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Opening up to others about mental health- need advice

So I've been thinking long and hard about opening up to a couple of friends about my mental health. I'm really not sure how to approach things or even if it's the best thing to do. I really need advice.

What's got me thinking about this? Well therapy is ending next week so I will no longer have my therapist to open up to my troubles about. I really struggle with hiding things from people and I just feel really alone at the moment. I just want someone to be there and listen if I need to talk! I'm really nervous about therapy ending, and I'm not going to lie I'll miss it! But I'm trying to come to terms with it ending! And I feel having someone to chat to in my life about my struggles, feelings. Etc. would be really helpful. Plus I'm worried about going back to that bad place I visited a few weeks ago- it felt very lonely, tough and I just wished people understood! I'm trying to prevent that by widening my support network.

So after that horrible week I refer to as my bad place, I was so desperate for people to know. I ended up telling two friends. Got very mixed reactions. One wasn't unsupportive but wasn't very helpful and the other was supportive. The first friend told me that I shouldn't trust the other friend I told (basically) yet I felt the other friend was being more supportive than her. Also a third friends knows as she's the more supportive friend i tolds twin sister (I'm equally good friends with both the twins, but it's just the one of them appeared at the time, it was a impulsive decision). She was also supportive.

As far as my friend know I've been struggling, on antidepressants and getting therapy. I've never actually told them how I feel! But I would like to be able to as I really need someone to talk to after therapy is over. But at the same time I don't want to scare them and for them to think any less of me.

I'd like to be able to admit things like: worries about social situations, big groups, life, my future, that I fear my life will be a disaster and sometimes I end up believing it will be. Also what I feel when I'm in a low mood, I just feel life isn't worth living at times like that, I feel I won't be good enough and what's the point in trying, just feel like giving up on everything.

I know I should avoid saying things such as having suicidal thoughts in the past, as this would probably scare them! Am I right in saying that?

I'm also worried that they will judge me and treat me differently, pity me. That's not what I want. All I want is to be able to offload when times are rough, someone to be there and give me a hug.

So yeah, I made this thread. Firstly, I need to decide whether I am going to tell them? How I tell them? And what I should and shouldn't say? How do I approach things? I have so many questions!

Also telling my parents the truth isn't an opinion I feel I can't for various reasons. So they can't support me.

I'd really appreciate any advice. I just don't know where to turn!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, by writing this down to post as a share is a wonderful beginning; writing also helps let out your feelings, even putting them to paper in a journal or plain paper notebook is a great start, for once your words are down, it feels like you already have spoken. In these last seven years I've been writing a journal, a beautiful hard backed notebook by Paparblanks called 'Embellished Notebooks'. I have a purple one called "French Silk Wrap", it's very pretty and has a sleeve at the back to slip in little notes or even stamps.

    From those you know in real life, ask yourself who you can talk to more easily. I have a lawyer friend and his wife and they have been my best friends for many years. I know they won't judge or say hard things because they have seen me in the worst state imagineable. Opening ourselves to people does incur some vulnerability, however, so I advise you to be wary. In what you shared about the two friends, one being reactive, but the other much more supportive would be the one I would open out to, but gradually. There is no timeline for which to do this, so every time you meet, perhaps you could share a little more when you are feeling when relaxed in their company.

    I have no parents, but would have chosen Mummy. Though she could be a ratbag as I was typically hormonal teenager, her heart was soft and I was young enough to lie on her lap and tell her whatever was troubling me. That Mummy was gay was good in itself. Still, those family members one is closest to are not always the best to share with.

    I shouldn't think that this supportive friend would react to your social anxiety, your reticence of being among large groups of people. You could first ask how she would feel in a given situation, as if to test the waters first. As they tell you their thoughts on the subjects you have mentioned here, then you can tell her, yours. It's really about taking one more step every time you meet. Maybe next time you can make a pot of tea: A cup of tea solves everything. :)
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Well, by writing this down to post as a share is a wonderful beginning; writing also helps let out your feelings, even putting them to paper in a journal or plain paper notebook is a great start, for once your words are down, it feels like you already have spoken. In these last seven years I've been writing a journal, a beautiful hard backed notebook by Paparblanks called 'Embellished Notebooks'. I have a purple one called "French Silk Wrap", it's very pretty and has a sleeve at the back to slip in little notes or even stamps.

    From those you know in real life, ask yourself who you can talk to more easily. I have a lawyer friend and his wife and they have been my best friends for many years. I know they won't judge or say hard things because they have seen me in the worst state imagineable. Opening ourselves to people does incur some vulnerability, however, so I advise you to be wary. In what you shared about the two friends, one being reactive, but the other much more supportive would be the one I would open out to, but gradually. There is no timeline for which to do this, so every time you meet, perhaps you could share a little more when you are feeling when relaxed in their company.

