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Does it help or hinder letting people know?

Community Member

Hi again, now that I've introduced briefly my story previously I have a question that has been playing on my mind through out the years. Please lead me to the right part of the forum if I'm in the wrong area. I've learned some coping skills along my journey with this illness. I've also learned that in the process some people have questioned me making it difficult to protect my own health and the wellbeing of my family. Whilst I have made a 10 year commitment to becoming actively involved in my children's school , sports clubs voluntarily and keeping the family connected socially with outings etc, I find at times particularly school holidays that there is only so much the whole family can cope with. School holidays are approaching and there are already 6 structured social engagements planned involving other friends/families. Ok, it's nice I keep telling myself that it's wonderful having these connections both for myself and the children.

So why do I start to feel overwhelmed? My guess is because instinctively it's already too much. Too much that I have given in to against what I know I can cope with. There are 10 weekdays over the break. That leaves 4 days to fit in normal day to day living, appointments for the dentist etc whilst kids are out of school. I also like to have unstructured, settled/ unplanned days where the kids see a more relaxed mum who tries to be spontaneous with our time.

My question is, if I told people about my illness and what I can and can't handle would they care enough to support me? Would it pose more problems?

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi again Sharny

I've covered thus topic somewhat in my latest thread "charity begins at home" find it and have a read.

The best thing to do us drift away a little. The thread Topic:they won't understand, why- beyondblue (google it) describes the naivety in the common world. Only 1 in 10 will understand. Poor odds.

Tony WK

Thank you, I read that post and it makes sense.

Community Member

Hi Sharny. Unfortunately in today's world there are still many people who don't understand or care when someone has an illness that they can't explain. Having the 'flu', common cold, tummy bug, broken arm/leg are everyday happenings. Even immediate family don't always understand mental health because they see it as a sort of weakness, unless there are other sufferers in the family. Any form of depression is the most misunderstood illness because non-believers will often accuse the sufferer of being weak and malingering. I fully concur with Tony and anybody else who answers your post. My ex in-laws will even go so far as to use the old 'snap out of it' expression.


Community Member

Hi Pipsy,

Thank you for your reply. Yes I identify with what you mention and my gut tells me that even though I've tampered with the idea of late re: letting people know, my instincts head in the direction of keeping a lid on it. Very sad indeed. To think, mentally ill people weather the storm, find new ways of coping and engage on a level they can handle in the course of their lives and this is something to fear expressing? The reality of what you say though is very true. I have no doubt there would be compassionate people who might empathize but until you know who they are, self esteem could be more damaged when sharing and perhaps not getting a supportive response. I have a sibling who has the same illness as myself who chooses to keep it to himself purely for fear of losing dignity. I sometimes feel like talking with him, but its closed off and he has the same as me! The stigma associated with mental illness is terrible. It does nothing but isolate and make things harder in daily lives.