Do You Share Your Blog with Mental Health Treatment Providers?

Do you share your blog with mental health treatment providers?

Sharing my blog with treatment providers came up for me for the first time recently during my inpatient hospital stay. The fact that I had a blog came up during my first meeting with a psychiatrist in ER, as he’d asked what I do with my time since I’ve been on disability.

My psychiatrist here on the inpatient unit asked if I’d be okay with him looking at it, and I responded that I wanted to take some time to think about it. I was thinking that I would share it with him, but then I decided that it wouldn’t help my cause if I ended up having to go ahead with the review panel to contest my Mental Health Act Committal (which didn’t end up being necessary). The question of whether or not he should look at my blog never came up again, but as the half-deaf fill-in doctor last week was flipping through my chart, I caught sight of my blog’s logo, so clearly somebody had found it and printed off a page from it to stick in my chart. At no point had anyone asked me the blog’s name or URL, but I’m very easily findable using Google, so it doesn’t surprise me that someone could track it down (although I am a bit surprised that they would). No one has ever had any kind of follow-up discussion with me about what they found there.

I know that some people do share their blog with their treatment provider(s). I’m not sure if that’s something I’d ever be all that keen on, although I’m not sure how to articulate why that is. Maybe it’s because I like to compartmentalize my life, and things crossing over into different compartments makes things messier in my head. I don’t like the idea of a treatment provider looking at the dialogue going on in the comments; discomfort with them reading that is more the issue for me than discomfort with them reading the posts themselves.

I think that I’d probably feel the need to self-censor somewhat if I knew treatment providers would be reading my blog. With all of you, I don’t feel the need to use much, if any, filter, and I like that feeling of freedom to write whatever I want using whatever kind of language I want.

So those are my thoughts. Now I’m curious to hear from you – have you or would you share your blog with a treatment provider? Why or why not?

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125 thoughts on “Do You Share Your Blog with Mental Health Treatment Providers?”

  1. Dr. Barry knows I have a blog. She hasn’t read it though. I have shared some of my content with her but it has been when I have printed out certain posts for her to read. One time a junior doctor got curious and googled my blog, I am also easy to find, he mentioned to dr. Barry that he’d done it and she told me he’d been looking at it. I also once let a student nurse look at it, she said it helped her and she got a lot out of looking at it. Xx

  2. I don’t feel the need to share my blog with my psychiatric nurse – I really like her and prefer is she finds out things about me from me rather than from the blog.

    I shared it with a few autism researchers though, including Simon Baron-Cohen, and the results were between not very good to catastrophic. I’m either not autistic enough for them to be listened to or my story is too traumatic. It feels like I shouldn’t exist, really.

  3. I would definitely share my blog with my providers, if they asked. As Governor Mike DeWine said in his State of the State address, the system has never truly been built. We all need to work together to build it. Just my $.02.

    1. Thomas Insel expressed something similar in his recent book Healing – for the system to be broken, there would have to be a system in the first place, and that still needs to be built.

  4. I’m sorry but I don’t like that staff photocopied a page of your blog without asking. I mean, don’t you have any rights? Don’t worry about it though. Once when I was inpatient, staff looked through my smartphone without asking. I wasn’t too happy about that.

    1. Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled. What I would be even more upset about would be if they read the journal that I had in my purse when I came in to hospital. They probably did, but I’ve chosen not to ask so I can live in pretend oblivion.

  5. Wow, I can’t believe they just went ahead and even made a photo copy. A few years back, the psychiatric RN in the hospital asked about viewing my blog. I’ve changed to new blogs a few times since, but plan on keeping this one for a while. It can get quite personal, so it would depend on who’s asking maybe. Hmmm.

  6. My counsellor and psychiatrist know about my blog and have read bits and pieces. I don’t mind: I share my ugly truths with them anyhow (mostly). I worried about sharing the blog with friends and family, which I did because they all expressed enthusiasm, but none of them bother to read anything. This works out well since I regretted providing them that info: knowing they don’t read what I write makes my writing freer.

  7. I haven’t shared my blog with a treatment provider, although I have to shared what I had written to my child’s teacher, as it explained something so much better than I could put into words.

  8. When I had my couselling during the time I became suicidal with a private counsellor, I shared her my blog. (The WP one, as I was writing there at the time.)
    She said she had read some and discussed some of it with me from off there at times, to share my feelings.
    She also said what a nice blog I had, that would help others.
    I don’t know if she ever continues reading it at times since.

