Choosing to Share

In addition to working with psychological health specialist, those one considers close can be an overwhelming source of support, provide stability as constants in one's life, and, perhaps most notably, provide reminders to a person of what they have accomplished in the past, state their faith in them in the present, and express their belief in one's future success on a personal level.


Sometimes conveying aspects of psychological conditions to the important individuals in one's life can be difficult, though.  In addition, someone that is reached out to and confided in may worry and have confusion about how they can assist someone without making said person feel controlled or demeaned while trying to be there for them.  Another factor that may come up is that those who helped raise an individual may blame themselves for an individual's psychological condition.  Something that can be extremely difficult is sharing such an aspect of one's self with their children.


The following information has been selected to help individuals, if and when they choose, to share aspects of the psychological condition.  Material is also present that may help an individual better understand how those they share with might perceive the situation, and thus better prepare one to discuss the matter with them.


As a starting point, one should try not to pressure one's self, to open up (with some exceptions to be considered for urgent, health-related situations); psychological conditions and their symptoms are a deeply personal matters, are a very intimate aspect of one's life, and the sharing of the information can have very significant impacts (healthy and unhealthy) depending on who it is shared with (and what the person confided in chooses to do with the information.

When discussing aspects of one's mental health, replies such as "I do not wish to share that," "please respect my privacy," and variants of such are valid responses; should these responses not be respected, ending the dialog, leaving the individual, changing the topic, or otherwise removing one's self from a situation is perfectly fine, regardless of how an individual may respond, or what they may say.  In particular, if an individuals is ride, disrespectful, invasive about the topic (and of you), one is under no obligation to disclose anything to them.

Again, however, certain consideration should be given in situation related to one's immediate health and safety - at times, one may not wish to or feel safe sharing aspects of their psychological health, but in serious circumstances, it can help one's health, and even save one's life.  These situations can be difficult to figure out, and require taking a risk.

Disclosing to Others (NAMI)

Learning To Help Your Child And Your Family (NAMI)


How to cope when a loved one has a serious mental illness (American Psychological Association)


Maintaining a Health Relationship


Patients and Family (a presentation of the accurate definitions of various mental health terms)


Sharing Your Diagnosis (Alzheimer's Association)


Supporting Recovery


Talking about mental illness with your child (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness)


Time To Talk: Talking To Your Parents (Mental Health America)


Understanding Self-Harm

For screen readers: two woman talking, one, African American, comforts a sad Caucasian friend