How to Tell Others About Your Bipolar Disorder 

How to Tell Others About Your Bipolar Disorder 

Published On: January 16, 2024

While not everyone has issues sharing information about their bipolar disorder, disclosing mental health issues may prove challenging for others.  

If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and wish to tell others about it, you may hesitate because of shame, stigma, or embarrassment. Bayridge strives to help people express themselves in healthy, proactive ways. Below, we discuss a few tips on how to tell others about your bipolar disorder. 

When To Tell

Sharing a bipolar diagnosis remains a personal decision. Consider talking to a professional online therapist beforehand and discuss any concerns about questions, comments, and issues that may arise. You also want to consider sharing your diagnosis when you’re well rather than when you’re unwell. 

If you must disclose during a period when you’re unwell, try to find the most supportive person in your life. A close friend or family member, for example, can help you share the information with others. 

Who To Tell

Talking about mental illness comes with several risks. When thinking about whether to tell someone, also consider the pros and cons of not telling them. Not everyone can offer emotional support, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love. 

Consider close friends and family as being most skillful at offering understanding. Include those best at giving a hug or lending an ear when you’re down. Out of your “list,” ask yourself who you prefer to talk to. 

Prepare Yourself for Varying Reactions 

When trying to figure out how to tell others about your bipolar disorder, bear in mind that people will have varying reactions to your diagnosis. Some may react positively, while others may react negatively. Nonetheless, remember that your diagnosis doesn’t determine your self-worth. 

Discuss Symptoms and Their Potential Effect on Others

People with bipolar disorder experience mood episodes. A mood episode, characterized by mood swings, encompasses manic and depressive episodes. 

Symptoms of a manic episode include impulsivity, increased energy, and elevated mood, while depressive episodes feature symptoms of depression, such as low mood and feelings of worthlessness. 

However, not everyone will want to discuss your symptoms, especially if they feel hurt by impulsive or risky behaviours like lying, cheating, or stealing. 

A Summary Will Come in Handy 

After sharing your bipolar diagnosis, some people may have questions about your symptoms or accommodations you might need. Your friend or family member might have limited knowledge about bipolar disorder, so a summary of the condition may prove helpful. 

Work With Your Mental Health Expert on a Plan To Tell Others 

If you have concerns or worries about sharing your diagnosis with others, your professional therapist or doctor could help you develop a strategy for sharing your diagnosis.  

Give yourself grace, understand your ADA rights, and disclose only information you feel comfortable sharing. There’s no harm in maintaining boundaries. 

Contact Bayridge for Professional Guidance 

Are you still wondering how to tell others about your bipolar disorder? We can help. Call our Bayridge team at (905) 319-1488 to book a consultation in or around Ontario.

Bipolar Disorder Counselling in Canada

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