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"Coming Out"


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The thread about the episode of House with BP in it inspired me to start this thread...basically, the BP guy was afraid to come out to his finance about his BP...

What about you? Are you open and out of the closet, or do you keep it on the down-low, even to your closest friends and family?

Personally, my family knows because they're all BP too and I've been DXed since I was 7. No secrets there! As for friends, after I know someone and trust them, I kind of joke about it to let them in on it. I used to be the poster child for NAMI and blab it to the WORLD, including at WORK, but now it is Top Secret at work. NEVER will I tell again at work!

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I'm still half in the closet so to speak.  My mother knows, because she came to a therapy session and I trust her and know she loves me no matter what.  Dad...would never tell because he thinks mental illness in itself is something one makes up in his/her head.  Total jerk in otherwords.  Not worth telling.  Brother, suspects but isn't for sure...unless my mom has fully disclosed which is entirely possible.  Don't really care if he knows, because we are like peanut butter and jelly.  SO.  Love him more than anything in the world.  Confessed I might be before i was dxed in a sort of drinking induced crazy-sad spell.  Too worried he won't ever believe me.  He'll never see it because I'm pretty sure I'm making it up in my head......  He's got a right to I guess, cause it wasnt diagnosed until now....but I wish he could take a peek into my adolescance and teens....then he wouldn't have ANY questions whatsoever......

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It's good that you can confide in certain people, plus your family. Only my Mom knows in my family..cause she is bP, too.

I have told two friends and one seemed a bit put off for awhile afterwards..but has come around again. I was pretty low key when I told her, too. Didn't get into psychotic episodes.  I told my other friend ALL very bluntly but quietly, and he is fine with it.

I did tell one person at work..and would never tell again. I know she told someone.

I wish so much there wasn't the stigma. I would not mind telling. But wishin' isn't going to make it come true, sad to say.

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I'm starting to become a little more comfortable telling a few people. It's funny, I just got my hair cut a couple of days ago. Falling out thanks to depakote, decided to have it sheared pretty damn short. The stylist was asking why I wanted so much taken off, I mumbled some excuse. Then she washed my hair. Made a comment about how much hair I'm shedding. I finally told her I was on a medication that was causing it, and she started asking questions. She was *not* really being nosy, they were polite questions. Anyhow, I ended up saying I had been depressed, she confessed to being on an AD, at the end of the appt we were hugging. Didn't expect that! I didn't tell her everything, of course, but did talk about the BP part. I sometimes feel like I'm ready to shout it to the world, who the hell cares, I'm an artist anyway, we're all weird, right?

My immediate family knows (parents & sister).

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my point is, nobody ever believes me...it took my parents 9 months to believe that i had lyme disease, only when it got into my spinal fluid and attacked my brain.....anyone ever had a spinal tap???  could have avoided that had my parents not be fucking torturers...

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I'm not terribly open about it, but I don't mind telling.  It's not like a secret or anything.  My parents know, my brother ought to (but hell, I haven't even talked to him since... August of '03?) and most of my friends, at least those in semi-regular contact, know.  Also, my barber knows as well, but hey--she's practically family, having grown up with my dad (way on the other side of the state, like 400 miles away, ain't life funny?) and having cut my hair since I HAD hair.  Oh yeah, I went to college with her too...

Also, I was completely open in rehab and AA.  Most people didn't understand, like didn't know a damn thing about BP, but all were supportive.

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I'm cautiously open with people I meet in life. My roommates know. They're a little off-kilter themselves...but once, one, tipsy, said to me seriously in front of others "we all know who the crazy one is." I laughed it off but still. Otherwise, I hide my pills  when I have company. But I don't lie. If it comes up, I'll 'fess up.

I would never tell anyone at work. Everyone seems sooo nice, but ultimately, any office is political and it would be stupid to hand over weapons for others to use against you.

MI is still very misunderstood today. It's just not a good coming out environment.

7

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It's kinda weird..today I went into an art supply store and a girl I used to work with was working there. I told her I was on med leave and not likely going back ever. She started telling me that she was going to AA and then she blurted out, "I'm Bipolar". I told her I am too and she said she was going to ask me if I was.  It was a relief to be able to come clean with someone that I know. 

I wouldn't do this with most people, but it seemed right at the time. I really, really wish we could come out of this closet. 

Doesn't seem right..people with cancer , lupus, ,etc. don't usually have to keep thier affliction secret from friends.

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I do my best to be VERY open with people I know. Sure, I've lost some friends, but they're not really worth it anyways.

I've found that by being open I get so much in return. People stop acting like I'm a drama queen.

However, working is a different story. I told a co-worker I was starting Zyban  (Wellbutrin) to stop smoking and he got really upset and started talking about how those meds "mess with your brain".

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heh, i suppose in this respect i'm lucky.

when i finally got diagnosed, everyone i knew basically said,

"fucking finally. oh well, at least we know youre offically crazy."

---

i am manic or mixed all the goddamn time and i guess it shows.

