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Telling friends about diagnosis?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

How much do you share with friends about your condition/diagnosis?  I have never told any of my friends about my anxiety and depression until recently, when I told one very close friend.  I think part of the problem is that I was raised to think it is something shameful that you don't talk about.  For some reason, the other day I told an online friend (that I have met IRL) about it via e-mail, and haven't heard from her since.  Now I'm embarrassed for oversharing and wish I hadn't mentioned it.

post #2 of 6

I don't have insurance so I am not diagnosed. Well not recently I guess, I was about 8 years ago but haven't recieve continuous treatment for it. Anyway...your friends should be there to support you and help you through. If they aren't willing to then they really aren't your friends. I tell my friends quite a bit but only recently have shared the severity of it all. The more you share with people the less stigma there is. Plus I feel like it helps to explain some of the irrational behavior, me hiding/avoiding them, and other oddities they have witnessed from me. Good luck and hopefully you will find great support from your friends!

post #3 of 6

I don't tell people until I feel they are close enough to me not to judge me.  For example, only 3 people in my real life currently know.  So obviously it's not something I share really.  It's not that I'm necessarily embarrassed by my anxiety and depression but it's not something that I think a lot of people understand.  Most people who casually know me just think I'm a little quirky or flaky.  They don't understand that the "quirky" part of me that keeps me from visiting the grocery store at certain times of the day or leaves me making lists constantly or the "flakiness" that has me blowing them off for parties or texting instead of calling or always finding excuses to avoid social gatherings or telephones or making plans to go places is severe anxiety and agoraphobia.  Maybe if I shared that information, they would be supportive and the stigma would be lessened.  But maybe they would also just be like everyone else who doesn't understand why I can't just "get over it" or why I can't just "relax a little" and why my therapist is on my speed dial and I can't handle anymore judgement.  So I've only told 3 people whom I knew would understand or were close enough to me to see my panic attacks and see the changes in me with med changes and therapy.  

post #4 of 6

I've always been very open about the issues I've had.  Unfortunately, I find that either a) people start to judge me (you're over reacting, you're not doing enough, you're not trying the right treatment, you need to do x, y, and z, you shouldn't do a, b, and c, etc.) and/or b) they decide they don't want to deal with the baggage/ quirks that I have.  gloomy.gif 

post #5 of 6

I don't tell anyone.  I think the only person currently in my life that knows about my depression and anxiety is my DH.  I don't even like my children knowing about it, but I will most likely tell them when they are older (they are little still).  I guess it is a sort of denial.  Like if nobody knows, we can all pretend that it doesn't exist.  Not real logical.  I also hate being sick (in any way) so I don't like having this illness that I can never get rid of and must proactively treat for life.  I suspect I would feel the same way if I were diabetic or had lupus or any other type of illness.  People look at you differently when they know you are sick.  I would rather keep it private.

post #6 of 6

I only tell people if it comes up, and I feel it's pertinent. If one of your friends has decided to cut you off because of your illness, they're not your friend anyway. Hugs.

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