Dating with mental illness
I’m deadly frightened to tell him because this is something I am really ashamed of.I trust him and know my secret would be safe with him, but I’m terrified that he’ll suddenly find me disgusting, or frightening, or that he’ll never be able to trust me again – because honestly, who would fully trust someone who’s a compulsive liar?I also think someone thinking this deeply about these things, as you are, who is considering taking a pretty big emotional risk by disclosing something she’s scared about for the other person’s benefit?That person sounds very trustworthy to me, and like someone very invested in building trust and being very mindful about it—more mindful than most.Often what stigma demonstrates most is a lack of education, understanding, or compassion on behalf of those applying stigma.Mental illness is not a choice, just like having freckles, autism, or cerebral palsy aren’t choices.After all, figuring out if we’re ready to date in general, and then if we’re in the right head space right now, or with a given person, to do that, is something for everyone to do, not just someone with mental illness.
I think the best first step is a fact-finding mission and an in-depth talk with someone educated about your condition who also knows you and how you have dealt with it so far.
I just keep it under wraps and tackle the illness on my own, with the support of my nuclear family.
The thing is, one of my friends has recently expressed a romantic interest in me, and I would very much like to get involved in a relationship with him, but this would mean disclosing my problem to him, because of course I’m not going to enter a relationship without telling the other person involved about this first.
Add that to the stigma attached to nearly any mental illness, and it’s unfortunately all too easy to feel very isolated, ashamed, scared about social interactions, and vulnerable. Starting to date, period, can be mighty daunting too.
I’m so sorry that you’re feeling the way that you are right now; it sounds pretty overwhelming.