As if it’s not enough that we have to struggle with our own brains, there are people out there that will freak the fuck out upon learning that we have any type of mental illness.
The first time my dad saw all the medication I need to take, he made some crack like, “What, are you crazy or something?”
After I was first being treated, my employer asked me why I had so many doctor’s appointments. I was naive enough to tell the truth - that I was seeing a psychiatrist for a mental health disorder. My boss, very concerned, whispered, “Have you ever thought about harming anyone here?”
For several years, I thought it was my responsibility to put a good face on mental illness, to go public, to educate people. But there are too many people who won’t listen. And that hurts me. It hurts my chances for employment. It hurts my social opportunities. It opens me up to ridicule.
None of us is required to be open with everyone about mental health status. A person needs to earn trust from us. Some of us may be in a better position to be open about it than others, but I support anyone’s decision about how much they wish to disclose. There is too much ignorance out in the world for it to be safe for all of us. I am grateful to those who are able to be ambassadors, educating the public, and helping make the world a bit more safe for the rest of us.