Shame and Self-Disclosure

There is a lively discussion in our forum about self-disclosure. A couple of forum members are pushing the boundaries by talking honestly about their bipolar when the topic comes up in conversation. So far their experiences are largely positive.

The interchange on the forum reminded me of a book I bought for my son when he was being teased. The book, 12-29-2013 9-07-56 AMcalled [amazon_link id=”1388337009″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Simon’s Hook[/amazon_link], suggested that one way to respond to teasing is to agree with the accusation. “‘Here comes fish breath.’ ‘That’s me!”

Acknowledging the supposedly shameful trait takes away the power of the teasing.

One of our forum members recently noted that the self-disclosure that she felt the best about (“I actually enjoyed it”) was telling a “foe” that she was bipolar. Her foe had indirectly brought up the topic (covert references are often the best way to shame someone), and, instead of covering up, she acknowledged that she was bipolar and proceeded to talk about bipolar in a candid way.

Wikipedia has a good discussion about the emotion of shame.

The roots of the word shame are thought to derive from an older word meaning “to cover”; as such, covering oneself, literally or figuratively, is a natural expression of shame.

Hence, not covering up the shameful trait can remove the shame.

If you are interested in participating in this conversation you can join the forum.

Here are the directions –

First you have to setup a account (Bublaa is the service that hosts our forum). Go to this page and click on the “get started” button.

I encourage you to choose a user name that is different from your real name. Although the forum is only accessible by invitation, and there have been no problems with Bublaa protecting privacy, one never knows…

After you have setup your account you will have to sign in to bublaa and then search for the forum “moodsurfing.” Send me a message asking to join and mention that you heard about the forum on the moodsurfing website, and I will be happy to welcome you.

Finally, I would ask that you personalize your profile with an image. This picture shows you how to change your profile.

12-29-2013 8-59-31 AM