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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 5th 2014, 09:46 PM

I was talking with one of my friends and she turned to me and said, "It's a little odd to be telling your friends about your mental issues... but whatever works for you." After reaching out to someone, I felt so great, but she completely shot me down and now I'm wondering - is she right?

Do you have a close friend/close friends that you share personal stuff like this with or am I just weird?
   
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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 5th 2014, 10:03 PM

I am really sorry that your friend responded in this way when you opened up to her. I think her response was the inappropriate one. I have never had a friend respond this way. I told one friend about my anxiety cause she felt like she was crazy for having anxiety issues, and I told her she wasn't cause I did too and she was like "thanks for telling me that, I am glad I am not the only one"... I told another friend in greater detail (ex. how I have wanted to hurt my self, how I have wanted to purge and so on) and she was really understanding because she has problems too and she was saying she was sorry that she didn't know how much I struggled.

I don't think it is the sign of a kind, caring or understanding friend who just shuts you down for opening up... I am very very very bad for bottling up all the negativity, so even the people closest to me will only be told the surface of what I deal with. And I know that's not necessarily good but it means I would be very upset if, when I did open up, it was dismissed. I know many people who are open about it.

I think some people don't know how to react because mental health is still stigmatized a lot and many people just think you shouldn't talk about it. I used to be embarrassed to admit that I had ADHD and therefore got help at the accessibility office at my university so I could get extra time on exams and help organizing my time, study skills etc. But I just learned to say it, "I go to accessible learning" and if people want to ask I'll tell them...

But to be honest, in my hometown people are very old school and I've told people there that I have ADHD and they laughed at me and were like "oh no way, you don't have ADHD" and I was like "well, you are stupid obviously"




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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 5th 2014, 10:11 PM

If the person is kind enough and you know him/her well enough to trust him, it isn't that weird. It's good.


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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 5th 2014, 11:17 PM

Hey,

I think her reaction was a bit odd. The thing is, mental health is still really stigmatized. She is probably still under the impression that it should be "hush-hush."

I know that I've told some friends about what I struggle with, and they were all (for the most part) supportive and helpful when I needed someone. Some of them even related to me, which was great because I didn't feel as alone.

You might have been shot down this time, but you won't be shot down every time. If you have another friend you feel you could trust with this, then tell them and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, you always have us on TH to help you through. (kidding... somewhat.)

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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 5th 2014, 11:45 PM

I think it really depends on the person, some people just aren't comfortable discussing it. That doesn't mean you're wrong for reaching out, it's more that they just aren't the right person to deal with these issues. I personally share if I'm really overwhelmed by something and the anger or anxiety is starting to interfere. It took me years to be comfortable doing that, but helps that I'm in a counseling program, so all the friends I've made are willing (at least to an extent) to listen to me vent for however long I need to. I did eventually go to a professional though.


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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 6th 2014, 12:14 AM

Before, I tried talking about my mental illness to my friends and either they thought I was joking, they acted like my issues were the least important things, or they overreacted and told me I needed to be seeing someone or be sent to a hospital. And it was for things that weren't so big for me like the anxiety I experienced and some self harm thoughts. I never spoke of the bigger things like the hallucinations because I was afraid they'd judge me or act like it's nothing. What your friend said, I think, is rude. She should recognize that you telling her all that you said shows that she's a close enough friend to you and that you count her as maybe a support.


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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 6th 2014, 12:51 AM

I do not think it is weird to reach out to a friend for support. Especially if you think they will be understanding and supportive.
I have a friend that I am more honest with than I am with other people about these things (I have told other friends I have certain issues but rather vaguely and after opening up to them, we do not really discuss my issues much but I know they would be supportive and are if/when I need them).
I am sorry your friend reacted that way. Maybe she is not very educated on mental health issues and how to be supportive of people that have those issues. She also could seem very stigmatizing of the issues because she may not know anyone else (to her knowledge) that live with this.
Do not give up on talking to friends just because of one person: not everyone will react as she has even if the first few friends you open up to say similar things. There are people in this world that are very caring, willing to listen and be supportive in whatever way they can.


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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 6th 2014, 02:11 PM

God no. You would tell your friends if you had broken your leg/have tonsillitis/whatever. Mental health problems are just as real and are just as debilitating as physical illnesses.


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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 6th 2014, 03:42 PM

It's not weird at all. In fact, I've had conversations with friends about our various therapists. I also have quite a few friends with mental health issues of their own, so that might be why. There's nothing wrong with it, unless it's the ONLY thing you ever talk about.



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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 6th 2014, 10:11 PM

To me its not. Its like a million times harder to keep it all inside you. My one friend who told me her stuff that she was hiding it for months said she felt a lot better after telling me. Its easier when you have at least one person you have to listen to and its totally normal to feel better after telling people about mental illnesses...
   
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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 6th 2014, 10:28 PM

I am a really private person so I don't share everything about my struggles with my friends. However, I have one friend that I talk to about the things that I have/am going through. Personally, I don't think it is weird that you confide in your friends about this. If you are comfortable with this and it helps you should be confiding in them. This is a way for you to get support for everything that is bothering you and work on getting to a better place. Don't let what one person told you stop you from sharing with your friends because I am sure there are a number of them who are glad to be able to support you.


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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 6th 2014, 11:00 PM

It's not weird at all! Friends are there to support one another, and I bet that if she wanted to vent, you'd be there for her, too! They can be great listeners sometimes! I know a lot of my friends have their own problems as well, so we can identify with each other but that shouldn't matter. Friends are there for one another.


   
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Re: Is it weird to talk to your friends about your mental health issues? - August 8th 2014, 11:32 PM

Its not strange at all. Telling your friends about that just goes to show that you are very comfortable with that person. The reason why your friend reacted like that was most likely because she probably wasn't expecting you to talk about it. Its normal.


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