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Thursday, July 29, 2010 BiPoPastor, Community Member, asks

Q: When people learn that someone is mentally ill, what words might they use to describe that person?

More than likely, someone who knows and likes you might change their opinion once they learn that you are mentally ill. Typical behaviors, such as forgetfulness, humor, anger or aggressiveness, might now be seen as symptoms of your mental illness. No matter how well you might know a person, you can't predict how they will respond, or whether or not a friend will remain a friend. What goes through their mind when they make this revelation? How will you now be described to others?

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Answers (2)
Donna-1, Community Member
7/31/10 5:27pm

I'm not sure what you are asking...


The mentally ill person would use "informed" to describe the person who now knows.  The person who knows might use the word "he" or "she" as appropriate to describe the person who is mentally ill.  There is no need for labels or descriptive phrases that sometimes lead to stigma.  Too often I have made the mistake of saying I have schizophrenia or depression, only to regret it later.  We are all human with a wide range of emotional responses to life.  Unfortunately, one of those responses is to exclude a certain population because of a label.

Chris, Community Member
7/29/10 10:12pm

I really like your post.  I'll subscribe to this thread to see the other responses. 


Here's my .02

It definitely changes the relationship. 

FAMILY - they coddle you, or suffocate you - definitely wear kid gloves.  This really pisses me off.  You try to educate them, but you're not educated yourself.

They forget, or certain things stick in their mind and they zero-in on that one thing, EVERY DAY.  

FRIENDS (really close) - they stay friends.  They're the ones that visit you in the hospital after you crashed and burned.  One friend kind of monitors me, if I'm forgetful, she lets me know (privately with appropriate sensitivity).    Just out of the hospital, they want information, like a youtube video or something, something convenient and not overwhelming.  There were NAMI classes, but there's not enough NAMI interest in Dallas to justify a class. 

FRIENDS (arms length) - I don't tell these people, period.  I'm personally paranoid of it getting out.  It would kill my job search possibilities, and my work that I do is such a tight nit community. 

INTIMATE - I'm not intimate at present.  Though one of the posters on this site, him and his wife are both bipolar.  And he says it works.  Sometimes I think I should only search for a mate out of the bipolar pool of people).

WORK - don't tell

WORK-MANAGER - ESPECIALLY don't tell...Only deal with HR, there the only ones who will keep a secret, they are bound.

--Again, I like the question you posted!

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By BiPoPastor, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 07/29/10