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Who's in your "circle of trust"?


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I have ADHD (managed) and depression. I've remained mostly highly functional, but some people around me have noticed some differences. I've spent 2 years trying different med and have settled on a good one.

But during that time, I realize that I was very absent in a lot of peoples lives. Cancelling on friends and family, not returning phone calls, acting strange, even physical changes like weight fluctuations and some hair fall from the med-go-round. People ask questions, and I lie about a lot of "flu type bugs".

Only my husband and bff girl are in on all this.

Do you tell more casual friends in a non-dramatic way so they know what the hell has been wrong with you? What about family? My parents don't know (I'm 33, no biggie).

I'm not real cool with deep sharing, but some people deserve explainations for funky behavior.

Thanks so much for advice! x

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It is a completely a personal decision on how (and how much) you share with whom. Me, I live by a "need to know" basis about my bi-polar, but I don't keep it a "deep dark secret". I mean, if someone asks, or brings it up, I'll tell them in a casual manner that I have bi-polar, but until then - they don't need to know. My mother is apathetic, my father says it explains a lot, my friends generally take it in stride, and those that have issues with it either deal or leave. Those that leave - I don't need them anyway.

Co-workers, I tend not to tell them unless they're mentally interesting too or unless they *really* need to know. Bosses, I only tell them if my doctors appointments or meds might interfere with my work schedule, other than that, they don't need to know. In all cases, it's not a "big" issue, but a matter-of-fact thing I bring up. I feel that the bigger deal *I* make of it, the bigger deal the person I'm talking to is going to make of it, so I play it casual.

Oh, and if anyone asks, I generally mention that I have my bi-polar under control with medication.

Anyway, I hope that answered your question...

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The close people in my life are friends from AA, family, and some co-workers.

So AA people know because they've witnessed my moods. I went from being the sober life of the party to total withdrawal from life a few times. I've been hospitalized too.

Family knows. It's hard to hide hospitalizations and being out of work for months at a time.

So people I work with know. First I quit my job to get sober in my first big depressive episode. Then I went back to the same job. Since then, I've been out of work 3 different times for a period of months. And people can see my moods change when I am working.

So lets see...I guess just about everyone I know knows about my bipolar.

Oreo

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A friend knows I have "mental health issues", but she doesn't know what they are. Another knows more details. It all depends on who you're comfortable telling what. And how it impacts your day to day life. For me, my PTSD brings on intense flashbacks and I'm afraid of them happening in front of people. Thus, some friends know so they know what to do if I start freaking the heck out.

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the only one with whom i can share all the crap going on is my mom. my dad knows only a tiny part of it. everyone else in my family think i'm a "pretty happy little apple" or something like that.

my friends know about the bp, some about the meds, but no one gives a fuck. they don't even understand what mania is. and when i try to explain them, they give me o_O kind of looks. they only say "now that explains why you so moody" ;)

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All my co-workers and bosses thought that I was the perky life of the cubicles until I almost died through overdose. Only a few members of my family (those I live with and those who rushed to the ER) because we generally don't want the rest to worry. As far as my friends, only those who I know that really knows me are told of my condition. I only tell people who care and who wants to understand why I am and act this way. ;)

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My family knows. My mother and younger sister don't believe I am BP.. I guess they equate that with what they hear on the news. My older sister knows and understands. She was a psych. nurse for 25 yrs. My brother has BP1. I don't talk to him. He's unmedicated, unless you count crystal meth. and coke medication. He has ruined his life and his family has suffered so much. I have tried to reach out to him, but he doesn't want to talk to me. I guess that's for the best. But he just recently got dx'd. Anyway, I don't tell anyone at work, when I actually have a job. No way. And I don't have any friends. So that's about it.

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I'm not a big fan of self-disclosure. That's why crazyboards is so important.

In the past, I've told three friends I've known since grade school or college, two of whom are also MI and the other who is a licensed therapist and works for DCS. They know how bad it gets and don't require the usual explanations or soft pedaling. Some of my family knows; one brother, mom, and my son. Bro and mom have a hard time understanding it because I've always been the strong one in the family. My son knows more but I try to keep it somewhat light with him since I'm his only parent and he's an only child, though how you have a light talk about suicide (he asked) is a tricky one.

There's going to be more disclosure soon, though. I'm going to have to talk to my boss about accommodations, if I don't get fired first. Pdoc is talking about ECT if there's another antidepressant failure, and someone would have to drive me there three times a week. Two close friends at work have cornered me and asked what's wrong. My facade of competence and good humor has crumbled of late. They've known for awhile that I take antidepressants, but only recently have I tried to explain what depression is really like when it gets bad.

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Some friends probably deserve to know more than others. Think about who can keep a secret, who seems open minded, who has some mi issue and understands these things a little, etc. But probably don't take too many chances with getting too specific unless you really trust someone. In some cases you can probably say that you were having a rough time for a while but have been feeling better lately. (Unless you think that person will automatically assume substance abuse or something.) Anyway, some of the people you know are probably worth trusting, but many may not be.

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