If You Live With Mental Illness, Do You Tell People?

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Deciding to tell people or not about your mental illness is not an easy choice. Read more about telling people you live with a mental illness at HealthyPlace.

If You Live With Mental Illness, Do You Tell People?

Living with mental illness can be overwhelming. In addition to coming to terms with the effects and symptoms of mental illness and creating a positive life, many people face the intimidating decision about whether or not to tell people about their mental illness diagnosis (Disclosing Mental Illness at Work, or How to Get Fired).

"Do you tell people?" is a common question in mental illness support groups and in casual conversation. There isn't, however, a common answer. Whether or not to tell others about your mental illness is a personal decision. (When Do I Tell My Boyfriend/Girlfriend I Have Bipolar Disorder?) People typically decide based on fears of negative consequences, hope for positive consequences, and the degree of comfort they have with themselves and possible outcomes.

People have many reasons to keep their mental illness private, and others have many reasons to be forthcoming. If you are struggling with the decision about telling people, write down your fears, your imagined negative and positive consequences, your goals, and what you might gain or lose with your choice. Keep in mind, too, that the decision to tell people about your mental illness isn't all-or-nothing; you can pick and choose. Sharing your mental health experiences is a process rather than an event.

Related Articles Dealing with Telling People You Live with a Mental Illness

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: What factors are/were helpful to you as you decided whether or not to tell people about your mental illness? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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Share our Stories

At the top and bottom of all our stories, you'll find social share buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites. If you find a particular story, video, psychological test or other HealthyPlace feature helpful, there's a good chance others in need will too. Please share.

We also get many inquiries about our linking policy. If you have a website or blog, you can link to any page on the HealthyPlace website without asking us beforehand.

Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Can A Verbal Abuser Change?
  2. When Do I Tell My Boyfriend/Girlfriend I Have Bipolar Disorder?
  3. Mental Health Therapy Benefits

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Stand Up for Mental Health

Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign

But we still need you. Let others know there's no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog (buttons for family members, parents, mental health professionals and organizations too). We also have covers for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


Latest Mental Health News

These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

  • Childhood Trauma Associated With Worse Impulse Control In Adulthood
  • Depression And Obesity Common Among Bipolar Patients With Exhausted Stress System
  • Greater Weight Loss During Aging Associated With Increased Risk For Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Repeated Traumatic Experiences Throughout Infancy Multiplies By 7 The Risk Of Psychosis
  • Maternal Obesity And Diabetes Linked With Increased Infant Autism Risk
  • Women With Sleeping Problems Far More Likely To Develop Diabetes
  • Treating Major Depression In Older Adults With Diabetes May Lower Risk Of Death

That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index


APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, February 4). If You Live With Mental Illness, Do You Tell People?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Last Updated: February 4, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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