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Topic: Am I being unreasonable?

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. MelBah
    MelBah avatar
    1 posts
    21 March 2019

    My son, aged 12, is having a mental health crisis which we are dealing with. My husband lives in another country atm but is also very worried about our son. He has resigned to move back with us in the near future. My husband is not good at acknowledging that mental health is an illness, he seems to think it is a weakness, and best not talked about. I’m a talker and have my own mental health issues as well. I am seeking support from close friends and health professionals in this extremely stressful time.

    My husband thinks that in seeking support I am disclosing information about our son that I shouldn’t and it is not fair on our son. My argument is that in order to get support I have to tell people why we are so stressed. But it is niggling at me....does he have a point? Should I be keeping my mouth shut?

  2. David Nobody
    David Nobody avatar
    117 posts
    21 March 2019 in reply to MelBah

    Absolutely you should speak.

    If I was let out of my “prison” occasionally, I might not be here now.

    Never be embarrassed to tell the truth. Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. If your son had a broken leg, would you be concerned about showing his leg in a cast? Mental health is the same. If people care positively about your family, why keep them away? If people care negatively, it is none of their business.

    How is disclosing anything about your health to a medical practitioner “not fair”. Your son knows the issues already, how is hiding him in a “prison” going to help him?

    I know several people who refuse to disclose information about themselves and their families, relying on Dr Google and “heresay”. They don’t get better. They become more withdrawn.

    My 2c... sorry, you hit a sore spot for me. I think that keeping secrets about your son would be a mistake. He will resent you for doing that later in life. Like I do with parents. And then there will be guilt at the resentment. There are no upsides in hiding.

    Have you asked your son what he would like to do?


  3. Elizabeth CP
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Elizabeth CP avatar
    2229 posts
    21 March 2019 in reply to MelBah

    I think you need support so you can help your son. The only issue is you need to be cautious about who to speak to. Unfortunately there are people who are not good at keeping confidences & can broadcast information which can then be taken out of context. There are also people who do not understand MI and can be judgemental which can be unhelpful to your son. My son had some major mental health issues so I have some idea how hard it is for you.

    Certainly seek support from appropriate health professionals and also reach out to a couple of close friends or family members. Initially only share small amounts of information so you can see what reaction you get before sharing more personal information.

  4. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1172 posts
    21 March 2019 in reply to MelBah

    Hi MelBah

    The issue of disclosure about your son's mental health issues is tricky because it is his health, not yours. I know it impacts on you too but this is about him. My advice would be to talk to him about it and see how he feels.

    Once you tell someone you can't take it back. And not everyone is going to respond in ways that are helpful. It may take your boy some time to come to terms with his health issues and be ready to talk about it. He may never want to talk about it with certain people.

    My daughter fell ill at age 13 with anxiety and OCD. Obviously I spoke with her doctors but I didn't tell anyone else without her permission because she didn't want me too. Right or wrong, she initially felt like a freak and she was embarassed. I realised that if I was going to effectively help her to heal she needed to be able to trust me.

    When she was ready, I helped her tell people when she asked for support and did a lot of liaison between her and teachers. But disclosure to who and when was always her call. When she was ready. When she was comfortable. When she could handle it any reaction that might come her way.

    Kind thoughts to you and your son

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