When you want to come clean to your near and dear ones regarding your mental illness, you need to disclose it in a planned manner so that you get the desired response from the people around you.
- Talking About Talking.
This process is also known as Process talk. You should prepare your listener about talking before actually talking about it. Here are some things you can say to your listener before disclosing-
“I want to talk to you about something bothering me about I am not sure how to say it”
“I am hoping that I’ll feel better once I come clean to you about what is actually going on inside my head”
“I hope you can listen to me and understand what I am trying to tell you.”
“Please don’t laugh or make fun of what I am about to tell you, it is very important to me and I haven’t spoken about it with anybody else, I hope that I can trust you with my feelings.”
- Present examples.
Solid and legitimate examples of what you are experiencing will go a long way for the listener to understand your condition much better. Not every mental illness is the same, the causes and the experiences are subjective and thus while disclosing your condition, you must be specific regarding your personal experiences. For example-
“I have trouble maintaining my concentration on work these days. I just get distracted very easily and I find myself very demotivated to carry on any task that is given to me, I just feel everything I do has no meaning”
“I think something is wrong with me because I have started to sleep for only a couple of hours in the night and I am skipping my classes a lot. I am afraid if things continue like this only, I might never leave my apartment”.
- While coming clean to either a friend or a family member, also suggest to them some ways you think that might help you. While experiencing mental illness, one thing that helps a person to see the light at the end of the tunnel is a strong social network, and suggesting ways to help you out definitely builds on for you. For example-
“ I have been trying to see a professional but I always procrastinate because I do not want to admit that there is something wrong with me, Can you help me out to make sure that I seek medical help?”
“I have trouble completing my assignments. Can you check on me from time to time that I am not delaying everything?”
“I tend to feel very lonely at times and then it leads to very negative thoughts regarding myself. Can you remind me that I have people who love me regularly and hug me while doing so?”
- Make sure you set boundaries with people from who you are seeking help. When people are involved you will receive their opinions and ideas at times when you are not willing to share anything and hence you might go far behind in your progress just to avoid that. Hence you need to clarify to them when do you want to listen to them and when you want them to just listen to you.
- You do not have to share the thing you are not comfortable talking about. It will be certain that while disclosing you will not want to talk about some parts of your experiences, and you should know that you do not have to do so. You should be able to say, “I do not want to talk about this” very firmly and without regrets.