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Re: how do YOU handle the mental illness question? waterlily

Posted by sid on May 23, 2002, at 20:43:12

In reply to Re: how do YOU handle the mental illness question?, posted by waterlily on May 23, 2002, at 16:33:59

I haven't been asked that directly. Although at the dentist's office, tand the orthodontist's office, I was asked about meds and I said Effexor XR, for dysthymia.
I gues it depends... I'm very afraid of talking about it in my work environment. Although I have said it to a few friends there, but I am scared it could ruin my career. So I avoid the subject altogether.
With friends (real ones, who know me well and whom I trust, not simple acquaintances), I don't care. With family, I don't talk about it. They have a way of putting me down already, I don't need to give them extra ammunition against me. They're not particularly interested in learning much of anything anyway, so why would I bother?

I am not sure what my answer would be if I was asked directly about "mental illness". Although, what I tend to do is talk about my depression in the past tense. I am still being treated for dysthymia and anxiety, but I tend to say I had major depression before, which is true I don't have the symptoms at all anymore. And nobody knows what "dysthymia" is, so I don't talk about it much. I just say that I had depression. I feel more comfortable with it being behind me. Not because I am shameful, rather because I don't fear it that way. It's in the past, I'm in control now, worry not, I will not jump out a window. It's a message - I was ill, now I'm fine, have no fear of the mental illness in me. The message is for people I don't know much. My close friends know more details...

- sid


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