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Mental Health Issues: When To Share, Particularly Over The Internet?


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Poll: Mental Health Issues: When To Share, Particularly Over The Internet? (7 member(s) have cast votes)

Mental Health Issues: When to Share, Particularly Over the Internet?

  1. I have a mental health issue, best to reveal in profile upfront (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. I have a mental health issue, best to wait for private messaging (1 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  3. I have a mental health issue, best to wait for off internet meeting (1 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  4. I have a mental health issue, best to wait until an actual relationship is developing (2 votes [28.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  5. I do not have a mental health issue, best to reveal in profile upfront (1 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  6. I do not have a mental health issue, best to wait for private messaging (1 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  7. I do not have a mental health issue, best to wait for off internet meeting (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. I do not have a mental health issue, best to wait until an actual relationship is developing (1 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

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#1
lesbotronic

    Administrator

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We received the following email from a potential member, paraphrased and rendered anonymous:

"I would like to submit a profile. I want to be honest, yet, I'm not sure when to indicate that I am unable to work, and am on disability due to bipolar and anxiety disorders. I am on medication, in therapy, and have been stable for several years. I don't want anyone who isn't willing to get past the stereotype and get to know me to invest time they might regret. I could include that information in my profile, or within the first few dates. Perhaps you could suggest what I should do?"

. . . and we thought it would be an interesting issue for community discussion.

Unlike the more pedestrian concerns involved with constructing a profile on lesbotronic (like, upload a headshot, or few will click or respond), we can't define what's best for everyone. We could only tell you what WE think, or what WE would do, and why. But again, unlike the headshot thing, I don't think there's any one and only objective truth here that we can defend as such with copious evidence. It must be a personal decision.

Some avoid revealing their mental health issue(s) to anyone they don't already trust for fear of discrimination, usually something consequential like loss of a job or custody of a child. Even though that sort of discrimination is often illegal, that doesn't mean it can't happen. And even though lesbotronic is much more private than most sites, a severe fear here may suggest discretion in your profile.

Meanwhile, others feel the decision to share their mental health issue(s) over the internet was one of the best they ever made. It's obviously an avenue to find support and friendship with similar folks and/or supportive allies you probably wouldn't meet otherwise.

But, you probably already knew what we said in the last couple of paragraphs, right?

What if you have a mental health issue AND:

- already have a lifestyle that's fairly discrimination-proof with regard to mental health issue(s), you fear no serious consequences as a result of "coming out" about yours
- are not exclusively concerned with finding mental health support, just generally meeting new people, including but not limited to dating, and including but not limited to those with similar issue(s)

When should you reveal then? And . . . WHY?


DISCLAIMER/ADDITIONAL INFO: I'm sure many will feel "mental health issue" needs to be more specifically defined here. And obviously, EVERYONE experiences some sort of mental health issue, at least once or twice in their lives, if they live long enough. But, I really don't think we could or should specifically define what exactly is relevant for the poll, as that may be different for different people. If YOU feel that YOU define it in one way for one sort of answer, and another way for another sort, then please elaborate upon those different definitions for yourself when you respond.

ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: We actually thought of an answer to the original question, what WE'D say. But then thought it would be far more educational to let the community respond, at least initially, before we offered anything ourselves. So please do. :)

#2
AndrejaWilson

  • Posting Members (3 or more)
  • 120 posts
I am a long sufferer of anxiety, depression, arthritis, and other things. I normally am forthcoming quickly with my chronic pain and arthritis issues. They are evident once you see me walk that there is an issue with my joints. My mental health status is another thing. Though as I have gotten older, I've found more and more people are not judgemental about it, I still tread carefully in whom I speak about it to. If I'm in a funk (as I call it), I let people know. If the anxiety is really bad, I let people know. I normally don't go to in depth with it, unless I have a good rapport with that person. My job at a department store as a visual merchandiser does feed off of my OCD like tendencies and it's noticeable to the people I work with. I don't hide it and actually it has helped in this job. It's a first really. And I don't get any flack from anyone about it like I have at other jobs.

Like the mod said, it's different for everyone. My results are not typical and should not be expected.

@Scissor_Sista on-a-mountain-she-sits.tumblr.com


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#3
ashleigh

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  • 192 posts
it is entirely up to the person. just remember that we are not our diagnosis, it is only a part of who we are. besides, if one hangs around a mental health setting long enough, you will get a diagnosis (at least according to the tech on one psych unit i was at)

#4
ashleigh

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  • 192 posts
one of the problems with disclosure is the amount of negative stereotypes regarding mental illness and diagnoses. just adding one more thing to come out in one's life. if i were to tell someone that i am mentally ill upon first meeting them, just how far do you think that interaction will continue? yes, there are some who take the approach of observe then make decision, but there are also those who will instantly close you off.





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