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Disclosure #2: How Do I Tell My Boyfriend About My Illnesses

Wed, Jul 30th 2003

I have several mental illnesses (bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and various problems with anxiety) and am also in recovery for several addictive behaviors. Despite this, I have been a high-functioning member of society, managing to complete a college degree, remain consistently employed since college graduation, and live independently; therefore, many people, including some members of my family, do not know the extent of my illness. I have been fortunate enough to have a supportive family, a small group of friends and acquaintances with potential, and an understanding employer. Unfortunately, I have also lost a few friends and some professional respect due to both my illness and inappropriate disclosure of my illness. I am concerned about relationships with the opposite sex, if I should choose to become involved in one. Assuming that the gentleman with whom I am involved is neither in recovery nor living with mental illness, at what point is it appropriate to disclose my conditions, if at all?

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