Why I Cant Tell My Family About My Mental Illness

I was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder when I was about 15. It changed to Paranoid Schizophrenia when I was 21. It has went between Schizoaffective disorder and Paranoid Schizophrenia off and on since I was 21. Depending on what doctor I saw or if I went to a hospital and saw a psychiatrist there.

Only a handful of people know, which include obviously my providers, and my immediate family.

I look at that sentence and I think, “Wow, just my immediate family, why?”. Well, it’s a private matter, yes, but no one else would understand. There would be stigma, right? Both, yes. I’ve already had stigma from other family members, and people who aren’t family.

It being National Mental Health Awareness Month it’s hard to fathom that with all the kinds of change that’s happening in 2015 (and even in the recent past) in this great world, that the kind of change that I wish would happen hasn’t happened. The awareness for mental health and mental illness. It’s hard enough as it is to get my immediate family to understand my struggles with my illness, so there’s no way I’d be able to get anyone else to understand a lifetime of struggles or even a day or frame of time of struggles. I feel like why even try. That’s how I feel right now in my life. But, I wouldn’t stop spreading the awareness for others’ awareness. For others being able to have a spread awareness for their extended family family or friends or other people.

My parents are more open to me than ever, but it took a long time, many years to get here, and that’s sad in itself. They didn’t trust and didn’t want me to go to mental health providers at all. They still don’t really trust doctors in general. They belittled me for awhile, and one parent belittled my appearance because of the side effects of the medication: the weight gain. I cannot post my real feelings through some social media because of all of this, but I digress. My extended family will never truly understand my struggles. Will they ever know my illness? Maybe someday some will, if I tell them, but that’s my buisiness ultimately, and i’m not one to share my illness openly, BUT those that are mature enough to take on my buisiness and know me well enough, I might just tell them. I’m not sure about everyone’s family, but…I don’t feel like my family will ever be ready to hear it. And it makes me really sad.

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