Whether you plan on revealing or keeping your depression secret is up to you, but here’s something to consider about the effects of stigma:
Take a look at the problem
For some, disclosing a diagnosis can be liberating, while others might find telling others not worth the negative stigma. There are still many who don’t understand mental health disorders despite anti-stigma campaigns. Studies show that younger people are more accepting of mental health issues and they view seeking treatment as a sign of strength. Nevertheless you can still feel marginalized when you encounter stigma from others outside your close circle of people (likely family and friends).
Risk vs Reward
First determine why you want others to know about your diagnosis. For example, what might you gain from this other person knowing and what might the other person gain from this knowledge? Are you prepared to deal with the stigma? By asking yourself these questions you’ll be able to realize if it’s truly in your best interest to disclose or not.
If you decide on revealing your diagnosis to another, first get a good handle yourself on how much detail you are willing to share, realizing there is stigma associated with certain aspects of the disorder. For example, decide beforehand whether you are going to tell the other person about specific experiences about your depression and if you’ll share that you’re taking medication and are in therapy. Being prepared ahead of time about what you’ll say is wise, as is knowing how you’ll respond to certain questions the other may have.
Consider the workplace
Disclosing your depression in your workplace should be carefully and thoughtfully considered. Every situation is different, but realize that many people with mental health issues do identify employment discrimination as one of their most frequent stigma experiences. Career advancement after revealing a depression diagnosis may also be limited. It’s best to talk things out with your therapist or a trusted advisor first before telling your manager, especially if your depression is in remission; there may be no compelling reason to share your diagnosis.
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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