    This is the only time I have mentioned my blog.

  9. I wouldn’t share the whole blog, but I am open to printing off specific posts to show a professional if I feel I described something better in writing than verbally. I think I did that once or twice. I think I also shared a mental health-related article I wrote for a Jewish website with a therapist although I don’t remember the context.

    1. I think that as long as it is on your terms, that is awesome, I’m really against someone doing it behind your back, because that is some Shady Shit.
      What you share is a privilege, it’s not their right to know.
      I can just see how many of the ways that this could go wrong for a mental health patient.
      Especially in a world that struggles to look kindly or without prejudice towards someone’s mental health.

        1. Hang in there. Learning what is in your heart And mind is absolutely a privilege.
          Because no matter what, it is not like they have a way of knowing unless you share it.
          Their assumptions don’t mean shit.
          There is a very old Robin Williams movie with Robert DeNiro called Awakenings. I totally love it and 💯 recommend.
          Oh and if your psychiatrist is reading this, I totally fucking recommend it to you, you dickless prick. You could really learn something about psych patients. We never gave up our rights or our privileges because we were diagnosed with mental health issues. Good doctors earn their patient’s respect. That too, is a privilege, regardless of whatever the plaque in your office says.
          It should be mental health patients who create a health care system.

  10. Mine don’t know about my blog and I think if I knew someone was reading it, I too would censor what I wrote. Now, I’m pretty wide open. I want the ability to criticize my providers if I want and not worry about hurt feelings if I know they’re reading it. Or to say good things, as I adore my OCD coach.
    I don’t think it’s cool that they went ahead and took an obvious look at your blog without your permission, that feels like an invasion of privacy.
    It’s kinda one reason I don’t mention mine, I don’t want to be faced with what you have been faced with – them ignoring your wishes for privacy. I’m really sorry about that!

    1. The doctor who actually asked if he could look doesn’t strike me as someone who would go behind my back, so I’m guessing it was someone I saw in the first couple days, when I’d mentioned that I had a blog but hadn’t said anything about whether or not I wanted them to look at it. It will definitely make me think twice before mentioning it in the future.

  11. I once impulsively shared one of my old blogs with my then therapist. I was really attached to her and we’d worked for a really long time, I was a child/teenager then, although looking back at our relationship and how it all worked I now see it wasn’t really very healthy, on either side. Anyway, despite like I said I really liked her, I quickly regretted sharing my blog with her, as she liked to either discuss the more sensitive contents of my posts in length during sessions, which I was not comfortable with because I felt much better writing about things rather than discussing them like that, or passing on some things to my Mum (my Mum did know about my blog and how to find it, but she didn’t feel the need to unless I specifically asked her to read some post if I wanted some properly honest feedback or something, and it felt weird having someone like that between us, even if it was someone I liked). The worst thing for me though was when, unbeknownst to me, she shared my blog with the psychologist with whom I worked at school. I was aware and agreed to them collaborating somehow and exchanging information and agreed to it, but I But even without this early experience, nowadays I don’t think I would share my blog with a treatment provider. It would feel kind of limiting and I’d feel like I wouldn’t be able to write about things as freely as I feel able to do otherwise.

      1. So was I, but I think I was too confused about the whole thing at the time to actually let it show accordingly, part of me thought that if it was okay for them to collaborate and talk and exchange stuff about me and I had no problem with it and allowed it, then perhaps it was okay for the therapist to share my blog with the psychologist as well, as part of that, and I shouldn’t have a problem with it either. Plus of course like I said I was really attached to the therapist and liked her very much and it sort of felt weird for me to think that she could do something wrong or that I could be mad at her.

  12. I’d probably share my blog as I’m still newly into my current treatment. I find I struggle to be mask less in my talks, I feel shame when talking about my feelings. If my MH provider would read my blog, it might give her a better insight than I would currently be able to provide with my words during our talks…
    I would like to give my permission though! It feels weird if she’d were to Google me and read it without my knowledge. Then, I am writing it openly, so yeah… It’s a two sided edged knife I guess 🤔

  13. I told my therapist I write a blog. I suppose there was nothing stopping her from google but she never mentioned reading it. However she did mention a few things I had only written about on my blog. I let it slide but looked at my stats and saw I had a buttload of views on a Friday night when I hadn’t posted. (a buttload is a lot for me) I wrote my last two posts indirectly directed at her and cancelled an appointment. She suddenly became very interested in booking me several “showings” in advance instead of week to week. Now I don’t know if I want to write knowing she is looking over my shoulder. I am sure other people I know have read me but like you said. Choosing Oblivion.

