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Should You Disclose Your Mental Health Status?

By Randi Morse

There is a stigma against people who are dealing with mental health problems in this country. The truth is that mental health is just as important as physical health. People who are dealing with mental health issues, and who seek out care for their condition, often have a difficult time disclosing their mental health status to their friends, family, and employer. While no one is given the right to know what your mental health status is, it is often a good idea to let those close to you know the basics of your condition. This is not only so they can help keep an eye on you, should you start to spiral down a dark path, but they can become an amazing support system that can help you to stay healthy.

Who to Tell

The first question you may ask yourself is who you should talk to about your mental health condition. One way to narrow down your list is to write your friend, family member, or co-worker's name down on a list and write the pros and cons of telling that person. While there might be some people in your life who won't understand, there will likely be many who do and who are there to offer you support. You can use the pro's list to help give you the courage to speak with that person when you're ready.

When to Tell

It is generally a good idea to tell people about your condition when you are well. If it's vital that you tell someone when you are going through a particularly difficult patch, make sure you choose someone that you are very close with and who you know to have a sympathetic spirit. It's best, however, to tell people when you're well, as it's generally much easier to have a conversation about the situation at that time. 

Keep it Basic

How much do you tell that person? As much as you're comfortable with. It's best to keep the conversation basic. If you explain that you have a mental health condition and feel comfortable telling that person what the exact condition is, that's a great start. It is very likely that they are going to have questions about your health situation. You should tell them only what you're comfortable revealing, and if they ask a question you're uncomfortable answering, simply say something like, "I'm really sorry but that's not something I'm comfortable talking about right now." 

Mental health is a private thing, but having the right people in your corner when you're battling a mental health illness can truly make a difference in your health status.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Mill, S.C.

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