Disclose or not? The catch 22 of mental illness stigma

I want to share a recent post of mine from psychinaction because I think it applies to addiction as much as it does to other mental health issues:

A report published by SAMHSA addresses the issue of self-disclosure regarding mental illness.

Research has already shown that the more familiar people are with others who have different form of mental illness, the more their attitudes regarding mental illness will improve.

The problem is that in the process, those who self-disclose fear being ostracized, losing their jobs, and suffering other similar consequences.

Still, the report found that those who do self-disclose often experience relief and find that it improves their relationships. I think this can be especially true for addicts, who often feel shame and therefore hide their drug issues.

Obviously, the process requires careful timing. Also, a progression of self-disclosure, from a small group of trusted friends on, is suggested.

For the full report, go here: “Self-disclosure and its impact on individuals who receive mental health services.”

3 responses to “Disclose or not? The catch 22 of mental illness stigma”

  1. Another aspect to this discussion is that mental illness exists as a dual diagnoses in more than half of all alcoholics. These individuals find it difficult enough to admit they are alcoholics, but to go further and admit they have a mental illness is often more than they can do given the stigma associated with both diseases. The further catch 22 is that failure to treat the mental illness will likely prevent the recovery from alcoholism.

  2. Great points Lisa! I’ve covered the issue of the relationship between addiction and other mental health problems in previous posts, but it can never be overestimated.

  3. I tottally agree with the post, but as someone at another site said, sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail, even if its a simple task.

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