3 Ways to Tell Your Parents You Are Depressed

3 Ways to Tell Your Parents You Are Depressed
3 Ways to Tell Your Parents You Are Depressed

Telling your parents that you are suffering from depression can be quite delicate and stressful. You may be afraid of being stigmatized or of not being taken seriously. But know that you may be able to break the news to your parents by putting some recommendations into practice. Start by preparing well for the conversation by educating yourself about depression and its symptoms. Then try to sit down with your parents for a one-to-one discussion. Finally, let them know how they can help and support you throughout your treatment for depression.


Method 1 of 3: Know what to say and how to say it

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Step 1. Know the symptoms of depression

Before you tell your parents that you have depression, make sure that is really what you are suffering from. Try to do some research on the subject and learn more from more credible sources like the Institute of Psychiatry.

  • Depression can manifest itself in a number of ways in young people and adolescents. Fatigue, indecision and excessive sadness are all symptoms. You may also have trouble studying, separating yourself from people, lacking motivation, and having trouble concentrating and remembering things.
  • You may have recently decided to move away from your parents and friends to spend more time on your own. You may have trouble sleeping or sleep too much. You may also try to put your feelings to sleep by using alcohol and drugs or engaging in other dangerous activities.
  • Even if you are not sure if you have depression, it is best if you talk about your symptoms so that you can get help.
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Step 2. Know that this conversation is delicate

Telling your parents that you have depression may make you feel very emotional. You could cry about it and your parents too. This is completely normal. It is very difficult to tell that you have depression and you need to know that you are making the right decision in talking about your problem before it gets worse.

Chances are, your parents have noticed that something is wrong before. They just don't know what it is or how to help you. By telling them about your problem, you will allow them to feel more reassured and to know what to do and how to do it

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Step 3. Seek advice from someone you trust

You may be afraid of your parents' reaction to your mental problem. If so, you might want to ask one of your teachers, a school guidance counselor, or your coach for advice. It may help you prepare for the idea of ​​talking about your depression.

  • You could say, "Mr. Anderson, I think I'm having depression. I don't really know how to talk about it with my parents. "
  • This person might want to meet your parents so that you can break the news to them in their presence and in a safer and more comfortable environment.
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Step 4. Determine who you would like to talk to first

See if you want to talk to one parent first or to both at the same time. It is possible that you feel closer to one parent than the other, that one reacts better to your problem, or that one of the sources of the problem is one of your parents.

If this is the case, try to talk about it first with the parent you feel closest to. The latter could help you talk to the other

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Step 5. Try to write a letter

If you're having trouble finding the right words to explain your problem, try writing a letter. Sometimes it is very difficult to say exactly how it feels. You might feel better if you try to approach the problem with your parents in a roundabout way by writing them a letter or sending them a text message.

Make sure you take a serious enough tone when discussing your problem. So your parents will know that your problem is serious enough. Try to describe some of your symptoms. Explain the impact they have on your life and ask to see a specialist

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Step 6. Try to practice what you will say

It can be quite difficult to improvise when discussing such a delicate subject as depression. Try practicing by talking about your problem out loud in front of a mirror or by doing a little role play with one of your best friends. It might make you feel more comfortable during the conversation.

Remember to write down some essential points that you would like to talk about and make sure to keep these notes with you when you start talking with your parents. In this way, even if it makes you emotional, you will be sure to have addressed all the axes of the problem

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Step 7. Try to anticipate their questions

Prepare to explain what depression is and describe your feelings and symptoms. Based on your own research, you could tell your parents how you would like them to help you. Your parents might be tempted to ask you several questions. You could try to think ahead of the answers you will give them, or you could just tell them that you would feel more comfortable talking to a psychiatrist. There are a few questions they might ask you.

  • Have you ever tried to kill or injure yourself?
  • Since when do you feel like this?
  • Is there something that has happened that is causing this problem?
  • How can we better help you?
  • Thinking about what you told them, expect your parents to raise new questions. You may have to explain your problem to them at length before they realize its importance, but the conversations that follow should be easier.

Method 2 of 3: Hold the conversation

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Step 1. Choose the timing of the conversation wisely

Try to find a time when neither you nor your parents are busy. It should be a fairly quiet time where you can chat face to face or alone with them. You could try to bring up the topic while you have a quiet evening, take a long drive in the car, do your household chores, or when you go for a hike together with them.

If your parents are busy, find out when would be a good time. You can say for example: “I have something very important to tell you. When would it be a good time for us to have a private conversation? "

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Step 2. Tell them this is a very serious topic

Parents sometimes make the mistake of not taking their offspring seriously when they tell them they're having depression. You will have their full attention as soon as you tell them before you start that the subject you want to discuss with them is very serious.

