Mar 16, 2018
Social question. Japanese social psychology
I have a big issue in hands. I had to tell my Japanese boyfriend that I have a bipolar disorder. And I'm scared because I think I shouldn't have said anything and honesty sometimes comes with a high price to pay. Any advices?!?! Please
Just beginning to prepare for the rest of my life in the land of the rising Sun and have a lot of questions to make at all levels.
Firstly, honesty is always going to be the best policy, whatever relationship you have. But my biggest concern when reading this was that if you are coming to Japan and have a prior medical condition, getting the medication or support you need might be harder here than in your home country. Depending on where you live, you might not have a doctor who can speak English or your native language. They might not prescribe the same kind of medications. Also, if you're moving somewhere brand new, it can take a massive emotional toll...if you don't know anyone, if you don't have a job for a period of time...even going to the supermarket can seem overwhelming at times. If you are moving half way around the world for a relationship there really need to be no truths that are hidden, especially because if you don't speak fluent Japanese you'll probably need to enlist quite a bit of help from him for certain things.
Yes. That much I knew ... that Japanese have some sort of taboo with psychology and mental health. About doctors. I'm already covered. My present doctors do their appointments via Skype too. So, help is no longer an issue and payments are bank transfers. For meds, there are similar brands in Japan but I also know I have to have an authorization from the embassy and medical descriptions of what I'm taking with me and why. About the Japanese language level. It's ok. I could manage in the past and I've never quitted of my studies of grammar or language. All I need is actual real time practice, I haven't had that chance for months now. About mental and emotional balance in a foreign country. No one said it would be easy but I've faced worse problems in life and I've always been an adventurer kind of person so ... it doesn't scare me. What scares me the most it's his reaction to the matter. I think I got him confused about this and I'm not sure how it's going to turn out. Sometimes honesty has a high price to pay (like I said before). As you may already know ... people with mental illness are often putted aside and looked at as unfit or incapable or as ticking time bombs. That's what scares me! People fear what the unknown. Sometimes there's not even the slightest effort to understand how things work. And ... on the opposite of what people think they know... being a bipolar is a big deal if you let it take over your life. Not my case for over a decade. Because the illness doesn't define you and doesn't make you who you are. It's a matter of being the owner of your own fate and having enough will power to make things right. But then ... human nature ... if you know what I mean. It isn't easy. Moving to a foreign country for someone. No! Moving to a foreign country to because it has been life time dream. Yes! And if I'm turning it into something real, it's for me. Good things that come along the way, are a plus and a blessing. But I gotta put my life in the first place. If something happens, I still have Me and for that I have to be independent in every way and count on Me alone.
Although it's true Japanese aren't very open to talking about mental health, I've read that almost a quarter of Japanese people suffer from mental health problems at some time in their lives. I think you are right to be honest about your situation, but you might also need to share with your boyfriend what that means - how it impacts your life and might make things different for him. It seems like you have things under control, but he might feel scared if he knows nothing about bi-polar disorder. You should have a partner who knows and understands that part of you, so it's almost a good filter to see if you want to continue being in a serious relationship with him. I hope he reacts with understanding and feels that he can trust you well after hearing that information.
I think honesty is the only way here. It would probably not be possible to hide your disorder forever, nor would you be able to have a happy relationship with you always being afraid of him finding out. If he is the right guy for you he will support you, if not he probably isn't. I've been struggling with mental health issues as well in the past and my (Japanese) husband always accompanied me to my doctor appointments. It was very reassuring for me and I think it also helped him to understand my situation. Although in my experience Japanese guys don't really talk much about feelings in relationships, I would ask him how he feels about it and also, explain how the situation makes you feel so that you both get a better understanding of the other party. Communication is key.
@Eli, thank you for your reply, That day was a struggle for me in every way possible. I had a big panic attack that day and went to the Hospital because S.O.S meds weren't enough to help. Surprisingly afterwards, we had a talk about it. He accepted me being as I am. We made everything clear , and everything turned out fine. I don't know if my story will be a happy ending like you have, I hope so. I'd like that. I've been avoiding relationships because I was tired of people and being labeled as bipolar or having their pitty didn't help. But he changed it. Because he doesn't look down on me, labels me or pitties me. He likes me being me. And he's more of a man that any other guy that I've met and did more for me than any one them. I'm blessed.