Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

What is honesty and how does it affect your mental health?

Community Champion
Community Champion

I want to discuss what honesty means to you and your health.

People say that they fake being well, or wear a mask so no one knows their pain.Is this being honest.

When we do not admit our flaws and our behaviours does this make it harder to have insight into our illness and harder to get better?

Do we need to be honest with ourselves and others in order to be well.?

Honesty can be a very subjective personal word. What one people feels is being honest another may feel is not.

For many years I was in denial about my illness so I would admit to myself I was ill, I was not honest.

So what does honesty mean to you? So lets start a conversation. All ideas welcome.

Everyone is welcome to comment, new posters, regular posters, I want everyone's ideas.


226 Replies 226

Hi Quirky

If our mental health condition starts to effect our day to day well being we are only prolonging our illness by not being brutally honest with our psychologist/psychiatrist/GP to get the help we really need

To feel uncomfortable/awkward/upset in front of our counselor is an essential part of the recovery process

You have a good thread here Quirky...Nice1

No Pain...No Gain...just continuation of our existing symptoms


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone

Every contribution helps.

Pamela your post was most thoughtful.

You say the truth is always subjective. I wonder if that depoends on how e define the truth.

I think I find that honesty is needed for my mental health,

Blond guy,I agree brutal honesty is needed to ourselves and to health professionals.

No pain, No gain - well summed up Paul.

All comments are welcome here, I am interested in how honesty may play a part in your mental health journey.


Hello to all

Thanks for your kind words Quirky. This thread is really good as for getting things moving mentally & emotionally.

Keeping with the theme of being honest l did that a few times last week by checking that nudge l get inside if l am not sure about doing something, l use to just do it but now l know l do not need to l actually felt good in my HONEST approach to saying no and no guilt at all. It got a quiet yahoo from me. So l do not know for others but maybe feeling ok about no sometimes is an honest attempt at doing your thing. I felt good not being caught up in peoples life in this particular case.

No one got hurt and l did my thing.

All good.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello veryone

Giggles , thanks so much for your feedback. I would Ike to know the secret of not feeling guilt when saying no to someone or just nit feeling guilt at all. I have never known that feeling.

I do worry if I am honest with myself about what I can cope with I let others down.

I am glad this worked for you and it shows how being honest worked for you.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello everyone.

Good discussion going here. It helps keep my mind alert and functioning.

Quirky, Tony and Giggles - Having a need for 'honesty' is good! I'm not trying to say that it isn't. Particularly when you are talking with your doctor and psych - it's essential. If you're not honest then you wont progress with life.

It's just for me that I can see that a person's honesty is based on their own perceptions. And that is okay, it just helps me to understand where the other person is coming from. It can be from a bad place or it could be from a good place. It helps me to not feel guilt, if and when I say no to something. I'm dealing with this issue right now as a matter of fact. My brother, as a child, has anyways said 'no' to something he's just done, when he's done something 'right in front of me'. Flatly refuses to say 'yes', I did that. He still is exactly the same. It's infuriating and I'm trying to understand him, so I'll keep visiting him at the nursing home. It would be so easy to just walk away and never see him again. But I don't, but I am learning to not do things he wants to, because he always has an ulterior motive. It's hard.

Quirky - yes, I think you're absolutely right. It does depend on how one defines 'truth'. Ummm, and as I studied social sciences at uni, I'm very much a follower of Michel Foucault's way of thinking. I'm not sure how to explain how I see 'truth', 'honesty' and 'belief' easily. It quite complex and highly disputed by many of the different disciplines. So I'll leave it as is for now, as how I define truth, also impacts on my definition of honesty.

Thank you everyone for putting up with my ranting..... Methinks I may have to go back to studying again.

Kind regards


Hey Quirky

I read a post from Mandy8 a couple of hours ago which really rang some bells for me as I failed to see a psychologist in the first few years of my anxiety/depression. I was a dill as my symptoms only exacerbated by thinking I would be dwelling on my problems

Mandy8 mentioned "those of us who have never sought help in the past (friends, family, professional) are likely to persist in that same pattern of behavior. This increases our sense of isolation, feelings of hopelessness and the thought that there is no other way through, other than to end things"

Thankyou again for the great thread topic Quirky. It will help many readers of the forums as well as the posters



Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello all

Pamela,a ver concise thoughtful post not a rant at all.

To me asI have written before it is about definitions and perceptions,. AS Yu say so wellHow I define truth also impacts on my definition of honesty.

Paul, welcome and thanks. So are you and Mandy saying we need to be realistic and totally honest with ourselves that we need help that we can't do it alone instead of pretending we are fine .

As i have written before I was in denial for many many years about having bipolar and now I see that denial was being dishonest with myself as a coping mechanism. As long as I could convince myself I didn't have a label I could pretend I was ok and everything would be all right.

The reality was my life wac chaotic, I hurt people I loved and did incredible damage to my reputation and physical and emotional health. Hindsight is a great thing.

I do think you have to be ready to accept te truth from others and to be honest with yourselves.


Hey Quirky

I was only speaking from my own experience where burying my problems under the mat was concerned. It was a long time ago and I regret not jumping into therapy sooner.....but thats only my opinion

Its important that people of any age understand that the earlier any mental illness is treated the better our recovery will be. I am only one person that put off early treatment which only reinforced the anxiety I was suffering from which later morphed into clinical depression (my problem...not anyone else)

To be honest with any type of counselor is a huge step forward towards recovery. I am the same as you Quirky and not a fan of 'labels' either. As usual you are spot on

Any psychological disorder/illness is no different to a physiological illness. Its only in my experience that people who do suffer from any illness reap the rewards of 'letting go' in front of a health professional. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose by doing so

I dont really understand your last sentence. I am just fumbling with 'accepting the truth from others'. You have written a great thread topic here. I am only trying to help our readers and people that are experiencing pain and anguish with any psychological issue no matter what the 'label' is if thats okay

Thanks again for the great post. It is a huge help to the 70% of people that choose to 'read only' and not post...and any posters (30%) on the forums too 🙂

Thankyou for your patience and understanding Quirky


PS...Most sufferers of any illness wears a 'I am fine' mask like I and everyone does. It has been covered on the forums many times. I still do the same. Just for me the honesty comes in by acceptance of our disorder and being proactive and honest with a qualified person that can help us help ourselves find some peace 🙂

Hello everyone,

To be honest Paul I sometimes reread my posts and wonder what I meant and I appreciate your honesty too.

I think what I meant to say was in my opinion some people need to be able to accept the truth from others to be able to be honest with themselves.

For others it could be the reverse.

I suppose on this thread I am just exploring different concepts and ideas and I am interested in contributions from everyone.

Paul your posts are always motivating and thoughtful.


Hi Everyone, this is an interesting thread.

It's virtually impossible for anyone to overcome or to even cope with their own type of depression, I've been saying that for years, we need to talk to someone without any hesitation, someone like a psych just to say 'I need your help'.

Pretending to understand something only to spend hours later trying to figure it out on my own can't and won't work, simply because we avoid those difficult issues, why, well we have no idea of where to start, too scared to even think of them, so we push them aside, but these are the main reasons for our depression.

If you ask for help this isn't any sign that you are weak, it's quite the opposite, you know that you can't do it alone by yourself, that was my mistake and if I had seen a psych earlier then my marriage might have survived.

We do wear masks to pretend to everyone that there is no problem, but even so, a mask can't hide the real you.

'The earlier any mental illness is treated the better our recovery will be.' Geoff.