Abigail asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

If you have a mental illness , do you feel ashamed to tell people for fear of judging?

I am a mental health nurse and wondered if societies negative opinions affected you inn any way? I feel proud of my patients and their ongoing recoveries, but they come across many hurdles in the shape of ignorance, media coverage of "mad" people etc

Update:

carol and lisa, thank you for your answers.they are great

Update 2:

thefog, I actually agree with you. I have tried for a long time to get my patients need met with local authorities with Disability living allowance and assisted bin collections. They are really quite predjudiced at times

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've told some family & friends, and kinda regret it. My General Practice Dr treats me like I'm crazy now. I had to go in to him to get a referral & had a panic attack in his office. A lot of people don't understand and don't WANT to understand. They automatically assume that since your under going therapy or taking medicine that you must be insane. It almost takes away your right to feel anything that people don't like because then they can say it's the disorder/illness. One of my ex's actually used to use the knowledge of my disorder to try to get sex. It's not worth it! Only 3 close friends know and honestly, I wonder if that's too much sometimes.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Although I think the stigma for many mental illnesses in the US is much less than the past, it definitely still is a problem. Yet, I sometimes wonder if we fear repercussions more than anything, at least in some settings. I work for a local gov, so my employment is secure and my benefits are good with safe long-term leave time for medical reasons. I had my first real manic episode and was diagnosed (finally) about two years ago. I didn't have to disclose, but I told my boss because I needed a couple months off and he is a genuinely nice man, not to mention I had bipolar blabber mouth. ;) He was great about it. I just transferred to a different dept and also had a med change that left me with a lot of cognitive dulling for a bit. Unfortunately, I met with my new boss in the middle of it. I later chose to tell him I had a seizure disorder instead of bipolar. There is less stigma and it was sort of honest because I have had a neurologist say that I may have been having simple partial seizures most of my life. However, they are not why I'm on meds and may need allowances at work. So, even in a "safe" place to tell, I am very reluctant. I've just heard too many side comments about mental illness to willingly chance hurting my credibility and future career growth.

    Otherwise, my family and friends know. I don't share with those that aren't close.

    As to the different treatment by medical staff, I have experienced it w/one doc so far. What an ***. My appt was a waste of time. The terrible lesson is to not share with medical personnel unless they may be prescribing meds, and even then I'm apprehensive. I can drug check online and confirm w/my psychiatrist that there are not interactions. That sucks. My dentist doesn't know for this reason. I'll take the risk because it's not really his business.

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  • Canan
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Unfortunatly, mental illness is not getting a fraction of the attention that other 'physical' diseases get. It is because most of the workings of the brain are not fully understood.

    Imagine a patient with an acute myocardiac infarction (versus a mayor depression), do you think the nurses and doctor's would amuze themselves about some of the patients aspect's (as I have sadly witnessed many times)? Do you think it would be acceptable for this cardiac patient to wait for weeks for medications to work?

    Despite some understanding and tolerance in the U.S. (more so than anywhere else I have seen so far, including "advandced" European countries, there is still a lot of ignorance

    If I would tell people about anything so serious as mental illness, I would just jokingly mention it. This way there would be always a way to talk yourself out of it. Yes, people with mental illness are made feel ashamed and are being pre-judged in general.

    Source(s): EMT
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  • Elena
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I definately dont tell people what my problem is... this excludes my family, doctor and psychologist, but includes

    My employer

    My friends

    Extended family

    Society in general

    There is just too much prejudice. I only recently found out that the medication that I take has made my memory extremely bad and it has affected my job performance. This I cannot let my employer know even though Ive had two disciplinary sessions where they have accused me of being incompetant. When I applied for the job they had required that we be open about any medical ailments that might affect the job, and I didnt disclose that I was getting treatment for fear that I would be rejected.

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  • I have Asperger's. Im female so it's less common in women. I have to learn to play the game and consciously think about what comes natural to most NTs (body language, nonverbal cues and tone of voice) I try to be as normal functioning in social settings by smiling and setting a good attitude. At work I must be professional. I avoid telling everyone about my condition. Though sometimes I am tempted because I think my differences are obvious to others. And it would make me feel better to tell them why I act the strange way I do sometimes. But I am very intelligent and that kind of makes up for my weird mannerisms

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't have a problem with it, if I feel I can trust someone with that information. (I have BPD.) I am shy of telling an employer at the start because of the stigma attached. I have told a potential gf at one time, but she got on the Web and hit a website that told unflattering things about people with BPD. Needless to say, she was gone in a New York minute. I don't care much though; I think its important to be up front in a situation like that.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I read a news article this week that 70% of people would not disclose that they had a mental illness, but they would tell if thy had cancer. Unfortunatly there is such a stigma attached to mental illness that encourages discrimination. I've personally experienced this. I've seen patients is hospital with a history of mental illness treated differently. I don't know how we can change society views of mental illness, but we need to.

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  • 4 years ago

    mental health is nothing to be ashamed of,im Glad your feeling better now,congrats on getting into uni by the way!! if at some point you decide to tell anybody that's fine to.there isn't quite the stigma surrounding mental health as there one was,obviously there are ignorant ppl about,choose your friends wisely and best wishes for your future

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm very open and let people know about my problems, not complete strangers though. But if I'm going to get into whatever kind of relationship, I feel the other person has the right to know a little bit. Although, this often has a negative effect.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i have had obsessive compulsive disorder,anxiety/panic disorder for many years and my biggest fear is illnes,if i get an ache i panic its something bad and i wont be in control of it so i do feel ashamed to be totally open to family and even my gp,my partner thinks i am being silly panicking all the time about illness i think i may get,my gp has had years of me visiting him with non urgent matters because of anxiety,i have been on the same tablets at the same dose for 8years.people have judged the way i am am thats why i feel i cant be open

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