This is a post about stigma around mental illness.
When my brother began dating, his new girlfriend found me very eccentric. (I can be eccentric, and am very quiet).
She asked my brother about me, and he told her how I had depression. He also told her I had been in a hospital.
I did not know this conversation had taken place until last year.
Stephanie is no longer with my brother, and moved away, but she is still in our lives.
The question is:
Why did she accept me when she heard the story?
Why was she always so nice to me?
Why does she still write to me, and send me presents?
I could answer that Stephanie is a special person, which she is.
Where someone else might discriminate, Stephanie would not.
I could point out that she was always more mature than anyone else, and that she has always had her feet on the ground.
I could tell you more about Stephanie, and say that this explains why she always was friendly to me.
All of the above would be true.
Or is it because my brother was open?
Is this the answer?
Should we be open about our experiences?
It is so hard to know, and I do not have any answers.
Telling someone could backfire, or make our lives easier.