In past I've had severe mental health issues. I'm managing them now but my mom insists on knowing my meds and being listed as someone my doctors can disclose HIPPA information to. I've tried to kick ball down the road but I think this is intrusive. We otherwise have a good relationship and my impulse is to just give in but I just want my medical records to be private just in case I decide to have sex, or have a medical condition I want to choose to disclose to my family.

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You are entitled to boundaries and autonomy as an adult. Past mental health issues don’t revoke your basic rights to those things. Stand strong and don’t disclose any information that makes you uncomfortable.

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What is her actual concern here? If she’s worried she’s going to see symptoms of a relapse and not be able to tell your doctors, she’s 100% free to communicate anything she wants to your care team without a HIPAA release. They won’t be able to tell her details of your care, but your care isn’t really her business anyway, unless you’re incapacitated. And if you’re incapacitated and she’s your next-of-kin (which she is, unless you’re married in which case it’s your spouse), she won’t need a HIPAA release or authorization to be involved with your care at that point, she’ll be involved because you’ll be unable to speak for yourself.

The only thing a HIPAA release gets her is the ability to access your medical records during periods of time when you are competent to care for yourself. Why does she think she needs that?

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That’s hard, and it’s kind of you to have so much empathy for her. With that said, it isn’t your job to heal your mom or make her feel better - that’s work that she has to do for herself. She’s probably trying to give herself a feeling of control, like if she just stays on top of your medical care she’ll be able to spot the “next time” before it happens and “save” you. But it doesn’t work like that, and she’s probably going to find that unlimited access to your medical info doesn’t actually make her feel any better.

Take care of yourself first - it sounds like you don’t want or need her to have this level of access/control over your care, and that’s a perfectly reasonable boundary to have. If you have a therapist, I’d talk with them about how to set this boundary and how to have compassion for your mom without feeling like you have to give her your autonomy to “make it up to her” - you didn’t do anything TO her that you owe her for, you had a health crisis. Your focus needs to be on you and on what you owe yourself right now, which is to focus on what you need for healing and good health, and to set whatever boundaries you need to set to encourage and preserve your well-being.

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