Hiding Mental Illness From Family

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Feb 1, 2022

Why you may want to hide your mental illness from family members

Whether you’re experiencing repeated cycles of depression, a sudden onset of anxiety or processing the after-effects of a traumatic incident, wanting to keep what you’re going through from your family members is often a natural response.

Maybe you’re feeling ashamed or confused and aren’t sure how to broach the topic with your family? It’s also possible that you live in an environment where mental health isn’t openly discussed, which could be due to old-school sentiments or stigmas perpetuated by your family dynamics. Whatever the reason, it’s perfectly understandable that you may want to keep your mental illness private until you fully comprehend it. While communication can be challenging, it’s also important. We’re here to help you with that and assure you that you don’t need to feel you’re in this alone.

Understanding mental illness with the help of peer counseling

Before you open up to any of your close friends or family about your mental health issues, perhaps consider online peer counseling to help you get to grips with it yourself first. Once you have this understanding, you may feel a bit more comfortable and confident sharing with your family members and letting them know what’s going on. Talking to a peer counselor will mean:

  • A safe platform to discuss what you’re feeling and thinking without judgment
  • A trained counselor who may be able to relate to what you’re feeling through their own personal experiences
  • Unpacking root causes of why you want to hide your mental illness from your family
  • Identifying a viable course of action to eventually talk openly to your family

The impact of hiding your mental health issues

Internalizing your mental health struggles may cause your state of wellbeing to spiral. It’s commendable to want to try and figure things out on your own, but your own thoughts and emotions may be clouding your vision in finding a solution to your mental illness. You deserve support and even more so, you are worthy of it! We encourage you not to suppress your experiences and feelings so they don’t get the chance to manifest or cause more harm. Authentic human connection in times of darkness can make all the difference.

Finding a way forward with a peer counselor

Depending on your relationship with family members, it’s worth considering a time when you may want to open up about your mental health struggles. Going the peer counseling route can help you get there. One of Peer Collective’s counselors who have gone through their own struggles with family could be the perfect ear you need. Diane is a great example! She’s a divorced mother of two, living the single parenthood life for over 10 years. She’ll use her active listening skills to help you get to a place where you feel ready to talk to your family members about your mental illness and be able to share her own experiences to give you even more perspective. These things take time, so be gentle on yourself. Even if you change your counselor along the way (which you can do at any point), having a compassionate ear and a constructive forum to understand your mental health and ways to approach the conversation with your family will look like when you’re ready is a great first step.

Our team of counselors are highly experienced and will be the sounding board you need in times of difficulty. Book your first free 30-minute session today.

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They may want to see our mental health improve but family members aren’t always able to provide us with the help we need. Don’t be discouraged, help is right where you are.


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