Why Talk To A Professional

Because your mental health deserves expert care. In a world where stress, anxiety, and life’s challenges can feel overwhelming, our team of experienced therapists is here to be your compass in the storm. Please don’t go through these struggles alone; let us help you find your way to calmer shores. Connect with us today, and together, we’ll work towards building a stronger and happier you.

Disclosing To Others

In an ideal situation, the people close to you should understand your mental health condition and offer support. However, it’s possible that some important people in your life may not fully grasp mental illness and might want to help but don’t know how. To help your friends and family better support you, it’s valuable to plan a conversation about your mental health.

Reasons to Talk About Your Mental Illness
There are several good reasons to discuss your mental health with your family and friends. One key reason is to receive emotional support. Just talking to someone who cares can reduce stress and improve your mood. You might also need specific kinds of help, like finding treatment or transportation to appointments. In some cases, you may want to share your crisis plan with a trusted family member.

You might have mixed feelings about telling others about your condition. It’s natural to worry that loved ones might judge you or feel uncomfortable around you. If you’re torn between wanting to share and being afraid to, it can be very stressful.

There’s no strict rule about how many people to tell. Some people find it helpful to tell a wide circle of family and friends, while others choose to confide in only a few close friends and keep it private from others. You are the best judge of your own situation and can make the decision that feels right for you.

If you’re struggling with the decision, it can be useful to make a list of the pros and cons. While some people may not fully understand, there can be advantages to sharing your condition with those who will. If fear is holding you back, the list of pros can remind you of the benefits on the other side of that fear.

When Is The Best Time to Share

  • If you feel the need to disclose your condition when you are not feeling well, consider reaching out to the most supportive person in your life to help you tell others. Otherwise, the timing of your disclosure depends on various factors:
  • When You’re Well: Sharing when you’re feeling well provides a calm setting for the person you’re talking to, especially if they have limited knowledge of mental illness.
  • When It Serves a Purpose: People share for different reasons, often depending on the person they’re telling. You might share with a loved one because they’ve expressed concerns about your behavior or thoughts. Or you might tell a friend to help them understand why you can’t spend time with them or to ease their worries about your increasing distance. In the workplace, you might disclose to secure necessary accommodations. When and whether to disclose depends on your specific circumstances.

When You’re Ready: Disclosure is a personal choice. To prepare for it, you might benefit from practicing with a professional, like a therapist. This preparation helps you address any concerns you may have and decide whom to confide in.

Who Is The Best Person To Share With
Talking about mental illness can be delicate. In addition to thinking about who to tell, also consider the pros and cons of keeping it to yourself. Everyone’s situation is unique, so reflecting on these factors can help you make the right choice.

Offering emotional support is a skill not everyone has. It’s something that takes practice, and some people may not be good at it. If you have family or friends who lack this skill, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about you.

Make a list of the people you’re considering telling. Include those you’re closest to and those known for their emotional intelligence, even if you’re not as familiar with them. Evaluate each person’s ability to offer understanding and support. Which of your close friends and family members are good at providing support when you’re feeling down? Who are good listeners? Identify the people you can turn to for these conversations.

In the Workplace
When thinking about sharing in a professional setting, weigh the pros and cons. Consider potential negative effects like co-worker stigma and your need for accommodations, which are protected by your civil rights. Before disclosing, understand your legal rights and evaluate your work environment.

In Personal Relationships
In friendships or romantic relationships, sharing your mental illness typically leads to one of three scenarios:

  • The person is comfortable with your disclosure, and the relationship remains the same.
  • The person is uncomfortable and ends the relationship.
  • The person says they’re fine with it but gradually withdraws from your life.

After disclosing, you might worry about how others will react. A good sign that they can handle it is if they treat you the same as they did before. True friends remain supportive, and colleagues continue to be polite and interested. This is often the best outcome.

Knowing that certain people understand and support you can be very helpful. While some individuals may distance themselves, having a strong support network is valuable.