Schizophrenia.com

Coming out to others

#1

Hey guys. I’ve been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia for a little over 2 years now. I was wondering if any of you have experienced coming out to others and letting them know about your mental illness.

Currently, only my immediate family and 2 of my closest friends know. As far as I know, none of them have told anyone else. My parents, especially, have warned me that if I tell a multitude of people, I will be judged and will even be put down by some. The stigma that many associate with schizophrenia is just so rough.

Lately, though, I have been thinking…how can we not change the stigma if we don’t come out to others and let them know we have suffered or are currently suffering. Also, I think it would be good to encourage others not to judge as we all live on a mental health spectrum of sorts. I feel it would also be helpful to let others know the degree of my condition and that I am not a threat to society just because I suffer from mental illness.

What do you guys view as proper discretion in telling others about your condition?

5 Likes

Lost in diagnosis
#2

My point of view has always been this: why tell people something that they will just use against you? Why give them ammunition to treat you different or bad? Let Bill McFee be on the front lines battling stigma. He’s in a position too. Maybe if I was rich and powerful I would come out. But I am in a situation where it’s not noble or brave to reveal my illness.

2 Likes

#3

I don’t know how stable you are, heck I don’t know how stable I am right now.
But here are the people I told:
Family (not just immedient. Family to the level where they would hear about my hospitalization and get worried)

Friends new and old (this might be just me but I have always been afraid something would happen in public, and if they know they won’t freak out as much. They might even be able to just get me out of there!)

Any romantic interest you would go on a date with. I know it sounds like a turn off, but I remember @SurprisedJ saying that he had a girlfriend once who broke and ran when he had symptoms be cause although she knew, she didn’t understand what she was getting herself into.

People I don’t tell:

Anyone at work. I mean anyone. My last supervisor guessed that I had depression and I didn’t lie about it, but I didn’t elaborate. I didn’t add the sz component or the auburgers angle. That sort of thing will probably just make it harder for you to get a job later even if (and I say if) everyone is accepting.

1 Like

#4

I have seen my son reference his SZ in public when asking about drug interactions at a health food store. The person didn’t bat an eye… I think the huge smile on my face that my son said it so matter of fact, did catch her attention. :blush:

I agree with your line of thinking.

1 Like

#5

I came out to all my friends and family in December. My best friend and I sent out an email stating the facts, gave links to information, and prepared ourselves for whatever would happen.

I have to say, I was overwhelmed by the positive and supportive response I received. I got lots of calls and texts and emails with well wishes.

In many ways, it took SO much pressure off of me. I no longer had to pretend. Or lie about why I couldn’t go to certain social functions.

In my experience, it was totally worth it. One of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

If you do decide to come out, I hope you receive as positive a response as I did.

Blessings,

Anthony

7 Likes

#6

People can tell by looking at me.

0 Likes

#7

In a perfect world where bias and stigma did not exist, I would say go for it - tell everyone. I would strongly suggest to those people afflicted with a severe mental illness to be hush about your illness at work - the gossip and backstabbing behaviors can bite you in the ass later on. My whole thing is why tell strangers? Certain hand picked family members -I dont have friends now, know about my illness, those that know, I trust very much - I know they will not use my disclosure against me at a later point in life. There is no shame in having SZ,but many people still do not understand the illness, they have formed negative ideas about SZ - why open yourself to this

1 Like

#8

This might not be my story to tell, but my brother is very open about his diagnosis. He just says it, lays it out there. I tend to be more cautious.

People ask me about my brother and I want to tell them that my brother is none of their business. But he just says it. He also like’s to use his diagnosis to be a bit wily.

A few months ago I think I got a glimpse into how he sees it. He opened up a bit more about his homeless days and told me of a time when he got roughed up pretty badly for being homeless. He then said he’s never been beaten up for having Sz so being homeless is worse.

The only people I’ve seen, who misuse my brothers candor are the cousins who will use ANYTHING to make themselves feel better then others. If he wasn’t SZ they would probably use his eye color or his height. The people who matter, are the people who are supportive. He uses his diagnosis to sort people quickly I think. Those who are nice and caring are worth his time. The rest are not and then he ignores them.

Thank you for letting me post.

7 Likes

#9

I am very open. I am very highly functioning and recovered. I have some issues sometimes, I have had some bad days, but the days of hearing voices from the moment I wake up to drunkenly falling asleep are over. I mainly struggle with anxiety and motivation problems, but I make straight A’s and am a competitive powerlifter. I just have very anxious mornings sometimes and find myself napping and skipping training or homework sometimes. But I come out on top, I make up my work and train harder the next time.

I posted a facebook status about my recovery and thanked my friends for sticking with me and 80 people liked it. My friends and family know all about it, they knew I was psychotic before I did. Apparently I reeked of mental illness before I was even diagnosed, I guess the whole angry antisocial alcoholic thing was a giveaway.

The only way to fight stigma is to be an example. I am open for all of the people who are not. People who know me and know about my condition know that schizophrenia is not game over and that one can achieve and live a good life despite it- I am on a full scholarship, am in the honors program and am a competitive powerlifter, and I make all A’s. That beats most normal people.

There will always be an ■■■■■■■ who talks down to you about it. Those people are often ■■■■■■ up themselves and jealous. The only people who have ever talked down to me about my condition are dropouts with drug and alcohol problems. They wish they were me- I didn’t drop out when I was psychotic and refusing meds, I was a highly functioning alcoholic and make mostly A’s and a few B’s that year, with the full scholarship and honors classes. These kids dropped out because they ■■■■■■ up, period. They didnt have a legitimate excuse, I did and didnt drop out. They dranks, did drugs and cut class, I went to class most of the time, did my work, did well on tests and exams, wrote papers, worked out and than drank every night.

Someone might talk ■■■■, some people will understand and support you. That’s when you know who is a friend and who is not. I learned that some of my “friends” were not real friends.

I still have this idiot druggie and alky friend who hangs around. Sometimes when he’s been drinking he talks ■■■■. The last time he outright insulted for being mentally ill, I verbally attacked him and told him to get in a car wreck on the way home, (he was drunk) and he just left. He made a slightly offensive remark last weekend, he said that I can’t be picky about who I date because I am insane. I was patient and handled it without cursing or raising my voice. I simply said “No, I am recovered, I am not insane right now.” which is a fact.

It’s easier to be a homosexual than it is to be schizophrenic. Again, some people will turn on you. ■■■■ them. Keep the people who support you.

0 Likes

#10

thought i would say hi.
i personally don’t tell anyone but that is your choice.
take care

0 Likes

#11

I haven’t told anyone accept family and a close friend. I guess I’ll tell people someday.

0 Likes

#12

i think the less you say,the better off you are…but then i am paranoid and think everyone in the world will know and hate me…but you need to follow your own heart , take care

0 Likes

#13

I have been ill for 51 years. I never even considered the stigma I attached to telling people I was SZ. I have begun telling them I’m SZ and most people are supportive. I got in my prep school’s bulletin magazine twice after coming out to the alumni. People like knowing what’s going on. Nobody I know even has any idea I’m SZ.

0 Likes