Okay, so it’s not the complete truth. But it’s a start.
What happened was that tonight I went out to dinner with two of my Uni friends, M and S who I’ve been close with for about a year now. I was wearing my Reach Out wrist bands (they’re awesome, go buy some if you live in Australia! :P) and M asked me what they were for. So I told them, that they were Reach Out bands from Jay Jays and that Reach Out is the organisation I am a Youth Amassador (YA) for. They asked what I do as a YA so I told them, and they asked me if am I really into it. And I said yes, it’s something that I’m passionate about.
M then told us about a friend she has who has severe depression who is currently inpatient at hospital because of her mental illness. M said that her friend had called her in late November to tell her that she was in hospital and since then she had visited said friend in hospital. I told my friends that when I was in year 12 I also had a friend who had depression and she had been in a mental health clinic numerous times.
S asked M whether she could tell that her friend has depression and M said no, she couldn’t tell. I asked M whether or not her friend had been seeing a psychologist and M said that her friend had been seeing the psychologist that we have at our Uni campus.
S said that she doesn’t know anyone with depression. Pretty sure you do…a lot of the time people just hide it well. In fact, I know that someone from her high school in the same year as us has been in a mental health clinic due to having bipolar disorder. So I told her, I ‘had’ depression and saw a psychologist for it. There you go, you know someone with depression now. I said that it was when I was in high school. M asked, ‘Was it the beginning of high school like in year 8?’ Hmm, how about the whole of high school? So I just told her that I had depression towards the end of high school.
I asked M whether or not her friend is taking medication. And M said that her friend is taking pretty potent medication to treat depression which makes her shiver? I then also revealed that the psychiatrist I saw wanted to prescribe me medication to treat depression but my parents were against me taking medication for it so I just saw a psychologist.
Talking about this as if it’s all in the past…M said that it’s good I’m recovered now. Yeah…’recovered.’ I didn’t want to reveal that I’m still struggling with my mental health issues, maybe not so much depression these days but more eating issues and at times self harm issues. This is the first time that I ever told them anything about me having any sort of mental health issues so I didn’t want to tell them too much all in one go. Don’t want to scare them away now. I’m also afraid that if they know the whole story and they know that I am still struggling with mental health issues now, they’d see me differently and treat me differently too. Anyway, I don’t know if they’d even believe me. All they see is the BtF I want them to see- the one that talks, jokes and seems happy. Not the BtF that I reserve for when I’m alone by myself, the one that cries, cuts, binges, purges, has terrible body image and self esteem and overdoses and drinks on occasion.
Still, I’m somewhat relieved at telling them partly the truth and introducing them to the fact that I do have a history with mental health issues. Normally I’m a very secretive person, especially when it comes to revealing my mental health issues. So even saying that I ‘had’ depression and saw a psychologist and psychiatrist is quite a big step for me.
It helps when a discussion of the topic is already going on and I know that my friend already has experience with someone else having a mental illness. Like in year 12, I told a couple of friends about my mental health issues after years of keeping a secret but only because another friend had depression so I was able to tell that I was going through similar issues too. Same with now.
But seeing as I didn’t tell them about any of my ED stuff, I was still able to go to the toilets at the cafe we were at to go and purge without arousing any suspicion of what I was really doing in the toilets…