Disclosure and Confusion

Disclosing my mental health status to my medical school professors…

Should I? Is that an invasion of my privacy?

I decided I’ll be doing the partial hospitalization next week. However, a problem arises. I have an obligatory class on Wednesdays, and attendance is compulsory. Now, the class coordinator is highly anal about this. She insists that if we are absent just once, without an excuse, we will not pass the course. So, you must have a valid, written excuse if you’re going to be absent (ex: hospital stay papers, death certificate….).

And here begins my worry.

I’m very private about my mental health. Only one of my friends knows I struggle, and he doesn’t even know precisely with what. He just knows I go to a psychiatrist weekly. Now, if I were to do the partial hospitalization I would have to excuse myself from Wednesday’s class. This means having to explain myself to my professor and provide a written excuse from my psychiatrist. This, to be honest, pisses me off. I would like to keep my health matters private, yet I feel obligated to disclose this information to a complete stranger.

Let’s face it, unfortunately there’s a lot of stigma around mental health. Even more around medical folk seeking help for mental health. I don’t know if I’m being paranoid when I say that I fear what said professor could do with my mental health information and how it could affect my career. It angers me.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a choice. I’ll have to provide the written excuse and disclose the fact that I’m seeking help for my mental health.

Changing the subject, I’ve been doubting these last two or three days just how much I need and deserve this partial hospitalization. I haven’t had good days, but they’ve been relatively normal after I broke down crying in my previous appointment with M. My problem is that once I have a relatively good or normal day I start doubting whether I’m actually sick with depression. I forget the fact that it’s just that, a day, ONE day.

Then, after doubting my illness, comes the self-destruction. The logic is that “because I’m sick, I can’t be happy, I have to be miserable”. So I cut. I cut today, for the first time in more than a month. I’m pissed at myself. I hate the self-destructive nature of BPD. I was doing so well, ignoring the impulses. However, here I am, back in square one.

*Sigh* There’s lots going on around my head and too little space.


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