Post # 1
My Maid of Honour is throwing me a bachelorette party in the fall. I’m really nervous. Within my bridal party, 3 of the 5 girls know I’m Bipolar (one is trying to convince my Maid/Matron of Honor that I can’t drink). I am worried that it will slip. None of the girls are friends, and the ones that know found out in isolated ways (through me confiding in them). I told my Maid/Matron of Honor that I am allergic to alcohol, but the truth is, if I were to drink what is typically drank at these types of parties I would get very sick. I almost want to tell the girls that know not to say anything? My Maid/Matron of Honor is a family member and if she finds out my extended family will know. One of my bridesmaids will be my future sister in law. I don’t want her finding out either. What should I do?
Post # 3
Hm. So about the alcohol issue. Just say that you don’t want to drink. You can still go out and eat and dance and party, you just don’t want to drink. If they ask why just say you don’t want to and be firm and then change the conversation. They don’t need an explanation.
However, it can be really detrimental to be so secretive about a diagnosis like bipolar. I’m confused about your bridesmaids not being friends? These should be your best freinds. People that you trust with anything. People you could tell that you have bipolar and they wouldn’t judge you. Mental illness can still carry stimgma, but I think this is changing and more and more people are learning to be non-judgemental. And the only way this happens is if people are honest about their diagnosis. It’s a medical condition. It is in no way anything to be embarassed by. It’s also not your fault. Good luck and I hope your bridesmaids are supportive.
Post # 4
No one says you have to go out to bars and do typical “bachelorette party” things. Let it be known to your bridal party that you’d have more fun doing __________.
Post # 5
I am a little confusded too that your Maid/Matron of Honor who is typically the closest person to you doesn’t know that you are bipolar? I think in your situation you should have everyone close to you knowing this and supporting you, especially family. Does you fiance know? I think you would feel so much better if you were honest and open about such a thing. Keeping secrets can be draining. Is it a new diagnosis? Are you younger? Do you feel the family members that don’t know wouldn’t understand or be supportive. Sorry you feel alone in this! If you don’t want to drink you shouldn’t. No one has to drink, there are plenty of things you girls can do to have fun that doesn’t revolve around getting drunk.
Post # 6
A diagnosis like bipolar disorder, or even depression is something that many people aren’t comfortable with. I have a family member who was diagnosed bipolar and even they look poorly upon others with the disorder (they refuse to accept the diagnosis). I have another close person in my life who was diagnosed, on meds and in counseling, and their family (and some friends) refused to believe it was an actual disorder. The person has had problems with blaming themself for the way they felt and acted in the past, when it was the disorder. Like depression, many people look at these kinds of diagnosises like it’s something the person can control. She doesn’t want her extended family or her future in-laws to know. People react differently when told, and it’s not always helpful. This isn’t necessarily a secret, just something that is not everyones’ business.
@weightwatchers152: Speak with the girls who do know, and tell them the others don’t know. Ask them to please keep it confidential. If you want to do something other than bar-hop, let your MoH know and ask if something else can be planned.
Post # 7
Do something where no alcohol is involved and tell the other girls not to say anything just in case. I have a religious friend who had her bachelorette party at an amusement park and had a great time. Or you can go bowling or do a spa day!
Post # 8
I can’t drink alcohol due to medications and health issues and I still had a kick ass bachelor party. We still went clubbing and those who wanted to drink did so. If anyone passes you a drink just say thanks and when the time is right just set it aside or ask one of the girls who you have confided in to grab it and drink it.
I know as @HeathenSwan: said a lot of people still do not understand mental illness but part of that is also because sufferers still feel the need to hide it which continues the shame cycle. I would encourage you to be open and honest with your friends and family. Hiding a mental illness can have a detrimental effect on your management of your disease and can stop you from ever being truly able to manage it. I have no doubt that it will be tough but you maybe suprised at who is more understanding than you thought they would be.
Good luck and have a great Bridal Party.
Post # 9
I understand that you’re worried about stigma, but it’s very important to be honest about bipolar disorder especially with family. They are the people who will support you through the hardest times your disorder may bring, and it’s very important for them to understand what’s happening and why. Individuals with bipolar disorder can definitely benefit from understanding support networks much more than secrets. I’m sorry about your diagnosis, but I still think you can have a great party and and a wonderful future even if your secret gets out.
Post # 10
@weightwatchers152: Wow, is it sad that I forget to mention to my BMs that I can’t really drink for the same reason? The thing is they know I don’t drink much anyway…
I think I told one of my BM’s about my bipolar diagnosis because I was just bummed out about it in general. With the rest I say I’m taking stuff for moods. Who knows if they put the pieces together or not.
Here’s the thing about people saying we should disclose our mental diagnoses to everyone we’re close to. It’s just not fun to do, more often than not people won’t get it, and sometimes it feels like it’s no one else’s business. There’s also a fear that if you talk about it, people will just think you want attention or excuse for your behavior… It’s a tricky situation to navigate.
Post # 11
You don’t have to have a go out to clubs and get wasted kind of a bachelorette party. A lot of people do different things, such as renting a cottage/cabin and spending time doing outdoorsy or beach activities. You could also consider taking a class – something artsy or a dance class and then going out for a nice dinner or do a spa day.
If you don’t want to put yourself in the situation where you have to tell others, you should talk to your Maid/Matron of Honor and one of the girls who does know that your are bipolar. Just let her know you’d really rather doing something low-key for your bachelorette. Take away the element of anyone asking why you aren’t drinking.
I know it can be hard to open up to others about it, it might be helpful to build a bigger support system by letting family/friends know where you are coming from and what they can do to be there or just to understand. It isn’t anyone’s business but yours and it will be your fiance’s too.
Post # 12
@littlegreenleaf: I can understand and respect that. Truthfully, I don’t know how the average person would accept this information, and my psychology degree gives me biased perspective. I would just hope that anyone who has to live with this disorder at least seriously considers full disclosure, because it can really be beneficial. However, I get that it’s not always the best plan.
Post # 13
I think you should be open with your family and tell them about the situation, they are family and shouldn’t judge you – and if they do, it’s their loss.