Ok, so I am trying to decide what I will tell my boss about my mental illness if she asks. I have already told her that I will need to be out for parts of the day. I informed her that I was seeking treatment for a previously diagnosed mental issue. Her son has been diagnosed as bipolar for almost 20 years. She is very open and understanding to mental illness. She also seems to be very friendly with me. She takes me to lunch at least once a week as a thank you for the work that I do. I haven’t gone to lunch with her alone since I told her I was seeking treatment (I didn’t say “in therapy”, but she probably knew what I meant). She asked me to go the day after I told her, but it was also the day of my first DBT session, so I had to decline my free meal.
I am torn about telling her what my diagnosis is, should she ask. I feel like this topic WILL come up at some point, so I need to know how to handle it. I don’t do very well being asked questions like that when I haven’t put some thought into my answer. I usually just end up spouting off at the mouth and giving away more than I intended.
Ok, so, her son has bipolar. She is understanding and sympathetic towards mental illness. I understand that there is a stigma against BPD. I know that people have a hard time understanding BPD. They think they have a handle on bipolar because it is so commonly diagnosed. Borderline Personality Disorder is different. Less people know about it. A lot think it is multiple personalities (Though it is close, isn’t it?). A lot think someone with BPD cannot be “cured” or “fixed” or “helped”. We are seen as difficult and manipulative.
Anyway, I guess I am just looking for some advice. She is very understanding, but, if I decide to tell her what my diagnosis is, how MUCH do I tell her? I feel like I should give her the full picture so she won’t be freaked out when she Googles it. Then again, do I want her to know that I feel like a different person trapped in my head? That I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror? That I cut myself when I’m stressed? That I can barely function on a day to day basis? That I sit at my desk and cry throughout the day? That I have to go outside to my car and scream and hit things? That I take EVERYTHING as a criticism? That I feel so fucking worthless and despicable that I don’t deserve to live? That I get so angry I shake and have violent urges?
Please help!! How much info should I share? What should I hold back?