#82: Masking Your Mental Health (And the Price You Pay)

anxiety empowerment strategy Oct 23, 2020
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Do you like to keep up appearances? Maybe you are great at convincing others that everything is fine when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. But maybe you’ve discovered that this doesn’t lead to the kind of freedoms you are looking for.

One of my earliest memories of bipolar disorder, back when it didn’t have a name (for me), was how much energy and work it takes to conceal my struggle. Some people refer to this as a “mask” that they have to wear to protect themselves from negative social consequences.

When symptoms begin to surface, it’s a common reality for those with mental health challenges. That’s why today’s episode of The Bipolar Now Podcast goes straight into the workaround for this dilemma. You’ll find that covering up your inner self is still an option, but only when it works best for you.

Don't miss it!


Listen to the podcast:



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  • One reality of wearing a “mask” on your mental health is that it’s harder to breathe. You’ll find that social settings and work are greatly impaired when you conceal your challenges.

  • If your job doesn’t allow you to be real and honest about your mental health, it’s probably time to look for another one. Bipolar disorder touches a great number of people, so chances are good for you finding an employer or boss who is sympathetic and helpful.

  • Be sure to maintain open communications with your Lifer or Lifer Team, as a way to practice sharing your mental health with other important people in your life. Never feel pressure to disclose to random people or the ignorant!


Lifer Discussion Guide

There is no Lifer guide for this episode, but you can use the “cover story fess up” (mask removal) challenge in this episode to open up a conversation this week. “Lifers” are special people who have the kind of faithfulness to you that assures you they’ll be there when called upon. If you haven’t nominated a Lifer as part of your non-medical support team, what are you waiting for? :-)


Join the Tribe!

Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so, make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Network on Facebook! There’s quite a few people over there who are also taking a new step in their mental health. And we’d love for you to share your story with us when you’re ready. So don’t miss out!


Other ways to enjoy this episode

Download a transcript