  14. I have mentioned to a past therapist that I blog. But I never shared my blog and was never asked to. I also lean towards not sharing my blog for the same reasons you listed above (mainly freedom and not worrying about censoring).

  15. Probably not because I wouldn’t want them to use it against me somehow. I also think it’s odd that someone looked yours up, didn’t tell you, and printed a page out for your chart.

  16. My blog is such a big part of my life I think it would be hard for me to receive proper treatment without mentioning it. With that being said, I haven’t seen a therapist in 6 years now.

  17. I think the more we can share our story, our testimony of experiences the closer we become to one another. We can all relate to one another over how we heal. The more we learn, the more we grow. This is what brings humanity together, hand in hand and heart in heart ❤❤

  18. I’m sorry to hear you had to go inpatient! 🙁 I hope it was okay and I hope you’re feeling a bit better now.

    I definitely wouldn’t share my blog with my therapist. I try to make it hard to trace it back to me by not including my name or details of things like where I go to school or where I live. I still worry that people will find it anyway, or will stumble across it and then think, “Ohh… is this ? This story sounds familiar. Is that how she sees me??” Agh. I’ve been thinking about this sort of stuff recently because I’d like to be able to share some of my coping skills posts with my friends. I’m thinking I might make some posts private. But then I have to go back through things and decide what to censor, and that will take some work.

    But overall, my current boundary with my blog is that no one in real life knows it. Some friends know that I have a blog, but they don’t know the name or anything. My family doesn’t know that I have a blog.

  19. My therapist knows about my blog. I’ve told her she can look at it whenever she wants, I really don’t care. Sometimes I’ll specifically share a few with her during a session. It’s always easier to share something I’ve written than to actually talk.

  20. I would since I’ve learned to be ok with living in my skin. I don’t sugar coat anything and I am fully transparent but I feel like they would probably understand me more if the read my blog since I’m not much for opening up during my appointments I’m not sure why. I’ll open up on my platforms before I do with a care provider. I feel like my platforms actually get me and allow me to be me without trying to change me. Then again I barely get comments so this may help my decision as well. But always be comfortable in your skin for there is only one you. It would have been nice if they would have told you they had looked up your blog at least so you could discuss it without it bothering you.

  21. I already shared the link with my therapists and I try to stay open with everybody. I’ve noticed the need for selfcensorship since than too. For me is that because I like my former shrink a bit too much and I wanted to keep some sort of ‘perfect’ picture on.

    Thanks for bringing this topic up, I believe it’s important for doctors/therapists to have as much insights into us as possible. Which can make us more vulnerable to potential misunderstandings, but also for more understanding from their perspective. So from my point of view is a double edged source, even though I regained much of my once lost trust in therapists.

  22. I’ve mentioned several times to my current long term therapist that I blog. I’ve also shared with her openly about the support I get from WP and Instagram friends, particularly as I’ve been extremely lonely for decades.

    Sometimes I quote an excerpt from WP bloggers (after seeking their consent) to share with my therapist, as I struggle a lot with understanding my feelings, wishes etc, and find “borrowing” words very helpful.

    I trust she won’t go snooping for my blog even if it was a public blog, so that gives me more freedom to share IF I want to.

  23. That’s a great question. If an outpatient therapist counts as ‘service provider,’ (which I’m pretty sure it does), I have already shared my blog with my new therapist whom I have seen as of five visits. On the first day, I sent her two articles I’ve written about PTSD and Homelessness, one of which was a blog post. I think I did so because I often feel misunderstood and this seemed an easy way to get her to maybe understand me better.

    I think that your blog deals a bit more personally and specifically with mental health matters than mine does. I might be a little more leery of this if I were in your position, especially if the level of ‘service provider’ extends to clinicians providing inpatient services.

    About comments, I’ve gotten pretty cavalier about rejecting comments on any of my platforms that I feel veer too personal, either for myself or the person making the comments. I often worry that, despite my efforts to “depersonalize” my posts and ensure that I’m comfortable with the world seeing what I’m expressing, my blog is still too personal for my own comfort.

    On the other hand, anyone opening any email of mine at any time has access to my signature, which fairly quickly leads to my blog (less so, now that I’ve redesigned the web site). If I don’t want somebody reading my words, whether they be a service provider or anyone else, then it’s a good idea I not write those words on a public forum in the first place.

      1. I think just two or three days go I removed the cloud that links to my blog. I would rather people in general have a hard time finding my writings — not the musical of course, just everything else, unless what I’m writing can somehow help get the show produced (not work against it, as I fear is often the case.)

  24. I hear you, that would feel extremely unsettling for them to have a copy of your blog printed out and then not bring it up after the fact. Seems like a large violation of your trust and your right to privacy. Im thinking of you Ashley, always rooting for you <3

    I think I would feel pretty uncomfortable, especially if they looked it up before even mentioning it. When I was in my teens I had a counsellor find my tumblr blog and they actually made me delete it which feels wrong now looking back. I can see how they would think it would be beneficial in some aspects to have a better understanding, it feels more like an invasion of privacy more than anything though- I wonder how that would look in terms of ethics.

  25. What you described (finding that someone secretly noted your blog) is spooky and concerning and unethical. Truly.

    I’m reluctant to tell anyone who they should or shouldn’t share their blog address with. I will say that I regret having shared mine with a past therapist. Frankly, I regret having shared my blog address with my family members. My father shared it around town and with relatives I’d rather not have known it. I also chose to remove my blog’s linkage to social media and prefer it that way. But again, my preferences. I prefer more anonymity, though I do love strangers to read my posts and share on them.

    Back to the therapist that knew my blog. With her, there was some transference and countertransference issues. She reminded me of my late mother. I think she became overly attached to me as if I was her daughter. She would read some of my posts and respond, and a couple times in an inappropriate way and this was AFTER I stopped seeing her. In the end, I confess that I deleted her email address from my follower list. Ouch, but for the best! Eventually, just as you feel a need to self-censor, so did I. My solution was to export all of my mental health/bipolar disorder posts to a new blog (linked through my username above). I left the old one for travel and culinary posts. The sad result of the transfer is that I lost all of my followers and “likes” and some posts that were well optimized (SEO) ceased being so. Only the comments remained with the transferred posts.

    I hope this helps.

    1. Yeah, I can see that getting messy with transference/countertransference. My problem is that when I published my first book I decided to use my full name, and as a result, I’m very, very easily findable.

      1. That is a hard decision, in terms of names. I remember either reading or hearing Kay Redfield Jamison discuss the choice of publishing under her real name. She obviously did.

        Though it may never be published, I have been working on an autobiographical set of short stories and already decided to use a different name, if it is ever published. It wouldn’t be strictly a bipolar memoir, but would include stories of episodes and how they helped shape what is now the 50 year old me.

  26. 1st before I go off track… and you know that I will. need to find out how your blog became part of your medical/psychiatric record.
    Because that shit will follow you for LIFE.
    Unless you gave it to them or they asked for permission and you granted it to them (which should still be done in your presence), there is NO WAY that your blog should be in medical record.
    If in your sessions, you decide to read a section of it, and have a discussion, cool.
    In an outpatient setting where you have a long-term doctor-patient relationship built on trust and a true picture of who you are and YOU choose to share it so they gain knowledge about you, wonderful.

    Otherwise, to me, that is just a violation of your privacy. It is that “Big Brother is Watching” thing to me.
    You know that I am speaking from a place of wanting you to be protected, and experience.
    As in the ER you know that it only takes one nurse having a shitty day or an arrogant or ignorant doctor that believes the plaque on the wall equals “Ultimate Knowledge of the Universe”, to paint such a distorted picture of who you are, that you have to go before a medical review board and plead your case.
    You are at their mercy at that point.
    That isn’t how health care is supposed to work, and it sure as fuck isn’t how Mental Health treatment should be.
    Anyone could take offense to something in your blog and then not take into account their emotional reaction (Which ALSO, does not belong in your medical record, i.e. their “FEELINGS” aren’t relevant to your case, but their medical knowledge is)
    and use a few of those choice medical code words in your chart “like VIOLENT, NON Compliant, Combative, Hysterical” to change how every single doctor treats you from that point forward.
    It is really important for your future care.
    I know you get it from our previous conversations. I don’t care about the doctors, the only absolute about your medical care is You.
    Your voice is what matters ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
    I will be back later about me 😊

    1. It’s all fucked up. My problem is that if you Google my full name, Ashley Leia Peterson, you’ll find my blog. They knew I had a blog and no one knew what it was called, so they Googled my name and found me. It’s fucked. And yeah, they’ve already put made-up words in my chart like paranoid, combative, psychotic, and yelling. They’re evil motherfuckers.

  27. An interesting blog and I enjoyed reading the comments. Sorry I haven’t had time to reply to each individually. I am not in therapy at the moment, and haven’t been whilst blogging. A blog is in the public sphere, visible to anyone who comes across it so my opinion is that whatever I write I need to be aware that anyone can read it. Including a therapist. However I would have thought for a therapist to have read a patient’s blog and then not disclosed that to them was a breach of trust. If you blog with a pseudonym you are unlikely to be identified. I use my real name which means I am more exposed. If I were seeing someone in my professional capacity as a church minister I would certainly not look up their blog without their permission. When my book, Are We There Yet? Is published (soon I hope) it will contain extracts from my journals when I was depressed and working through stuff. I do feel a little nervous about people I know reading it but am perfectly fine with strangers reading it. I’m waffling… sorry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts everyone who has commented.

  28. I did tell my psychologist I starting blogging. She didn’t ask anything about it. I probably wouldn’t have an issue with them reading it because I don’t think there is anything in there I’ve not shared, but unless they ask I wouldn’t pass on the details.

  29. Without your permission, it’s unethical and it shouldn’t have happened. I shared selected posts with a former therapist and even offered up the URL for my blog, but he declined. It was far easier to express myself in writing back then, so I thought it had the potential to be helpful and yet, I wasn’t 100% certain that I wanted him poking around – especially since I had a creative nickname for him used in a few posts. Overall, I guess I’m glad he said no!

  30. My therapist knows about my blog, and I’ve been open to the series of therapists at this latest facility see it if they want to. Oddly enough they don’t seem very interested, not even in the mental health posts I’ve written. If I do send a post to one of the therapists (in the past) there was never any mention of what they thought. My current therapist is just as disinterested, and more interested in my filling out some form or other, or finding “reasons to be joyful” day to day. It’s not a great situation, but there’s no alternative at this time either. I’ve never been shy about someone reading my blog – save for my immediate family with one exception. I’ve never written anything that wasn’t true so why care if they read it. Now, if I told a specific care provider that I had privacy concerns or issues around having my blog ‘out there’ for anyone to see, I’d be highly pissed off if I found out they violated that trust and you can bet they’d hear (loudly) about that violation too.

  31. My answer as to whether to share blogposts with care providers is “it depends.” If I have been working with that person for years, there are few to no surprises so I might say “yes.” As to being recently on a psyche ward, I probably would say “no” since those people don’t know the real me only the hospitalized me which is an aspect of my being but does not define me. I find it hard to believe that they would access your blogposts without disclosing this to you. This seems like a privacy violation to the max.

  32. I ended up sharing the blog address with our psychiatrist about a year ago, I wanted to be more accountable and thought it would be good for her to have a glimpse into the goings on when I rock up to a session and can’t remember anything (happens a lot). I’m always honest with her anyway but it has changed the freedom some of the others used to feel they had in writing anonymously and now they won’t participate.

  33. I’ve thought about this, too. Should I tell my therapist I’m keeping a blog? Writing in a sense is therapeutic for me, but it would make me write differently. I feel the same way about writing since I have learned that several influential people in my professional network have figured out I write a blog. Some of them are regular readers, and have talked to me about it (praise, no negativity). It doesn’t really bother me that they know, or read, although part of me wants to apply a stronger filter, as of not to offend them. Magic in writing largely disappears with filters, doesn’t it? I sometimes consider writing under an alias.

  34. Although I am new to this platform; the idea of writing and sharing blogs and ideas with those who suffer from mental illness would be so rewarding.
    I have suffered from the wrath of depression and struggle with anxiety disorder, although currently getting away from prescription medications.
    This has brought me to where I am now, writing, blogging and capturing all sorts of topics to highlight the beauty of art from my perspective.
    Thanks for sharing. Take care.

  35. Originally I thought it was a great idea to share your blog. It is incredible. I am not sure though if I would share my blog.

  36. I have been asked but I’m hesitant as there are many lows and I don’t want to be that voice that pushes someone into actions I previously took.

  37. Sharing my post with my treatment provider shouldn’t be a problem.
    The problem should be if the post is connected to what you are being treated of.

    You can’t share your post titled “How to treat Maleria” to your treatment provider who is treating you Maleria.

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