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Making others understand your illness

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Hi, i was just wondering, how did you make others understand your illness? Your family and friends, Your boss, Your teachers. Is there something one can do to help others understand what happens in our heads? I have had all kinds of responses from people, from complete shock to a calm reaction. Some have gotten mad. Some have mentioned god. But what could we say to them? How to educate them so they dont freak out when we loose control? How to explain to them that we need meds and hospitals but that we are not "crazy"?

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I just have given up on telling anyone. Only my husband and my treatment team know. No one else knows my true diagnosis.

I don't like all the hate and stigma attached to SZ disorders. People don't get it, IME.

If you absolutely have someone who absolutely needs to know your exact diagnosis then be prepared to explain the symptoms or have a book or print out ready to hand over to the person or to read to them.

I always lie if it's not pertinent that they know my exact diagnosis. I'll say anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc. But I will not say SZA.

I guess I'm in denial still. But seriously no one knows what SZA is and I don't want to explain my disease to them. I feel like it's none of their business. I don't want them looking down on me because I have this illness. 

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I still can't believe I felt comfortable enough to tell my old boss when I was working about my condition..

I was deeply suffering and symptomatic and not doing well..in fact it was before I was fired..

Her response was confusion and not understanding whatsoever..

Made me ashamed..

I will never tell an employer again..

Not that there will be one since I'm on disability..and can't work..


I also made the mistake of telling my dentist..

He looked at the list of meds and asked what's wrong with me..

He acted like I was going to bite his face off..


I'm not even sure if my own brother understands..

As he never talks to me..and when he does it's in a tiptoe manner as if I can be set off..


In my experience with this illness people look at you through a lense of you must be crazy..

Maybe it's all in my head..but that's how I've been made to feel..

I've tried to be open..to break through the stigma..to just present myself as human..

But it's backfired..even in my own family..


I've since gone silent about it..

I no longer tell or bother explaining anything..

If I do ever meet anyone new I probably will hide it for as long as I can..

If I'm symptomatic..I will lie and say I have the flu..and avoid that person until it hopefully passes..




Edited by coraline
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I told my former work supervisor when I was completely out of it and headed to the hospital.  In retrospect, I wouldn’t have done it just because it’s highly personal info to give to a professional colleague.  That said, it went over okay.  It probably helped that at the time I worked for a non-profit that I’m part worked with families with disabilities, so there was a better understanding of mental illnesses.

i would have had to reveal eventually when I asked for a reasonable accommodation, but I only would have had to tell HR.

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21 hours ago, Angerr said:

Hi, i was just wondering, how did you make others understand your illness? Your family and friends, Your boss, Your teachers. Is there something one can do to help others understand what happens in our heads? 

I believe that that you can't really make someone understand, if they don't want to......I can't even work or go to school due to my MI, so no worries here about bosses, co-workers, or teachers.

My family and a few close friends know about it, but I don't think they even want to understand it...........When I try to discuss my difficulties with my own sister, she eventually says "I don't feel like talking about this anymore", or "It's so depressing to talk to you"......

Wow, thank you, sis,.....:(

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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Never tell work unless it's for an accommodation and only what they need to know.

Workwise..I never tell them I'm calling in sick as I'm losing my mind. 24 hr flu, stomach bug, food poisoning. Everyone understands those.

Treatment professionals? My optometrist and dentist gave me a raised eyebrow or two but didn't act weird. I went with "mood disorder" to explain some of the weirdness that happened as an SE. Would have provided more info, but they did not ask so I did not volunteer.

Personal life, on an as needed basis. Unless the person you are talking to has experienced it or some other sort of MI, they're not going to understand and things will just be awkward at best, shit at worst.

Edited by argh
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There are some close friends I have that always try to be supportive...and it works...as long as I don't overshare and ignore the occasional in poor taste comment by reminding myself that they are doing their best. Of course I've also had it go really wrong but that's been more when I've been super symptomatic to the point of just blurting out my emotions

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