Dear Dish-It: Do I Tell My Friends About My Disorder?

Dear Dish-It,

I have a syndrome called blind rage syndrome. I found out two years ago when I first started feeling the effects and I'm afraid of what my friends will think of me if they find out.


Dear James,

The first thing you need to know and remember is that nobody's perfect, not even your friends. Chances are they've got things about them that they don't want you or anyone else to know, or that they're afraid of revealing because they're not sure how other people will react. You're not alone.

If you choose to talk to your friends about your syndrome (and that's something that's 100% up to you), know that it's probably not going to be a very easy discussion. The first thing you need to do is assess your friendship with each person when you're deciding whether you want to tell them or not. How much do you trust the person? Can you trust the person with your emotions? Will this person spread your feelings around the school?

If you feel you can trust the person, your next step is to assess how much the person actually knows about your specific disorder or dealing with a disorder of some kind in general. You are best to assume they know nothing at all on this topic and you should tell them in simple terms.

What To Do: Tell them you suffer from a lifelong disease that affects your moods. Tell them what it's like to live with your syndrome. After you describe what it is like having this disorder, make it clear to them that people with your disorder can and do live successful lives. It is important they understand that you are still a normal kid. You just have this disease that affects your brain. Stress that most of the time you will behave like every other normal kid and blend in, but you will also have the mood episodes that come with having blind rage syndrome.

Having friends who understand your disorder can be a great support system. They can be a terrific sounding board if they are capable of understanding what you go through and if you can trust them. Often, your friends can provide a level of support and point of view your parents, doctors and therapists are not able to provide.

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