Moodscope's blog

28

May


Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Wednesday May 28, 2014

How honest should we be when people ask "How are you?"?

So, let's be honest with ourselves first: how many of those people actually want or are expecting an honest answer? When someone is introduced to you, shakes hands and says "How do you do" it's not a question; the correct answer is "How do you do." (Yes – it's one of the many very silly things about British etiquette). Similarly, the glibly asked "how are you?" often requires the standard reply "Very well, thank you" regardless of our actual state of health.

So, who do we tell when we're not well at all?

There's a reason for the title of this post. Most of us over the age of forty will remember a time when the majority of gay people kept their sexuality a secret from the majority of their work colleagues and even from family and anyone who was not a close friend. There are those who wish things were still that way. Fortunately, the rest of the world has moved on.

We know from the replies to this blog that there are more than a few people out there who feel that way about their mental health. If they were to "come out" about being bipolar or having clinical depression they fear that their jobs would be unsafe, their chances of promotion compromised and their social standing undermined.

I'm not going to say they're wrong. We've still got a long, long way to go before mental health issues are accepted with the same insouciance as conditions like (say) asthma.
So, back to the question; who do we tell?

This "down" for me has been the most serious for eight years or so. What's been brilliant is having the Moodscope score to let my buddies (including my husband) know what's going on. Moodscope does my honesty there for me. Because I'm so physically compromised at the moment and really do look ill, anyone who is more than casually acquainted with me knows something is wrong. I do have to be truthful about not being well, but I don't always say "I have depression"; sometimes I'm "just very tired."

Maybe it's just luck, but when I have told, there has been vastly more acceptance and understanding than I was expecting.

But, while I'm happy to say I'm bipolar when things are fine and I am well, I'd much rather not tell when I'm down. I don't want most of my clients to know and I don't want most of my extended family to know. When you're down you're far more vulnerable and instinctively you seek to protect yourself and I'd rather not burden them with the knowledge.

So, in the end, the question is who do you trust with yourself? Who can you be vulnerable with? I really hope that at least a few names come to mind for you.

Mary
A Moodscope Member.


Permalink  |  Blog Home

Comments

Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 21 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive

Disclaimer

Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.