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How can I talk to my family about my anxiety without them getting mad?

23 Answers
Last Updated: 07/22/2019 at 10:32pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Alex DS Ellis, MA, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

Feeling depressed or anxious can be so overwhelming. I want to help you feel better and be able to enjoy life. You are not alone and you deserve emotional support.

Top Rated Answers
December 24th, 2014 8:30pm
When someone shares their vulnerability, their values are becoming higher than before. Sharing your anxiety does not mean you are weak, it means you are courageous. Practical tips: try to use the I-statement, focus on how you feel, find a good time to talk about it (e.g. in the weekend when it's more relax), give a decent intro ("Hey, I need to talk about something. It might be very serious, but I need you all to know. Would this be a good time for it?")
December 11th, 2014 6:49pm
I would suggest writing down what you want to say beforehand, that way you will be able to remember the message you were trying to get across, or you could give it as a letter.
December 12th, 2014 7:19pm
Unfortunately, anxiety and depression still carry significant stigma. You may tell them you've been feeling tired lately and would like to see your family doctor. If you share your symptoms with your doctor, he most likely will understand, and you could ask him to talk with your family.
December 11th, 2014 1:54am
Calmly explain to them about how you're feeling. Let them know that you're afraid they may get mad. Tell them that your motive is not to upset them, but to get yourself the help that you need. Communication is key.
December 11th, 2014 4:58am
How I told my mom I had anxiety was I sat down with her and said ' Mom, I think Ii have aniety and I dont know what to do' and she told me that it was okay and that it would get better so your family shouldnt get mad because its ot your fault that you have aniety.
December 11th, 2014 12:10pm
My family don't know how to deal with these emotions I have, or how to deal with me when I am in the lowest of low states. we don't discuss them is how it is dealt with.
December 16th, 2014 9:47pm
Just be honest - sit them down (with some tea if they like it!) and calmly tell them. They're your parents, they'll understand!
December 28th, 2014 12:42am
Have all the facts with you when you enter the conversation, what causes anxiety, how many people suffer from it and how it impacts people's lives. Giving your family a better understanding of what anxiety is and how it impacts your life is the best way for them to react positively to this.
January 6th, 2015 7:54pm
not everyone understands anxiety, so explaining what anxiety is first can help. Talk about what you feel physically, then move on to what you feel emotionally. Then, if they're being kind and listening, tell them what you need from them (a distraction, quiet time, counselling).
April 22nd, 2015 1:53pm
Opening up about a mental health issue is very important. I understand that you feel your family may not understand your anxiety and you are afraid they will get mad if you tell them that you are experiencing anxiety. You don't know what their reaction will be until you tell them, they may not understand them at first but it is important to open up and let them know how you are feeling. Opening up will be a step forward for you, explain fully how your anxiety makes you feel and be as honest and open as you feel comfortable with.
May 22nd, 2015 8:34pm
the best way to talk to them is when your family is having dinner together. Even if its out of the talking to them while in front of each other makes larger empathy towards you.
May 30th, 2015 9:31pm
Sometimes you can't. Maybe a professional explaining it to them may be better. Sometimes it's hard to believe that a mental disorder can cause such pain and suffering but some forget the mind can cause anything to happen
July 14th, 2015 4:39pm
If they are your family, they need to be supportive. If you bring it up to them, they will be supportive. Let them know that you need help in this.
September 1st, 2015 5:12pm
Tell them regardless. First ask them to be understanding without their critical thinking. And tell them even if they interrupt you. Be empowered when you voice your thoughts to them because they will most likely continue thinking they're in control and make things worse for both of you.
September 7th, 2015 9:53pm
Anxiety isn't something you can control. There should be no reason why they would be mad. Once your family knows they can get you help if you want it.
November 17th, 2015 4:50pm
You may have to talk to a close friend about it first. Once you have someone on your side, it may make it easier for you to approach those that may be better able to help you with it.
December 29th, 2015 4:15am
Although it seems like parents are some overbearing creatures that will judge you for a mental illness, they love you and always want the best for you. I will admit, it's a difficult conversation to start, but it won't take long to realize that all they want is the best for you.
January 12th, 2016 12:47pm
They might be prudent about it but im sure they wont get mad just tell them how you feel and they should support you
February 16th, 2016 1:32pm
Just explain what anxiety is. When and what you get anxiety about, explain so they really understand.
October 10th, 2016 1:48am
Simply ask them to talk and to hear you out and them tell them and ask them for any questions so you feel safe and they don't get mad
October 10th, 2016 4:19pm
We cannot control other's emotions - if they chose to be angry, that's their decision. It might not be a fair decision, but it is theirs to make.
April 23rd, 2019 10:06am
Anxiety (or any clinically diagnosed mental illness) can be stigmatized against. People might not take it well. Having said that, let's take a moment to applaud the fact that you want to tell your family about your anxiety instead of hiding it. It's more likely than not that your family will express shock, denial and concern when you give them the news. The point I'm trying to make is that you cannot change the way they feel. If they get mad when you tell them, you can't change the way they feel. What you can change and what is within your control, however, is your response to their reaction. Remember, they might "react", but you might want to "respond". Stay calm because you have enough anxiety in your life already. Telling somebody about your anxiety shouldn't cause you more anxiety.
July 22nd, 2019 10:32pm
Be open with them. Tell your family members how you really feel. You're feeling anxious they may react with anger, but I promise you - if you show your vulnerability to anyone, people will appreciate and respect you more. Don't put blame on anyone and just say how you feel "I'm feeling so anxious all the time, I could use the support" or "I really am a hard time with this, I feel anxious all the time, I could really use your support" By staying honest to yourself, your family will respect and reflect your feelings. They will MIRROR how you feel, it's biological. You'll feel better too. Remember, stay honest, avoid pointing fingers, and ask for support. You will get so much more than you expect.