Sharing your diagnosis

James

Box Hill Facilitator
Staff member
Last night our support group discussed sharing your diagnosis — the pros and cons of telling others that you live with bipolar disorder.

Some really great comments were made in regards to both sharing and keeping your diagnosis private. The 'success' of sharing your diagnosis seemed to be dependent on how understanding the other person may be. Interestingly, we felt that sharing a diagnosis of depression or anxiety was able to be better accepted by family and friends than a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. We thought this may be due to the general population being aware of the symptoms of depression and anxiety as they are quite common, but not having a clear understanding of what mania is, and a lack of psychoeducation in general.

Do you agree with this? Have you had positive or negative experiences with sharing your diagnosis?
 

Caroline

Member
Last night our support group discussed sharing your diagnosis — the pros and cons of telling others that you live with bipolar disorder.

Some really great comments were made in regards to both sharing and keeping your diagnosis private. The 'success' of sharing your diagnosis seemed to be dependent on how understanding the other person may be. Interestingly, we felt that sharing a diagnosis of depression or anxiety was able to be better accepted by family and friends than a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. We thought this may be due to the general population being aware of the symptoms of depression and anxiety as they are quite common, but not having a clear understanding of what mania is, and a lack of psychoeducation in general.

Do you agree with this? Have you had positive or negative experiences with sharing your diagnosis?
It was a lively and interesting discussion I learned a lot from. Lots of positives and negatives all around. They key seems to be use your own discretion and share when it feels appropriate.
I'm not fully out as BP2 yet, and see it as goal to aim for with my own full acceptance. As I'm keen to run a support group in the Macedon Ranges, this does seem important to me.

Thanks again for the discussion.
 

Melissa

Active member
I forgot to say last night (although a slight diversion), that when I told my cousin my three diagnoses, one of which is BPD...), she went into defence for me, saying "there's nothing wrong with ur personality"
 

SimonHall

Group Facilitator
Staff member
I made the mistake of not sharing my diagnosis with my current partner and then she was told by someone else. I was humbled by her reaction which was loving, a bit worried, but not controlling. It could have gone either way.
Reactions in previous relationships have been anything from controlling (I'll manage this for you!) which didn't work out through to denial (snap out of it!), and not knowing what to do with it.

I feel it all depends on the person, the nature of the relationship, and the connection.

It's feels like a risk to disclose but on the other hand do you want or need the relationship as part of your support network?
 

Amanda C.

Women’s Group Facilitator
Staff member
I made the mistake of not sharing my diagnosis with my current partner and then she was told by someone else. I was humbled by her reaction which was loving, a bit worried, but not controlling. It could have gone either way.
Reactions in previous relationships have been anything from controlling (I'll manage this for you!) which didn't work out through to denial (snap out of it!), and not knowing what to do with it.

I feel it all depends on the person, the nature of the relationship, and the connection.

It's feels like a risk to disclose but on the other hand do you want or need the relationship as part of your support network?
I’d prefer the support to be external from the relationship, other than I’ve noticed this and that and then let others and professionals offer the support.
When I don’t open up, he takes its as a personal affront - why don’t I tell him everything.
It does feel very controlling some of the time and tbh I’m not truthful sometimes
 
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