    I have no parents, but would have chosen Mummy. Though she could be a ratbag as I was typically hormonal teenager, her heart was soft and I was young enough to lie on her lap and tell her whatever was troubling me. That Mummy was gay was good in itself. Still, those family members one is closest to are not always the best to share with.

    I shouldn't think that this supportive friend would react to your social anxiety, your reticence of being among large groups of people. You could first ask how she would feel in a given situation, as if to test the waters first. As they tell you their thoughts on the subjects you have mentioned here, then you can tell her, yours. It's really about taking one more step every time you meet. Maybe next time you can make a pot of tea: A cup of tea solves everything. :)

    Thank for your your reply :)

    I think I should start a jounal, it's good to let out my feelings in words on here! Oh your journal sounds so pretty :)

    Sorry to hear about your parents! *hug* I wish I felt able to open up to my parents, I just don't!

    Thanks for all your advice I read it before I went out today (didn't have time to reply then though). I just need a rant now....... (That's what I'm about to do)
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    So I met up with that friend today (the one that was more supportive). Having this in mind, I still didn't have the guts to come out and directly talk about my mental health.

    But we got into a conversation about starting university. My friend has just completed first year at university and I'm starting it this year. I told her I was feeling nervous about university and that I'm worried about meeting new people and making friends. That's the truth. But I thought this is an opportunity to go into more detail about my struggles (without saying directly). I said how I felt nervous meeting people incase I said the wrong thing or something weird and they thought I was strange. I also said how I felt people would judge me by the way I look (im not very confident in myself), like they'd think I'm fat and stuff. This is the truth.

    My friends response was everyone's in the same boat and university is totally different everyone's nice to each other. But the thing that annoyed me is she was like you will be fine, you look great blah blah saying it in a fake voice. She just says things like that all the time, let's be honest........ I do not want pity!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    apandav wrote: »
    So I met up with that friend today (the one that was more supportive). Having this in mind, I still didn't have the guts to come out and directly talk about my mental health.

    But we got into a conversation about starting university. My friend has just completed first year at university and I'm starting it this year. I told her I was feeling nervous about university and that I'm worried about meeting new people and making friends. That's the truth. But I thought this is an opportunity to go into more detail about my struggles (without saying directly). I said how I felt nervous meeting people incase I said the wrong thing or something weird and they thought I was strange. I also said how I felt people would judge me by the way I look (im not very confident in myself), like they'd think I'm fat and stuff. This is the truth.

    My friends response was everyone's in the same boat and university is totally different everyone's nice to each other. But the thing that annoyed me is she was like you will be fine, you look great blah blah saying it in a fake voice. She just says things like that all the time, let's be honest........ I do not want pity!!

    She probably hadn't a clue what to say, though is possible she hasn't been to university and experience the anxiety of walking into a crowded place. Here I can relate that anxiety is in fact a pretty normal experience for anyone who is new to uni.

    Have to come back on this thread. Sorry, but I got the water meter meter man here and he's rummaging through The Cupboard From Hell and saying naughty words. :p

    Back again! Message to self: tidy said cupboard! :d

    After I got my PhD I visited Sussex university to do a talk about mechanical engineering and even I felt anxious. First it was at the uni's refectory which was jam-packed at lunchtime with students. To combat my quaking tummy, what I did was wear a slight smile while searching the refectory's food counter. Smiling, or at least looking looking a little happy has a disarming effect on others and I found it quite easy to respond to a student when I was looking for a place to sit while holding my tray of food and putting on a glum look. "Hera, come sit here," she patted the table and I said, "hopefully not on said table!" and laughed.

    It was an ice breaker and it turned out she was one of the students who was going to listen to my lecture.

    Before entering the theatre I took some deep breaths, mentally counting down from 10 to one, slowing my breathing. Doing so greatly helped the anxiety. It went away. Then, opening the theatre door I strode in and talked about my interest that developed into a full time passion.

    Somewhere I have a help topic on combatting panic disorder and anxiety using a paper bag. I'll look the topic out and post it. It really helped me during those critical times. Anxiety, a lot of it is actually normal. How we deal with it is something else. You could try drinking a nice chilled glass of milk. Calcium is good for the nerves, and a chocolate biscuit one's reward.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    My friend is actually at university now, she's just finished 1st year and going into second. But we are different people! She fits in much better than I do.

    Haha it's okay, hope the water man got out okay :P

    Thanks for sharing your experience, it sounds like a good way to meet people!

    Thank you,
    Amanda
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