Mental illness carries such a huge stigma. What are some of the best ways to figure out who needs to know if you’re experiencing a mental illness, and what are some of the best ways to share that kind of information? 

I think that the only people who really need to know are the people who are intimately involved in your life. They should be people you can rely on to be totally supportive. If there’s a question about how helpful and supportive a person might be, even if it is a close family member, then telling him or her the specifics of what’s going on can turn out badly. 

Some of it also depends on how severe the illness is. If you are really disabled, it might be necessary to tell more people, such as an employer or someone at school. It’s usually best in those situations to tell the human resource person or a school counselor rather than a boss or a teacher.

Answered by: Gail Tager, she is a marriage and family therapist from Sierra Madre, California, with two decades of experience. Here, she answers five of the most common questions regarding mental health, ranging from how to find the best therapist to how to figure out when and whom to tell others about your struggles.