  • You could show them the seriousness of the situation by saying, "I have a very big problem, and I really need your help" or "it is difficult for me to tell you about it. You really have to listen to me. "
  • There may be times when you have no trouble expressing the gravity of the situation and finding the best time to talk to them because it will all happen naturally. For example: you might start to cry and just express your feelings, or you might appear extremely aggressive at school and that might make them wonder what's wrong.
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Step 3. Make “I” sentences when talking about your feelings

Using 'I' phrases will make it easier for you to communicate your feelings without your parents getting on their guard or on the defensive. For example: if you say "your incessant quarrels are causing me great pain" that could lead them to want to defend themselves which could prevent them from listening to you as they should. Instead, try to bring everything you feel to yourself.

To formulate sentences with “I” you can say: “I feel really exhausted and depressed. It's getting harder and harder to get out of bed”or“I admit lately I'm a little cranky. I really blame myself and I hate myself sometimes. I still wish to die. "

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Step 4. Put a name on how you feel

Once they already know how it affects you, give them their name. Tell them about all the research you have had to do and offer to show them any article you think is useful. You could invite them to check out wikiHow articles such as treating depression and finding out if you are depressed if you think that might help.

  • “I have found and read some articles that talk about depression. The descriptions made there are very similar to what I am going through now. I think I might be suffering from this. "
  • Be firm if they start to downplay how you feel by saying "you're just in the blues" or "you're just getting a little depressed that it will pass." Tell them that you have all the clinical symptoms of this disease.
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Step 5. Asks to see a doctor

Don't stop talking to your parents about your problem and hope they'll know how to do it. Let them know that you care about your situation and that you are looking for help.

  • Try to say, "I think I should have Monsieur Roger checked me out to find out what he thinks about it." "
  • A doctor can help you find out if you really have depression. Seeing your doctor is usually the first thing to do if you want to seek treatment or meet a mental health professional who will be able to treat you.
  • Also, try asking your parents if this or any other mental illness is inherited in your family. This will let them know that you are facing a problem that could be genetic.
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Step 6. Avoid panicking

If your parents react badly, don't panic. Your parents are likely not reacting to the news the way you would have liked. They might not believe you, feel guilty, get angry or be afraid. Keep in mind that they just discovered this problem even though you've been dealing with it for a while. Give them time to digest the news and find out how they really feel.

  • If they are feeling confused, try telling them this, “It really took a while before I really understood what depression is. Remember, it's not your fault. You did the right thing and this is the best way for them to learn it.
  • If they don't take you seriously, keep telling them (or tell another adult) until they decide to take action. Depression is a very serious problem whether your parents believe you or not.

Method 3 of 3: Benefit from their support during treatment

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Step 1. Share your feelings with them

Talking about depression when you have it can be really difficult, but you might feel better if you try to talk about your feelings. Find the courage to talk to your parents about what it feels like to have depression, especially when you are feeling very bad.

  • Avoid feeling guilty if you have depression. Avoid keeping this to yourself by trying to protect your parents from stress and worries they might have.
  • Talking to them doesn't mean you expect them to "fix" your problem. It just lets you let go of your emotions and helps you feel less alone.
  • Your parents would rather know what is wrong, rather than wonder if something is wrong. Be honest about your feelings. So they can start to help you.
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Step 2. Make a list

Try to list what your parents could do to help you. You can make it easier for your parents to help you by giving them the useful information you may have gathered and learning about how to relieve your depressive symptoms. You can relieve depression by taking prescribed medications regularly, getting a good night's sleep, being physically active, and eating balanced meals. Tell your parents how they can help you.

Try to make a list of how you would like your parents to support you during treatment. For example: you might want them to go for a walk with you at night, play family games with you at night to help relieve stress, keep track of when you need to refill your medication, or make sure you go to bed early enough to get a good rest

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Step 3. Ask them to come with you to the meeting

If you wish, you can ask them to accompany you to the counseling sessions. The best way to involve your parents in your treatment is to get them to join you in the consultations. Thus, they can keep themselves informed of the progress of the treatment and ask any questions they may have. Plus, having them drive you to the doctor and to appointments with the therapist will help you feel supported during this difficult time.

You might say, "I would really like you to come with me to my next appointment with the therapist." "

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Step 4. See if they would like to be part of a support group

Your doctor or therapist may have recommended that you join a local support group of other young adults and teens who have the same problem as you. These groups can help you a lot in that they allow you to bond with other people who are going through the same problem as you. However, it would be good if your parents also joined such groups.

  • By joining these groups, your parents could learn more about how to support you in your treatment. In addition, they could also forge links with other parents and relatives who support their children in their treatment.
  • Association France-Depression is an organization that has family and peer support groups. Find support groups in your area that you can join with your parents.

Step 5. Call on your therapist

If you've found a therapist, but your parents aren't supporting you the way you want them to, consider asking your therapist to intervene. The latter might seek to meet with them individually or together to discuss the seriousness of the situation and other matters with them.

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