I am passionate about fighting the stigma which still surrounds mental illness and will always try to be as open as possible about my history of mental health difficulties. This got me to thinking though, by replying to a ‘Hi how are you?’ with ‘Fine thanks’ am I adding to the stigma?
The thought horrifies me and yet I am aware that this is usually my first answer to this question. To consider my standard answer I believe I need to explore whether the question is indeed a question or is it intended as more of a greeting?What answers could I use as an alternative? I could of course go for honesty and say that I am great or tired, or possibly even not so good at the moment depending upon how I am feeling at any given time and then find out (possibly the hard way!) just how people will react. Or I could carry on saying I am fine on occasions when I’m not and letting the chance to educate someone pass me by…I guess in the end it comes down to the situation but I reckon I will make a conscious effort to give a bit more thought to my answer and aim for honesty as my ideal.