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Re: stigma and mental health

Aw, it must have been really hard to have your family not believe you @Agenderandproudofit - I'm sorry that happened Smiley Sad

 

Thanks for sharing @hunginc. I think, generally speaking, it is totally okay to not tell employees or your university, especially if you feel uncomfortable.

 

I personally believe that, generally speaking, your health information (whether physical or mental) is private and you don't have to share it with anyone you don't want to...and people shouldn't feel bad for not sharing..it's not like others have a "right" to know...rather....it's the affected person who has the right to choose who they share such information with. Plus, who knows if the other person has something they're not telling you...

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Re: stigma and mental health

@hunginc I'm with you! I got diagnosed with bipolar in 2018 and my psychiatrist flat out told me to keep it quiet because I would get discriminated against by employers etc. I also really hate the reactions to having bipolar, it does have the 'psycho' connotations and that unpredictable scariness and there's always an 'ooh...' when you say it to someone. It also hurts because the only experiences I have with bipolar people in my own life has been people who really aren't the sort you want to be associated with, which is a further inspiration to not say anything. I've definitely had my bubble popped when someone has made a bipolar comment and I haven't been able to say anything without 'outing' myself Smiley Sad

 

I'm very lucky that I have friends and family who accept me and I do appreciate the diagnosis for explaining a lot about my past and present difficulties but it's also a very heavy burden to carry a lifelong mental illness in that way. Even though you're totally entitled to privacy even in your worst moments it would be lovely to be able to be open and honest with everyone about them...

 

I think @Taylor-RO made a good point about thinking about the responses people will give. Sometimes it's just not worth giving people such an important piece of information about yourself. And that goes for positive things about you too, if they would become tools for manipulation or cruelty in their hands!

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Re: stigma and mental health

Thanks for sharing some of your experiences with us here @StormySeas17, it's a shame that you have had some bad experiences with others though. I am sorry to hear about that Smiley Sad. It's awesome that you have some really supportive friends and family available to you. From the sounds of it, things have been going well for you lately, you have a really positive attitude Heart
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Re: stigma and mental health

@Eden1717  @Sophia-RO  @StormySeas17  @Maddy-RO  @hunginc hiya!

 

Just thought I'd check-in and see how everyone was doing- this topic can sometimes be tough to talk about, even in safe spaces like this one- and everyone has been so open and understanding so far, which is great to see. So, I'd just thought I'd see where people are at? Feel free to update us if you like, though of course no pressure Smiley Happy

 

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Re: stigma and mental health

@Tay100  I am still having some trouble with this, I know i have a right to privacy and that my particular diagnosis comes with a lot of stigma but it also affects me significantly in my day to day life and it is really hard to find a balance between my privacy and constantly having to come up with random reasons as to why i am not as functional as my peers. especially when i have to do group work with uni it is just that my mental health impacts me too much for people not to notice something is up even when i try really hard to hide it. but then telling people the truth would just make them run away or stop talking to me. 

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Re: stigma and mental health

@Eden1717  it's such a deeply personal decision about what to disclose, and how much detail to give, especially if it feels like you're having to hide something from the people around you. Totally fine if you'd rather not go into this, but I'm wondering if you've ever told friends in the past at all? 

 

I've been really interested to read through this thread, it's such an important conversation to have - and the right answer really looks different for everyone.

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Re: stigma and mental health

@Eden1717 I see, it can be a tough space to navigate- and a social balancing act can make it all the harder. Have there been any strategies for group work that have worked for you? We could point you in the direction of some helpful threads on the forum if you like- you aren't alone in this experience, after all.

 

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Re: stigma and mental health

@Janine-RO @Tay100  I have told some friends and pretty much all the friends that I did tell have stopped talking to me with zero explanation so I can only assume that it was related. The only other friends that know are ones I was in hospital with who are a lot more understanding. 

‘The uni stuff is hard because I am having to do a lot of group work and it is kind of a problem but idk everything is a problem with uni at the moment. 

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Re: stigma and mental health

I am glad you have some friends who have been understanding @Eden1717. It must hurt to feel like your other friends have stopped talking to you as a result of being open about your mental health.

In an earlier post, you said that your mental health can be hard for you to hide when you are doing group work at uni. This might be something you have already done.. but would you feel comfortable telling people that you are struggling with your mental health at the moment? The only reason I suggested this is because it seems as though you dislike having to hide it and come up with other reasons. As everyone has said, you don't owe anyone this information and it is up to you. This could be a balance between telling people but also not telling them everything.

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Re: stigma and mental health

@Eden1717 hey there, hope you are doing ok today

 

It's good that some friends were understanding, and of course, disheartening that others aren't understanding as much. Give them time, space and compassion (let them know you are still the same person and great friend) and maybe they'll process it and reach out to you again. We can talk more on this subject if you like, but I understand if you want to leave it be as well- it's up to you.

 

Uni is a whirlwind- groupwork doubles this for anyone! Have you talked to your tutor about it? They may be a great resource to help run things smoothly. If you feel ok, you could tell the group members what they need to know.