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Explaining mental health to friends/family

(5 Posts)
MentalHealth101 Wed 11-Sep-19 23:27:22

Hi all,

I’m currently going through panic attacks and anxiety, and the people I’m surrounded and hoping for some understanding from at this sensitive time for me, aren’t the type of people that I can open up to about my symptoms. Due to ignorance around mental health in general and due to the fact I don’t think they respect my privacy in general and I’m having a tense relationship with them at the moment.

I regret telling a few already about my anxiety and panic attacks as they made me feel more vulnerable.. I’m trying to get the help I need from professional but during this time I am trying to keep my distance from those who don’t understand my emotional needs and feelings because I feel vulnerable... however I want them to understand why I need some distance without the conflict and without speculations around me having some personality disorder or anything.

I don’t feel my personal privacy would be respected if I explained to them honestly what it is I am going through. I will become the topic of gossip and people will look at me like I’m less of a human.

I want to explain to them politely that I need some time alone, no more visits or phone calls except when I feel ready. But without offending them and without raising alarm bells around being “unstable”.

How do you do that??

MentalHealth101 Thu 12-Sep-19 00:04:33

Also to note the people I am trying to explain this to some of which have zero empathy and affection and would not validate how I feel and will just see this as me being a drama queen and it makes me feel horrible.

I don’t want to put myself in the position where instead of feeling supported or validated or believed or respected and I end up regretting exposing my personal struggles like that...

And it gets seen as an invite to meddle in my personal life and be the hero I don’t want them to be. I just want to be left alone to deal with things properly.

Soola Thu 12-Sep-19 01:15:21

I don’t think you should have to justify why “I want to be alone” to these people if they have no empathy.

My children’s grandmother on their fathers side was of the opinion that mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are ‘nonsense’ and people just need to ‘buck themselves up’!

Just refuse contact and say you’re not up to it at the moment and leave it at that and then concentrate on yourself.

You are adding extra anxiety by worry about what they are thinking.

MentalHealth101 Thu 12-Sep-19 05:09:01

Thanks Soola. That’s right. But I said “I am taking technology break”

I tried saying “I need a social detox for couple of weeks”

I said “I need to be left alone for a while for personal reasons”.

None of these have yet worked without someone taking offense or them going round telling people that I’m unstable

MentalHealth101 Thu 12-Sep-19 20:00:52


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