focus on yourself.
 
Bipolarbear808

Bipolarbear808

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bipolarbear - I'm glad to hear that you feel this way. My wife has kept her diagnosis as secret as possible for all her life until now. She was rightfully afraid of the stigma attached to the illness. Unfortunately her desire to hide her illness led to additional stress/anxiety in her life... and frankly contributed to her last recent manic episode. She hid her diagnosis and medication when she went in for a routine surgery at hospital recently. This is because she also works at that hospital and was afraid that her friends and co-workers at the hospital would find out about her illness if she disclosed it to anyone. So before surgery when she was asked if she is on any medication, she hid the fact that she was on her mood stabilizer meds. She also did not bring her meds to the hospital so that no one would find them. During her stay, she started to get very paranoid that people would somehow find out. As we know, paranoia is a trigger (of course going off her meds didn't help either). It wasn't the main cause of her going manic but it certainly didn't help. As she reflects back on her manic episode, she has decided to be more honest about her diagnosis. In some cases she must since she had to explain her behavior to people who saw her manic. She found that most people were quite understanding and supportive. She felt if she was more open about it from the start, she may not have had an episode... or people would have recognized she was headed towards one sooner. As she discloses her illness to more and more people, she said she feels a weight being lifted off her shoulders and no longer feels anxious about it anymore. I'm very happy for her because it was a difficult step for her to be more honest about it. But so far it has been a good thing for her.
I'm really glad your wife had a good experience opening up about being bipolar. Like a to of people in this thread have said, they feel judged once they start telling people about their disorder. I however have had a similar experience to your wife; now that its out in the open I don't stress about having to try to cover it up anymore. Glad your wife is doing better and wishing you guys the best!
 
K

keith74

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I'm really glad your wife had a good experience opening up about being bipolar. Like a to of people in this thread have said, they feel judged once they start telling people about their disorder. I however have had a similar experience to your wife; now that its out in the open I don't stress about having to try to cover it up anymore. Glad your wife is doing better and wishing you guys the best!
Thanks! It has been a positive so far. I do agree with others that there is no reason to disclose to everyone for no reason. She is still telling people in a "need to know basis" but she is no longer trying to actively hide her diagnosis. In the past, when she invited friends over she would go out of her way to hide all evidence of the medication in our home. Now she just leaves it where it is and if people happen to see and ask about it, so be it.
 
S

squizofrenia123

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I have told random strangers about my diagnosis and have never heard from them again. I have not told anybody at work though. I feel as if people view me differently once you disclose. So, it is better not to disclose if you don't have to do so.
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

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If people ask I'm honest but the people I've told includes my family, my friends, my boss, some of my co-worker, my psychiatrist, my social worker and my doctor. I've stopped caring if people are condescending or judgmental, if they're not willing to accept me for who i am they're not worth my time.
 
SlowlyUnravels

SlowlyUnravels

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Close family and a couple friends.
 
Heartbroken

Heartbroken

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I thought it would be good to be open and tell people Im bipolar, as it would explain my behavior. But now Im finding lack of knowledge about it might make people betray you. Then you have this stigma attached to you, almost like its a choice. So all you nice folks out there who do you tell, who do you tell?
I've decided not to tell. I told someone whom I thought will understand and who is bipolar too, but he was only looking for someone to help someone who is bipolar, he's not bipolar and telling me what all I should do without knowing me, and just wanted sex from me and finally said I'm confused and they can't give me what I want. What I wanted wasn't a relationship with him which he doesn't believe. I didn't even talk about a relationship. I feel humiliated.
I told someone close to me, they take it well.
I haven't told someone whom I was very closely involved with because I don't think he will understand and accept me as I am now that I've been diagnosed.
So I'm withdrawing from everyone I know and hoping to find someone, friends who understand what it's like to live like this
 
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