Sharing personal information brings people closer together. But how do you know when you’ve gone too far—or when someone else has ulterior motives?
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I've been sick basically my whole life but the diagnoses didn't start to come until my preteen years (after a lot of suffering): migraines, followed by depression and anxiety, and fibromyalgia all by age 14, and that's only half of my problems. My nurse mother treated me like a hypochondriac! Now I'm 30 (as of Sunday), had to quit college a few semesters before graduating, lost the boyfriend I planned to marry (but that actually turned out to be a good thing), and live in my childhood home with my disabled father (advanced degenerative disc disease). Single men are getting scarce and most turn and run the moment you mention an illness. I haven't had a date in four years. My dad at least had the advantage of not becoming disabled until later in life, but it was still a big factor for why my parents divorced. There is so much shame though! You can't escape it most days! I've been reciting the prayer of forgiveness and working closely with the same counselor who has seen me since I was ten, but it's so hard to turn off that voice. I actually had How to be Sick in my Amazon cart but at your suggestion I will be getting How to Live Well first. I do speak out a lot on Facebook about life with bipolar disorder and chronic illnesses as they can be very stigmatizing. I have had more than a few friends message me privately and thank me for sharing when they are too afraid to speak out. And for now I'm content that I can help give them a voice.
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