Disclosing a Mental Health Condition to Others
One reason to tell family and friends about your mental illness is to receive encouragement. Simply talking to someone sympathetic can reduce your stress level and improve your mood. Maybe you have mixed feelings. You might be afraid loved ones will judge you or feel uncomfortable around you. It can be very stressful if you're afraid to tell people but feel pressure to do so.
If you're stressed about whether to tell other people, you might feel better if you write down a list of pros and cons. If you're afraid, the list of pros can remind you of the rewards of overcoming your fear.
The time to tell someone is going to depend on several things:
- When you're well;This helps provide a calm environment to introduce whomever you speak with to adjust to the idea.
- When it serves a purpose; There are nearly as many reasons to disclose as there are to stay silent. Different people have to decide when and if the risk is right.
- When you're ready; Telling people is a very personal decision. It might help to be able to practice disclosure with a professional, such as a therapist.
By telling the right people and suggesting ways for loved ones to help, you can start building a strong social support network. At first, you might be afraid to talk about your experiences. But don't give up looking for support and encouragement from others. You'll discover that many people want to help you. Read full article here.
Source: NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness