Why I Keep It All to Myself

I have reasons why, in my almost four years of suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety, there has only been one person (a friend in real life) I’ve talked to about it.

Sadly, most of my reasons for keeping it all in are somewhat illogical and counter-productive.

1. They have their own problems, so why be Β a burden to them?

2. Others have it way worse than me, so I just need to suck it up.

3. The world is not going to pause, whether I tell anyone about my problems or not.

4. I need to suck it up.

5. I really need to suck it up.

6. Is there anything anyone can do about it? Or would I just be an addition to their stress?

7. I’m afraid they’ll start walking on eggshells (so to speak) around me

8. I might receive pity rather than understanding

9. Their questions will haunt me (e.g. “Did you hurt yourself?” “Did you plan on killing yourself?” “What?! But you look happy!!” Just. Shut. Up.). But the fact of the matter is, I don’t owe them an explanation (I think)

10. Like I said, I Β don’t owe anyone an explanation unless my actions/behaviors directly affect them

11. Stigma. Apparently having a mental illness equates to being crazy.

12. In relation to that, I have a friend who once told me she’s afraid of crazy people. Like, what does that entail, exactly?!

13. Stereotypes. (e.g. “I’m depressed, therefore I must want to kill myself.”)

14. Rejection and discrimination

15. Other people just wouldn’t understand.

16. Sometimes even the symptoms of depression and anxiety itself are the ones that keep me from telling anyone.

Β 

Is there anything else to add to the list?

Just please, let there be no more reasons to keep quiet about things like mental illness.

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12 thoughts on “Why I Keep It All to Myself

  1. I didn’t know I had bipolar disorder until my roommate in college told me if I didn’t go see a counselor, we were going to have a big problem. πŸ™‚ Despite counseling and my diagnosis and subsequent treatment, we still had problems and we ended up not speaking to each other ever again after a big blow out.

    Even the close friends that do know what I battle, don’t always understand or know how to be supportive. The best thing I ever did though was seek counseling because I would most assuredly be dead by now had I not.

    I don’t tell the world – I tell the people that need to know, the people that matter. And even then, I run through the same list of why I don’t reach out to chat when things are down… especially #1.

    Check out BringChange2Mind.org if you haven’t yet.

    • I’m really really happy that you sought out help. You’re very brave! πŸ™‚
      I wish I could tell my story to the people important to me. But it really is hard, isn’t it?

      I’m checking it out now, thank you!

  2. I avoid telling friends too, for all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. But mainly it’s kind of hard to slip into the conversation. I tried to tell one friend, and he kind of got it. But later I felt I had said too much and I felt so embarrassed. I share an office with only two other people. I have found myself sharing some of the stuff that’s bothering me. But I tend to deal with it with a lot of humour – because as a functioning depressive, that’s what I do. I’m learning to be more honest through blogging. Though weirdly I’m probably most honest when I make comments on other people’s blogs! Must be because that feels even more anonymous!

    • I agree with all of what you said. It really is hard to slip your story into the conversations. After I told my friend about mine, I was immediately filled with embarrassment, but I was still somewhat happy because I finally have been able to tell someone I personally know. And blogging is what’s helping me cope, mainly, because it gives us control over our anonymity! πŸ™‚

  3. Oh as for me, l just went about living parallel lives not even knowing l could have a mental illness, now that l see that possibility, l am going to see a psychiatrist and boom, l am ‘announcing it like a trophy’. l really don’t care who sticks by me and who walks off because there are many like us who will find ‘real great friends’ when we do share our world like here on blogs and all. I don’t expect ‘alleluia’ from everybody, but l am living my life now as openly as book. I don’t even blog anonymously, l published my unconventional loves book and am much happier and healthier now. πŸ™‚

    • good for you for being an open book (and congratulations on publishing a book!) I don’t quite get the parallel lives concept? I’m sorry, if you could just elaborate it, that would be really cool! Thank you! πŸ™‚

      • Parallel means I was doing my ‘shaggy’ stuff on the one hand, and living the ‘ideal normal’ life on the other hand. l hurt so much but had no guts to ‘shout’ out for help. When ever l tried, my mun and husband hushed it away to evil spirit and burnt more incense. To me that was parallel. Now l live just one life, l am me, honest about my all and yes proud to be shaggy sometimes and thriving and coping all the same. πŸ™‚

  4. Hi..your list compares to my list. A lot.
    And yes, I don’t tell anyone.
    I did,once, to one friend who finally accused me of “making all up, it’s all just a drama, why don’t you come to your senses” ,and so on..
    I felt like crap, so from now on I keep my mouth shut.
    I smile, but I’m someone else inside. Keeping others satisfied, and ignoring my own problems. Not a good thing, though.
    The only sentence I do not agree with you is:” 2. Others have it way worse than me, so I just need to suck it up.”
    I also thought the same way, and told that to my psych.
    She told me that everyone has its burden, but it is not true that the others have it way worse. Some of them maybe, but you are also worthy of acknowledgment and support! Keep that in mind. You are worth of care and help as much as everyone else!

    Thanks for posting, and hang in there. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for your insight! πŸ™‚

      I do know better than to compare my problems than the other people’s. What is a hard situation for me might not be for them, and vice versa. But sometimes my mind refuses to acknowledge that fact, you know? But I’m currently working on it. πŸ™‚

      And I do agree with you, keeping it all to yourself is never a good thing. So it’s definitely a good thing we have these blogs for expressing ourselves. πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the reply!

    I agree with you, the blogs are the great way to express it all.

    Even my psych, who is not my psych anymore, was not so informed about my “state of mind”. πŸ™‚

    And the other peoples insight into your problem is often, well, not appropriate. Like empathy never existed in the human race.

    It’s a problem with the narcissistic thoughts of others, they have always a bigger problem than you, so I stopped talking.

    I mean, really, can you imagine what is it like to miss the movie at the cinema last night?!
    For someone it’s a worlds end.
    To me it’s a plane shit compared to what I’m going through, but I just go with the flow, and support them.

    Hang in there and take care of yourself!

    πŸ˜€

    • I get what you’re feeling!
      But, then again, to each his own. It might be better though if we can freely express our thoughts without being constantly compared to others.

      Thank you again! πŸ™‚

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