<3

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I'm pretty open about it too.  I think it needs to get out there.  That said, I have run up against some pretty small-minded people who think I should just get over it.  Then again, before I sought help and missed most of my life as a depressed zombie going thru the motions when I could and lying in bed under the covers when I couldn't, I thought *I* could just get over it.  It took years for me to admit and understand that I couldn't just spirit myself out of depression, that it was beyond my control.  And once we (pdoc and I) started to medicate the depression, the mania came out.  I still think sometimes I can control that and try not to medicate myself until I start to get bad and realize that I can't.

So, long story short too late, you will run up against people who won't understand and refuse to try.  Be open if you are comfortable, but don't be open at your job if you can.  It's not worth it.

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My issue at work is that I am a contractor, not an employee, so there is no HR to go to. My contracting firm would *die* if they knew and pull me from my job right away, being afraid I'd spazz at work and they'd look bad. If my clients knew, they may spazz or take it well. Anyway, it isn't a risk I'm going to take.

I need a pdoc with night/weekend hours, however the pdoc at my clinic doesn't do that. I'd like to back to an old pdoc, except I owe him about $400 and can't afford that right now!

As far as keeping it a secret, everyone knows I'm crazy, and some people know about my DX. Even people at work notice I'm different, but don't seem to feel it is negative.

I wish I were in the position to come out as the NAMI poster girl and confess/proclaim to the world, because there is so much misinformation and stupidity in our world about our disorder. But because of that, we need to keep silent. I guess we're like gay people in that regard. They had to stay in the closet, like us, and look *normal*, and even have families and kids to mask their sexual orientation. Now being gay is more accepted. Maybe in time we will be more accepted, too.

loon

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My parents know. Hell, my mother was my sole support system through my last psychotic mania.

I've told as many people as I can face. Some have dumped me, some don't understand and don't want to talk about it, others are supportive. Only a couple of them know about the psychosis because I think it's the hardest thing for others to deal with, it was certainly the thing that took me longest to come to terms with.

I've had the last 6 weeks off college and when I go back tommorow they'll all want to know. My plan is to say I'm bipolar, and then if they ask, they can be told. I'm a little concerned, but what the hell, it's my illness and I can't help it.

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My immediate family knows, and whichever members of my extended family I speak to regularly. I'm still only the second bipolar.

My boyfriend knows. He has some experience with MI himself, and he's the most incredibly supportive real-life figure I could hope to know.

My close friends know. If I couldn't tell them this, how close could they really be? Most don't make too big a deal of it. Some are equally crazy. There are a couple who have had such bad experience with the mental health system, though, that I only mention it delicately, where absolutely necessary. Hitting them over the head with my journey will not help them, at least not at this stage.

My not-so-close friends may or may not know, depending on whether it has ever felt appropriate to tell them. Most do.

My employers two jobs back knew I was being assessed for bipolar, and were very supportive. They just wanted me to feel better and be happier and all that sort of thing. Two of my supervisors were like my surrogate parents through that period. Simply wonderful.

My employers at my last job probably know something, but certain managers had made derogatory comments regarding mental illness in my presence, so I chose not to disclose my own struggles... except to one asshole who was claiming his asshole-ism was "being a bit bipolar." I had to tell him, "I am bipolar. You are an asshole."

My job in between was okay, but I never actually disclosed. They were very nice about my little breakdowns, though. Tried to help me fix up my life in what ways they could.

My profs know. I LOVE my profs. A few of my fellow students know (more than I'd like, in some cases), but I don't really talk to most of them. If it seems appropriate, I speak. With my medical notes for this semester, though, there'd really have been no way to hide things from my profs even if I'd wanted to.

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Heya,

Came out to ...

(paraphrasing our various responses)

Me:  Ah crap.  Fine.  Great.  Bipolar.  Fuck.

My doctor:  Is this you?  Okay.  What do you want to do about it?

DH:  What's that?  What does this mean?  Are you okay?  Will you have to take medication forever?

My sister:  Well, we were worried about you.  [her DH] is bipolar.

My friend (and colleague):  You've done well, you should be proud of yourself for doing this well.  BTW, I'm MDD.

Nobody else just yet.

--ncc--

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  • 2 weeks later...

to friends, in a matter-of-factly way. We are a little of a weird bunch, I'm the 4th to come out as bipolar in the gang. And, c'mon, people catch up after a while that there is /something/ about me. Many meet the "I'm bipolar" thing with some variation of a "well, duh"

In college, when I had to and there was no way out of it, I just handed in an official declaration from my Pdoc saying I had been ill during that period. He put in the CID code for MDD rather than BP because of the stigma, even, but no questions were asked.

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Everyone in my family knows what I have been diagnosed with. When it comes to anyone outside the family, if mental health issues come up in conversation and I see that I can contribute to a conversation in a positive way by discussing my mental health issues then I will share. Otherwise, unless asked I don't divulge the information. However, on my personal website, online my blogs, online journals, and online diaries I am open and honest about my diagnosises and all the crap that goes along with it.

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