How to Tell Your Parents You Feel Depressed

DepressionMental Health Maintenance

Sharing your mental health issues with anyone can feel scary and uncomfortable. But your parents? That can feel like another level of fear. If you’re feeling depressed, don’t sit in silence — tell somebody.


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Sharing your mental health issues with anyone can feel scary and uncomfortable. But your parents? That can feel like another level of fear.

Cultural norms and mental health stigma can make it challenging to broach the subject. There’s one big reason 59.8% of young people with mental illnesses don’t receive treatment: fear. Fear prevents many people from opening up about their mental health.

If you’re feeling depressed, don’t sit in silence — tell somebody. We have suggestions to help you decide how to tell your parents about your depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Depression can present itself through physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that require immediate assistance. Recognizing early warning signs is essential to receive assistance promptly.

Common physical symptoms of depression may include fatigue, changes in appetite or weight, insomnia or too much restful sleeping, aches and pains with no obvious source, and digestive problems.

Still unsure how to tell your parents about your depression? Following the below steps will make this process feel less daunting.

How to Tell Your Parents You Have Depression

Telling your parents about depression will take three steps. Each step represents the before, the during, and the after.

Preparing for the Conversation

“What if my parents won’t help me with my depression?”

“What if they think I’m lying?”

These thoughts may swim in your mind. So how can you avoid this obstacle?

Choose the appropriate time and place to talk.

Select a private space where conversations won’t be interrupted or disrupted. Avoid starting this conversation when your parents are busy or focused on other matters.

Gather information about depression and treatment options

Possessing knowledge can be greatly advantageous. Learning about major depression and its treatment options can help you communicate more confidently with your parents.

Your parents need to understand that depression is a real illness and causes you emotional pain. Explain the treatment options available, from traditional to the alternative treatments.

Having the Conversation with Your Parents

Remember that every family dynamic is different; some parents may be more receptive or understanding than others. Following these steps will make the discussion as comfortable and effortless as possible.

Describe your feelings in objective terms

Objective terms are specific and concrete. They describe the physical sensations and behaviors associated with an emotion.

For example, instead of saying you feel depressed, objective terms might describe physical symptoms such as fatigue and exhaustion or changes in appetite and weight as ways of communicating emotion.

You might also describe the behaviors you’re experiencing, such as agitation or avoiding social situations.

Be open about your difficult situation

Approach any dialogue with openness and honesty. Start by acknowledging that you’re going through depression symptoms and that you need their support to overcome them.

Explain your symptoms of depression, such as persistent low mood, difficulty sleeping, appetite changes, and loss of interest in hobbies and activities once enjoyed.

Explain that you want their help and support

First, say something like this to your parents: “Mom and Dad, I have been having some difficult emotions recently that I want to discuss.” Once there, discuss how living with depression has been personally challenging for you and how they could help you find effective treatment methods.

Avoid blaming or making excuses

Blaming others for our problems is a common habit. It can often feel like the easiest way out. However, this approach is rarely helpful. Rather it’s better to find effective methods to move forward.

Listen to feedback from your parents without becoming defensive

Your parents are from different generations. They may have different ideas about mental health that don’t match the current understanding of depression. Therefore, when discussing it with them, it is essential that you remain open-minded while still representing yourself effectively.

When they suggest something uncomfortable, avoid intrusive thoughts such as “My parents won’t help me with my depression” and replace them with a more positive thought like, “I’m open to hearing their perspective.”

Tell them you appreciate their efforts but would prefer making decisions independently about how best to cope and manage your depression.

Building a Support System Post-Conversation

You have accomplished a seemingly impossible task. Conversations can result in either a positive or negative outcome. What now?

Positive outcome

If your parents understand, make sure they know why seeking professional mental health help is in your best interest and what steps they can take to assist you (emotional support or financial assistance).

Negative outcome

It is OK to feel disappointed if your parents are dismissive. But never take the risks of depression lightly. You can still build a support system outside of your family.

NeuroSpa Is Here for You

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of depression but don’t know where or who to turn to, NeuroSpa is here for you.

Our team of clinicians and psychiatrists are committed to creating personalized, effective treatment plans for all of our patients. From cutting-edge solutions like TMS therapy and SPRAVATO®, to more traditional treatments like talk therapy and telehealth services, we have all the tools you need to overcome your mental health challenges.

If you’re looking for effective mental health care solutions, contact NeuroSpa today.

Signs You Are Experiencing Depression vs. A Midlife Crisis

Aging is a process that can sometimes feel uncomfortable while we go through profound, abrupt changes throughout our lives. A midlife crisis isn’t a psychological disorder per se, but it’s still an uncomfortable period of transition between 40 and 55, although there’s some variability in the timing of midlife crises. Men and women experience midlife crises somewhat differently.

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