View Full Version : coming clean?


NateDEEzy
12-03-16, 02:32 AM
Has anyone in here actually broken down and opened up to someone?

Here's my dilemma. The idea of opening up and coming clean about my mental troubles, which have seemingly gotten worse and worse bc of depression and anxiety and stress, seems extremely scary because I'm afraid that people will never look at me the same.

However, I think that even the most judgmental person, if you truly open up and explain that you're scared, and that you didn't choose to be this way and do it, and make it your life's mission to open up about it so you can help others be less afraid, then not only will people not be afraid of you, but rather they'll admire your bravery. Also, I think that's one of the most therapeutic things you can truly do for your condition, because so much of my energy goes into hiding my problems from people and trying to put up a fake facade of being cool. I think I, and others in the same boat, were able to instead make peace with ourselves, then we no longer would spend all that energy trying to appear a certain way.

It seems scary, and I don't know if I'll ever have the courage to do it, but I want to live my life to where people will come up to me and open up about things they've kept hidden from others because of how moved they were about how I live my life. Ya know, kinda like when you're ashamed of something and someone you're hanging out with says they do the same thing, then you can't help but blurt out that you're the same way. For example maybe a song that you like that might be embarrassing to admit. Obviously that's a very small example, but you get the idea.

Can you imagine the incredible feeling that would give you to not only get that off your chest, but then have people tell you you've changed their lives bc of your bravery? That would be incredible. Maybe that's what Jesus meant by shine your light, and bear your cross. I dunno, just some thoughts.

peripatetic
12-03-16, 04:31 AM
i feel like i'm in hiding even on here about things that have significant detrimental impact on my life. because i can't come to grips with admitting certain symptoms i have. i probably stigmatise myself as much as anyone else does me; it's just mine's a defense mechanism not an antagonistic depersoning and discrediting. but then i get it: it looks exceedingly bad on paper. but that's not my fault. i am so defensive about it. that's what curtails my doing as you suggest and coming clean to people. other than mental health group people and professionals. but just people unrelated to my mental health.

but then i'm not very good at hiding because i'm like a bull in a china shop, so i'm really just trying to be an ostrich about it...sorta. between that and just letting it go and trying to live in their world so i can maintain certain relationships and so forth.

i mean, i think what you're talking about it sorta similar to what i'm thinking about after reading what you wrote.

Unmanagable
12-03-16, 11:03 AM
I'm someone who openly shares my issues with people.

I, too, at one time thought it would be viewed as brave and would help in supporting others who may feel alone, and that others would welcome a thorough explanation.

Most especially when I was employed at a vocational rehab center where they pride themselves on understanding and supporting those with "challenges".

However, I found the least welcoming and supportive responses within those walls.

I've mostly found more folks who seem to be uncomfortable with such openness than those who support, nurture, and/or celebrate it.

Many would prefer to not be taken out of their comfort zones by having to view us with our masks off, it seems.

Finding balance within is the only thing that I've been able to more accurately gauge, and even that gets iffy at times.

If and when I can accept and love myself I find I need less external approval, understanding, or acceptance, if that makes sense.

It would be really nice to not feel so incredibly alone when exploring the depths of self.


Edited to add:

Coming "clean" with people who haven't come clean with themselves yet, for whatever reasons, makes for some awkward space sharing.

JosieK
12-03-16, 12:39 PM
At this point I'm pretty open about it like with friends. From time to time like if I'm having an ADD moment around them I will openly say so. Normally no one says anything. A lot of times when the subject of reading comes up I may openly tell someone I have trouble reading. My mind wanders too much to let me absorb it. Maybe no one says anything because they openly accept it or because they think I'm full of crap. I don't know which.

I've never really opened up to anyone about how much it impacts my life overall. If someone asked me I probably would, but no one has ever asked. I think the only person that truly understand how much it affects me is my mom. My dad is just the type that will not accept excuses. His attitude is that everyone has obstacles in life and you just have to figure out how to overcome them. I guess he's right, but it doesn't make him easy to talk to when something's troubling me.

20thcenturyfox
12-03-16, 05:28 PM
Take heed of the full impact of Unmanageable's experience. I would guess this is the absolute best you can hope for:
I'm someone who openly shares my issues with people.

I, too, at one time thought it would be viewed as brave and would help in supporting others who may feel alone, and that others would welcome a thorough explanation.

Most especially when I was employed at a vocational rehab center where they pride themselves on understanding and supporting those with "challenges".

However, I found the least welcoming and supportive responses within those walls.

I've mostly found more folks who seem to be uncomfortable with such openness than those who support, nurture, and/or celebrate it.

Many would prefer to not be taken out of their comfort zones by having to view us with our masks off, it seems.

Finding balance within is the only thing that I've been able to more accurately gauge, and even that gets iffy at times.

If and when I can accept and love myself I find I need less external approval, understanding, or acceptance, if that makes sense.

It would be really nice to not feel so incredibly alone when exploring the depths of self.


