Thursday, April 22News That Matters

LPT: Don’t try to hide your mental health. Just be honest with the people in your life.

For years, I hid the fact that I have PTSD. Never told anyone. Life was way harder because I was constantly making excuses and lying and beating around the bush and generally not being true to myself around others. People would see through this, and sooner or later, they would distance themselves from me because they thought I was just a weirdo liar who couldn't keep themselves together.

When I opened up about PTSD, I did have to deal with a few awkward conversations e.g. "why do you have PTSD??" Overall, life improved though. I could be more authentic and truthful about my feelings and reactions because the people who were in my life knew what was going on with me.

Obviously, use discretion when choosing who needs to know these things. Your roommates, friends, family members, and/or caregivers are most likely good choices, and your relationships with them could benefit from being honest about these things. Coworkers, neighbors, teachers or acquaintances probably don't need to know, and it could make your relationships with them more awkward or overly complicated. If you have a bad experience while telling someone you value in your life, let the matter settle for a few days, then message them and tell them why it was important to you to tell them about it. If they still have a poor reaction, then that's on them, and you can move on knowing you gave them a chance to think about it and accept it.

Having a network of support on your journey to being more mentally healthy is incredibly important, and telling people about your experiences can be freeing. That being said, make sure you're not overwhelming people with details or make it seem like you're inviting pity. Tell them what they need to know in order to support and love you better, without making it seem like you're going to them for therapy. If they want all the details, and you're not comfortable sharing them all, be honest about that too.

Remember that you are not a burden, and that you deserve support and love from those closest to you.

If you are experiencing thoughts of harming yourself, or thoughts of suicidal ideation, or need to make a safety plan for yourself, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

submitted by /u/VerySuspiciousFish
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