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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

Why is it so hard to talk to people about mental health?

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RedYeti

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May 14, 2020
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Been struggling for a while. I know it’s good to talk to people about it but I just can’t do it, I’ve only told one person about it.

Anyone got any advice on how to?
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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First be very selective about who you tell because it can come back to bite you especially in cases of employment, the rumor mill, etc... next just open up and be honest. I find if you spend more time with peers like in this environment it becomes easier to open up about stuff because most people here talk openly about it. The more you talk or otherwise share about it the easier it becomes...xo, j
 
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Purpleplum

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It's hard to talk about it because of the stigma surrounding it. Movies portray those with MH problems as dangerous. At best, it's looked at as a deficit.
 
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Shay94

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Balga. Perth
Its hard talking to others about mental health, especially close friends/family. Be very selective of who you choose to confide into as some people pretend to be there for you but don't really care or try to understand what you're going thru. Its much easier if you have someone that's been thru it themselves/has similar experiences as you'd be able to talk bout what you're struggling with more freely rather than feeling ashamed/guarding what you say etc. My partner suffers depression/anxiety as well, on top of schizophrenia - I don't know much of it but am learning/researching it to try understanding it & help him cope with it, we make bits of progress with each other's problems every day and we make it work. Am always here if you wanna chat :)
 
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RedYeti

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Appreciate the advice guys.

Last night I managed to open up to some of my friends. I wasn’t planning to, but my friend wasn’t in a good way talking about a lot of problems. It felt like the right time, even if it just gave him a piece of mind.
Felt good, group of 20 year old guys talking about some pretty tough stuff. There really is help out there
 
Direisalone

Direisalone

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Glad you managed to talk about it with someone, hope you guys can continue to talk and support each other
 
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Shay94

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Glad to hear you talked bout your struggles with someone, keep supporting each other and have each others backs. Give it time and you might find it easier to open up to someone else you fully trust. Don't forget we're all here for you too
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

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Thing is we're all different. Not everyone is on your side, and a diagnosis can be all the excuse some people need to blatantly lie, manipulate, or use as a get out of jail free card... Then there are those who have all the answers, and expect you to blindly follow their advice because they told you to, and there are also those who will sort of help you to a point, lead you in until you become dependent on them, bleed you dry and then discard you when you're no longer of use to them! Then there are those who actually listen and respect your privacy (personally I don't think there are many around like that)! Finding the right person/people to listen to you and actually be a help can therefore be like looking for a needle in a haystack, and some that are a friend today, can turn out to be your enemy tomorrow. Character and strength of, is important!
 
jajingna

jajingna

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I was feeling bloody out of it the other day with a rough hangover, and talking to my brother who is just about the only person I talk with these days. I said things that he was not keen in hearing.

Like, we've known each other for decades and still don't know much really about each other.

There's so much inner life and experience that rarely get formulated into spoken words. It can find a place in writing more easily.

Anyway, his discomfort was second place to my need to say some things.

Like, I've pretty much had social phobia forever, can't stand the telephone either, and even he doesn't really see that for what it is, nobody quite sees your anxiety, do they? They just see your behavior, and may never know the reason for it, just as you see others act, and don't always know why they behave as they do.

It can open up wounds and vulnerabilities, talking and listening to such things. We've had so much illness and pain in our family, and as middle aged men we are burned out from it, tired of traumatic events, feeling compassion fatigue like health workers often do.

Empathy is not boundless, and we all have our storage of hurts and sorrows. Many wounds are still sore and it's scary to expose them lest they hurt even more. To speak of trauma is to relive it somewhat. That's not a happy prospect usually. Especially for men. You know, tough guys and all that nonsense.

At the same time we'd like to heal, and never opening up is neurotic. People use drugs, alcohol, food, whatever to ease a pain. Pets are good.

Stigma will persist because this stuff is frightening and painful and unpredictable. Mental illness is a nightmare. Nobody likes nightmares. We all want to feel safe and secure and comfortable. Most of us, I suppose, are just not fully capable of speaking openly to each other, and listening well, about something we consider a nightmare, though talking can shrink a monster quickly.
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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Its hard to tell people about mental illness cause a lot of people without any mental illness are judgemental (i speak from experience) :( , my advice is only tell people who literally need to know :hug:
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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irl example from me: couple of people i know started bullying a work colleague cause work colleague's son has bipolar disorder :(
 
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TyFence

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Jul 21, 2020
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202
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NorCal
I only tell doctors, psychologists and close friends. It makes me nervous. I try to be totally open with them and find out some stuff and get some work done. Everyone else it ends in an awkward moment. I try to make sense to people and focus on them. I want to get to know them and what they like to talk about. Otherwise I will feel rejected and am often anyway. It’s part of life.
I like to talk a little but only enough to feel better.
 
daddyspader

daddyspader

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Jun 3, 2020
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Taker's Tights
For me personally, it's a mixture of things.

Part of it is, most of my family has very little (if any) knowledge of what I deal with on a daily basis, and quite frankly I feel like most of them have no desire to try and learn/understand. I have repeatedly explained things to my mom about how I feel, what I endure because of my mental illness, and that this is something I cannot get rid of, yet she still has the "just be positive and it will go away" mentality. I love her to death, but it really feels as though she isn't really listening.

Another part is, it makes me feel very vulnerable. I try to be open about it, but truthfully I don't want people seeing that side of me. It's an ugly and dark place, and I feel like it won't do any good showing it. I know I hide my illnesses (overall) very well, and that is probably why people struggle to grasp how bad it is. Very VERY few have seen that exposed side, and even then they still don't get the full picture. My husband is probably the only one who has seen me in all my 'crazy' glory.

I've started out small, by sharing articles and whatnot via text and social media. (I doubt they are read, but it's my attempt to try and explain myself.) I also try to ease myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to opening up. I SUCK at starting conversations, but if someone starts it, I can usually keep it going, and if it is in reference to this, I try to say as much as I am comfortable with. It really depends on the person - some people I can be more open with than others.

I know that isn't the best help, but I hope I am able to help you at least feel a little less alone in this battle. Just give it time - you'll open up at your own pace. <3
 
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