Edited to add:

Coming "clean" with people who haven't come clean with themselves yet, for whatever reasons, makes for some awkward space sharing.

I would just add that whether you need external approval, understanding or acceptance does nothing to increase the likelihood you will get it by random "sharing." What you may get instead is a whole lot of negative vibes and real-life challenges that you really didn't need.

Part of good decisionmaking should be a careful weighing of risks and benefits, based on past experience. Is there anything in your past experience which would tell you that spilling your guts to all and sundry will lead to any long-range improvement in your social and emotional environment?

Little Missy
12-03-16, 06:26 PM
Just be careful what you wish for.

anonymouslyadd
12-03-16, 11:42 PM
Has anyone in here actually broken down and opened up to someone?

Here's my dilemma. The idea of opening up and coming clean about my mental troubles, which have seemingly gotten worse and worse bc of depression and anxiety and stress, seems extremely scary because I'm afraid that people will never look at me the same.
I reject the idea that we need to come clean, like not sharing is wrong. ADD is a medical condition and our personal business. We don't have to be ashamed of keeping our private business private.

Are you talking about letting friends, relatives or coworkers know?
However, I think that even the most judgmental person, if you truly open up and explain that you're scared, and that you didn't choose to be this way and do it, and make it your life's mission to open up about it so you can help others be less afraid, then not only will people not be afraid of you, but rather they'll admire your bravery.
The most judgmental person may not believe you, tell you that you're not trying hard enough or laugh about it. The most judgmental person does not have to admire your bravery. They do not have to care.
Also, I think that's one of the most therapeutic things you can truly do for your condition, because so much of my energy goes into hiding my problems from people and trying to put up a fake facade of being cool. I think I, and others in the same boat, were able to instead make peace with ourselves, then we no longer would spend all that energy trying to appear a certain way.
There are many negatives to this therapeutic positive. There's social rejection, work impact, etc.
It seems scary, and I don't know if I'll ever have the courage to do it, but I want to live my life to where people will come up to me and open up about things they've kept hidden from others because of how moved they were about how I live my life. Ya know, kinda like when you're ashamed of something and someone you're hanging out with says they do the same thing, then you can't help but blurt out that you're the same way. For example maybe a song that you like that might be embarrassing to admit. Obviously that's a very small example, but you get the idea.
There are many ways to be courageous, Nate. Join a public speaking group or go to a club by yourself to test insecurities, which I've done before.
Can you imagine the incredible feeling that would give you to not only get that off your chest, but then have people tell you you've changed their lives bc of your bravery? That would be incredible. Maybe that's what Jesus meant by shine your light, and bear your cross. I dunno, just some thoughts.
I know what's you're trying to do. I know your heart is in the right place, and in a utopian society we could all share our medical issues without fear of rejection.

sarahsweets
12-04-16, 10:21 AM
What you are talking about is similar to what I was fortunate enough to experience due to getting sober. Now for me, it took a 12 step program to get sober and one of the things I found freedom with was admitting I was an alcoholic and using that to be honest with myself and others. Sharing that I am an alcoholic with others has given me the grace to share what I have learned through experience, has enabled me to get closer to others and allow myself to be helped. The key thing is though- I share this with other alcoholics who are also in the same space as I am trying to get,or staying sober. What I learned the hard way was- telling the world I am an alcoholic in recovery does not automatically mean that other people want to, or are ready to hear this. I have faced judgments from people that have their own preconceived notions about addiction, and people that have treated me as less then because of it.

I tried to share this with some judgy people because I thought it would open the doors of dialogue, or encourage other people to share. When it has been in an audience of people who were not in the same part of their lives that I was, it hasnt turned out postively.

Part of sharing intimate things, is hoping others can relate, and if you feel like you have slayed a demon in your life that others can also slay- then your honesty has the ability to touch their very soul. When people are ready to hear the truth- they send out little "truth vibes" and it sort of leads me toward feeling safe about sharing- and the reward I reap can be so very fulfilling.
Knowing that any suffering I have endured can help someone else almost makes it worth it- and worthy of a share- but only among willing souls.

I guess this is too long winded to makes sense but the bottom line is:
There is something magical and fantastic about opening up to people- WHEN those people are ready and of the mindset to hear and not judge. Just because I feel like being open with feel good to me and may help others, doesnt mean that opening up to people whenever I feel like it is a good idea.
Use your best gut instincts on this one.
Above everything- believe that you are a survivor because you are.

ginniebean
12-04-16, 12:30 PM
For myself, I am not a share'er. Even here I don't disclose much in a personal way. Not living in secret would be not only nice but incredibly healthy. i just feel that we don't live in that world and other than paid professionals who have some restraints in place, I would not be willing to let it hang even here. i have been stung too often.

I realise everyone's mileage may vary.

ADDon1
12-04-16, 05:32 PM
http://cdn.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/1334874266551_1514810.png

midnightstar
12-04-16, 05:38 PM
I never tell anyone about my mental health. Not even my family know what I got diagnosed with. not ADHD, I got diagnosed with other stuff)

jkimbo
12-04-16, 07:45 PM
I am of the opinion it's none of anyone's business, I do not recommend coming clean. I made that mistake, people will never look at you the same. Even a simple mistake will then be attributed to your mental health.

I understand this feeling of the need to come clean, and for family that's fine, and perhaps even some friends. But never in the work place.

I would say, no, tell no one.

finallyfound10
01-15-17, 02:10 AM
I am only totally open on here and with my therapist (who I'm seeing next week for the time in about 6 months) but that's it.

I would like find someone else to be totally open with but it's really, really hard for I think a few reasons: I am An Adult Child of an Alcoholic(ACoA) and we are masters at pretending everything is fine and it is just second nature to due that. I have also notices that since I've become a nurse, I am more aware of myself thinking that people will judge me even more harshly than I already think people will if they found that I have issues.

ToneTone
01-16-17, 02:45 PM
I'm pretty open with my history of depression and ADHD. I share my stories when I feel like it.

I am a teacher, and recently, I've gone more public with my history of depression. I don't talk about ADHD so much ... But I use my depression history and ADHD awareness when I see students who are struggling with possibly one or both of those conditions.

What I do is talk knowledgeably about treatment options ... most of the time students don't even ask, "How do you know so much?" And I don't tell them. Occasionally I'll share my story with a student who has ADHD ... but only with one who I really click with and seems they can handle it.

So mainly I share to be helpful to other people ... Sharing with my family (most are dead now) didn't really go anywhere so I quit that a long long time ago.

Probably best to start with sharing with a therapist ... just being fully open and honest with a therapist is a big challenge! ... Then share with a support group of people who are also sharing ... Then the goal is to develop the skill to notice who is really open to your sharing ... usually it's people who have had the problem themselves.

To be honest, the sharing I get the best response to (in terms of getting close to other people) is not clinical ... as in mentioning depression or ADHD. With friends, even good friends, what seems most helpful is just to share my struggles without the mental health labels. "I'm feeling awful." "I'm really bummed about what happened at my job." "I want to get better at meeting people."

People seem to be able to handle the plain-language sharing a lot more than the sharing of the clinical labels ... and ironically the support and empathy and sympathy I get from people when I share in plain language actually helps me with the clinical condition. When I don't feel like I have to hide feeling bummed ... I'm much more resilient in handling my depression, which is largely in remission thanks to meds and therapy.

Tone

acdc01
01-19-17, 07:00 PM
I don't think the term "coming clean" is the right term. This is your own information and you don't owe it to anyone else to share or not share. Not even your own parents are entitled to know this - you don't have to share unless you want to.

That said, I'm completely open in my personal life about it. One, I don't really find it that big a deal. I'm not really sensitive about my ADHD. Some people I've told do question whether I have ADHD at all and it's ok cause I don't care what they think about this. Well I do care given the reaction I had once, but not enough to keep me from sharing.

If you are sensitive about rejection, then you might want to hold off on sharing with the entire world cause odds are, someone will reject you. You could just share with people you think would take it better or you could not share at all - it's totally up to you.

I'm completely open about my ADHD cause I do want some people to know everything about me. I just feel a deeper connection with people who I'm more open to and having connections is important. I do feel less connected to people, the more I hide my true self. I do hide certain things from others. And it does make me feel less connected to people.

Bethylphenidate
01-20-17, 10:19 AM
I was open with my fiancÚ about my "mental issues" (ADHD included) very early in our interactions. I didn't tell him the day we met, but I brought it up the moment I realized we might have a future... the moment I realized I wanted to see if we have a future.

I knew there were no guarantees; I knew that at worst, he might either leave me or judge me. (I thought he'd be more likely to leave than to judge, though. I saw him as someone who'd be kind enough to say, "I'm sorry but I can't handle what you're telling me," but not the type of person to broadcast to the world what a nut he fled from.)

I realized that telling him had its risks, but not telling him had its risks, also. I also realized that if my "mental issues" were going to be the downfall of our relationship, I would want to know right away. I'm not broken, so someone out there will love me eventually. Leaving him wouldn't bring that hypothetical "someone out there" to my doorstep the following day, but it would save me from wasting time pursuing something with no future.

In the past, I didn't even always know what was wrong. When I did figure it out, I'd always meet a new potential person with this thought that "Now I will change." Don't get me wrong, I've changed a lot in 12+ years of relationships, but I'm still fundamentally the same person, just more mature and aware. Actually, in regards to "mental issues" I have, now that they are out in the open, I'm more able to effectively deal with them! I'm NOT saying my fiancÚ has "cured" or even "changed" me, but he's sure helped me help myself... and I had to make that first step!

That being said, as far as new friends, co-workers, acquaintances, or even family I hardly see? Pffft, I'm not interested in "coming clean" anymore.

It's my business to tell, and if I think it's relevant to our relationship and I think you've proven nonjudgmental, I'll probably tell you. Need-to-know basis, you know?