In the car this morning I was trying to think of a half decent metaphor for what it is like when you tell a stranger about your illness, for what ever reason that is. The best one I can think of is taken from Harry Potter, in book number two during the dueling club Harry speaks Parseltongue to ward of a snake. Something which is associated with being bad and dangerous but was in fact being used for good. However the reaction of the crowd around was that Harry must be bad and dangerous because he can speak it. In exactly the same way that saying you have Psychosis to a stranger sets alarm bells ringing and triggers instinctual defense mechanisms within them. I don't blame them, I blame the lack of education people receive about mental health. If it was talked about more at a school level people would grow up with an understanding of it so much better.
I am lucky with my boss I have the sort of open friendship so I can tell her everything and she understands it all but I am pretty sure people like her are in the minority. Not just because bosses like her are rare but also people are too scared to go to their bosses and have the conversation for whatever reason, which is totally understandable.
I had a similar problem when I tried to go to the USA with dad on holiday last summer, during my first psychotic episode, on their visa applications it asks about mental illness and was I a danger to myself or others. No I wasn't but they still demanded at least two letters from health care professionals to back it up. Which I had and when I went through security there were no issues and it turns out I didn't need the letters they asked for. But I had to wear a long sleeved shirt to hide old scars on my arms in case they saw and got twitchy about it, and that made me ashamed of myself, and what I was suffering with. Which no one should have to feel, no matter what the circumstance. In this instance I understand for security reasons why they do what they do but it is not helpful and I think could be handled better. because if i had said i was a danger to myself I would had to travel to the American Embassy in London to be assessed to see if I am fit for travel.
I think that when you tell someone who doesn't know about or understand mental health issues they automatically build walls to protect themselves from a threat that is most likely not there. For a while I thought it was my responsibility to break down those walls other people surround themselves with. But I think I have come to believe they can only be truly broken down by the person that builds them.