Do You Share Your Blog with Mental Health Treatment Providers?

laptop with the words mental health on the screen
Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

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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132 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 🤔

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