There are costs and benefits for people with psychiatric disorders to decide to disclose publicly these disorders. The LGBTQ community has struggled with the same tension and their discoveries about coming out may prove useful for the disclosure concerns of persons with mental illness. Lessons learned about coming out by the LGBTQ community include a variety of models that map the stages for successfully coming out; e.g., identity confusion, comparison, identify acceptance, immersion, and identity synthesis. Navigating these stages requires consideration of the costs and benefits of disclosure; we review some of these including social avoidance and disapproval as key costs and improved psychological well-being and interpersonal relations as benefits. The paper ends with a review of levels of disclosure for people who opt to come out.
Sadly I can only provide a link, as I fear I would be breaching copyright law by posting the article in its entirety. This paper is a great read, and an interesting look at the lessons that the mentally ill may be able to learn from the LGBTQ community in terms of ‘coming out’. I think this is a point very pertinent to this zine and its aims: hopefully, even by remaining anonymous, we can forge a sense of solidarity and empowerment.