Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

If you have a physical or mental condition that acts as a barrier to relationships, how do you handle it with other people?

Asked by Jeruba (50690points) December 6th, 2015

Do you

 (a) discuss it openly?
 (b) discuss it selectively?
 (c) blame your symptoms on some other cause?
 (d) deny it?
 (e) isolate yourself?
 (f) other?

What if you’re being treated for it? What if you’re not?

Topic tags: health, conditions, symptoms, illness, secrets, candor, self-disclosure, privacy, caution.

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8 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I am on medication that has side effects that make me sleep all day. I end up lounging around and Fluthering all day.

Seek's avatar

B and E, generally.

My friends know that I have depression and anxiety and that I’m a chronic introvert, so when I disappear off the face of the earth for long periods of time, they’re nice enough to send me a PM on Facebook to check my pulse, but otherwise let me be until I’m ready to return to society.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

A C D E . B in person.

si3tech's avatar

My hearing loss is a barrier to relationships. Deafness/hard of hearing does isolate the people from the “hearing world”. As a shy person it is difficult for me at times to “fit in” with some gatherings. I cope by wearing hearing aids, (power aids”) and I have a “streamer pro” and a microphone I use. These work best in a one on one situation, say at a restaurant. And I also take classes in American Sign Language which are fun and interesting. I really don’t know many people who are deaf/hard of hearing. I have tried to make others as comfortable as I can when I talk about it. It’s okay! Say DEAF! It is what it is. I have not always been deaf. In the last 15 years or so I have lost nearly all of my hearing. Good question @Jeruba !

DrasticDreamer's avatar

A (online), B and E. I’ve been struggling to heal a really bad rib injury for about three years now. At the same time I got my rib injury, I got extremely sick in general with a wide range of symptoms that baffled doctors (was checked for Lupus three different times, checked for stroke, brain tumors, MS was brought up, etc), but nothing was ever figured out. Thankfully, my health has improved significantly within the last year.

But before that, very few people in my life understood exactly how bad it was because it was all basically invisible, except rare times I would allow people to be around me during what I called an “episode”, and then they’d get an idea because they could see how bad of shape I was in.

But, I stopped talking to a lot of people. Partially because I had to because it stopped my life in its tracks. Doing most things became impossible. I also stopped taking to a lot of people because a large number of them didn’t even try to understand and that became angry with me. Accused me of making excuses to avoid seeing them and all kinds of things. It was very difficult.

Now, I just focus on myself and doing whatever it takes to get healthy. It’s the best thing I can do for myself. I have no desire to explain things over and over to people who most likely won’t care or even try to understand why I can’t always be the most accommodating and/or spontaneous friend in the world.

Plonk's avatar

I prefer to isolate myself. I try to drive people away when it seems like they are in danger of liking me. I hate the phone. I hardly ever go out. When I do, I stay away from situations where I might have to talk to people. Yep. Depression and social anxiety are motherfuckers.

I only discuss it with people who might understand—such as people in my support group—or online, where I don’t really know anyone, because we are all anonymous. Oddly, because of talking about it online so much, I have become a bit braver about talking to people in real life. I finally told my mother—but only after my father died. Make of that what you will.

Good question, @Jeruba!

augustlan's avatar

Mostly A, with anyone who knows me even moderately well. At the same time, I try not to talk about it all the time. I don’t want to annoy people more than I already do.

How about you, @Jeruba?

Jeruba's avatar

@augustlan, I prefer not to let those things get in the way of a relationship, but if I have to talk about it, I will. Sometimes I’d rather not see anybody than have to explain.

When it’s a cast on my arm or my leg, there’s not much I can do to pretend it’s not there. But I still don’t want to talk about it much. I guess that puts me mostly in the D and B camp, heading for E at a moment’s notice; but I have been known to do C, offering an explanation that’s more socially acceptable than the true one.

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