AM 125 Nuvigil, 10 Adderall
afternoon 10 Adderall
PM 10 Zyprexa, 20 Prozac
I received a request on The Topic Request Survey on how to tell people/talk about mental illness. Since this was one of today's Post Secret Sunday Secrets, I thought it was the perfect time to touch on this subject.
I talked about common reactions to our crazy news here, I talked about when to tell people here, and I touched on one of the benefits of telling people here, but I have never talked about how to talk about it.
So now I will...
How to tell people you don't know very well you are crazy.
I honestly don't know. I'm still figuring it out myself.
Wow, that was helpful wasn't it?
Let me try again...
There is nothing shameful about being crazy, but that doesn't mean it's easy to admit or talk about. Especially if it is someone you don't know very well.
So what's the best way to do it?
Beats me, but I'll tell you how I do it.
If it is a newish friend I want to tell, I usually just slip it in. I often use crazy pills as a segue. I complain about my Zyprexa weight gain for example. I might say, "I'm doing Weight Watchers because I really struggle with weight gain as a side effect of one of my medications. I take Zyprexa because I'm bipolar, and man, does it make me hungry and fat."
I usually bring it up as a simple fact in a non emotionally charged way. I don't immediately blurt out ways my craziness has destroyed things in my life or suicidal tendencies. That is a conversation I save for close friends.
I'm not recommending you hide things; I think you should share whatever you want, with whomever you want, at the time you want to. But I, personally, save those conversations for people who are close to me. Or I blurt it out, publicly, here on the Internet.
Tongue tied? You can save time and just wear this button:
I am very open about my mental illness because I want to be able to help. I want to offer understanding to others who are bipolar, and I also want to be able to educate anyone who is curious. But I am still reluctant to bring up my crazy behavior until I know someone well. Or at least until I know their intentions.
I have found, most people have good intentions. Most people want to understand, not judge. Talking about our own mental illness puts us in a vulnerable position. No one wants to be unfairly judged. Including me. But the more people who understand mental illness, the less stigma there is - and any world with less stigma is a better world.
How to talk about being crazy with someone you are close to.
This is like the Sunday Secret:
"The fact I can't talk about my depression is tearing my family away from me."
Talking about being crazy with someone close to us, can be more difficult than someone we don't know well. At least it is for me. I know that seems strange, so I'll try to explain.
I can't speak for anyone else, but it can be very hard for me to be honest about my illness with those I love. I want to protect our relationship. If I'm depressed and suicidal around them, they might not want to be around me anymore. I don't want to be a burden. I don't want to be a party pooper. I don't want to lose their friendship. But as hard as it might be, we need to allow other's to be there for us. I'm still figuring this out myself.
So how do we talk about being crazy with someone we are close to?
Openly and truthfully. If we do, we can be supported in our times of need, and our relationships can move forward.
That's all I've got.
Trust that whatever decision you make about who and how to tell, will be the right decision for you.
Even if it's just sporting this t-shirt:
Until next time...