In early August, at a tiki bar in Washington, D.C., Erin Pedati told a group of friends that she’d been struggling with depression. They were good friends, and they responded with empathy and compassion, but the next day Ms. Pedati, 40, felt weird.
“Part of me was relieved, because it’s important to have these discussions,” she said. “But another part was like, ‘Oh my god, what did I say?’ You replay the conversation in your head and you’re like, ‘They haven’t replied to my text, did I tell them too much?’”
Instead of a hangover from too many Mai Tais — “which honestly would’ve been easier to treat,” she joked — Ms. Pedati was experiencing a “vulnerability hangover,” a term coined by Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, to describe the anxiety, shame and regret felt after divulging something personal.