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How can I make my friends and family understand that my depression is a serious issue, not just me being dramatic?

41 Answers
Last Updated: 12/28/2021 at 10:42pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Maria Anisia Dascalescu Cocan, MA

Marriage & Family Therapist

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Top Rated Answers
September 11th, 2014 3:52pm
Communicate your emotions to them directly.Tell them how you feel and how hard things are for you.They may not understand you completely but they will show more care concern. You can also make them read few articles about depression and keep them informed about steps you are taking to overcome depression.
November 2nd, 2014 3:53pm
Try to explain them how you feel, maybe you can show them a movie where the character feels like you and then tell them that you feel like him/her or also you can write a letter to them explaining them how you feel and that it's more serious than they think
November 8th, 2014 4:20pm
First, it might be worth deciding which battles are worth fighting. I had depression for a while myself, and regrettably, some people might just ALWAYS think you're being dramatic. It's possible you won't be able to convince everyone, so it's important to think of who is most important to you. If you're willing to discuss the depths of your emotions with them, there's that. Also, there's the whole medical diagnosis. Are you getting treatment? A professional opinion could help, as well.
November 17th, 2014 4:50pm
Many people are relatively uneducated about mental health, and do not understand that depression is a medical condition just like any other. They may not have been exposed to information about depression, outside of mainstream media portrayals, which are often reductive and inaccurate. In addition to describing how you feel, you may want to talk about the causes and common symptoms of depression. Speaking calmly, being prepared with resources, and being specific about events and thoughts that you have had is important. Having someone with whom you can speak openly about mental health is very important; seek out nonjudgmental friends and/or a therapist (preferably both). If you're already being treated for depression, sometimes it's helpful to talk to your folks with your therapist present, so your therapist can back you up and answer medical questions they may have. This site is a more complete guide on how to talk to others in your life about depression:
October 31st, 2014 10:44am
By speaking up. By telling somebody. Tell your student counselor, or your teacher. Don't try to hide it. Speak up!
November 12th, 2014 4:12pm
Perhaps you could suggest some reading material for them, as if they have never known depression, it may be difficult for them to understand. Sometimes people use the word depression to simply say that they are having a bad day or things are a bad right now, but this is very different from being medically depressed, as I am sure you are aware :) I have found that the following resources have helped me to explain to people what I am experiencing: I wish you well.
November 3rd, 2014 4:43pm
When you have not experienced depression you might view it as an excuse or a crutch, almost paramount to a "I didn't wash the dishes today" excuse, which can prove fatal if you are unlucky. Usually trying to find the source of the depression helps, as something concrete might help them understand.
November 12th, 2014 6:40pm
Explain to them that it is suffocating you from doing your day to day activities and you are unable to focus on anything in life.
November 19th, 2014 6:45pm
In my case I found that actually letting my parents contact my doctor and let him explain the situation really helped them to understand and cope. Clearly you need to give your doctor notice and consent to give details about your condition. Another good way is to write it all down in a letter and lay it bare for them to read and it may help them understand.
September 15th, 2014 5:30am
you need to talk to your them about it. describe how you are feeling and how sad you get. if the still dont take it seriously you may need to get some professional care
October 20th, 2014 12:09am
You can talk to them them to show your feelings and not hide.They are going to enteder are people you most want in life , trust them
October 21st, 2014 10:13am
I call it a sort of reversed intervention, when you get them together (or individually) and try to explain that depression is a serious thing. In order to make them understand, come with arguments, send them well researched links for them to read and, most importantly, tell them exactly how you feel, tell them the steps you are taking towards your recovery and tell them how they can help you with the process - that you'd be grateful if they gave you their support and understanding. People often refuse to take things seriously when they do not understand them.
October 22nd, 2014 1:02pm
When trying to talk with your family, go sit somewhere together at a nice quiet place. Make sure they won't get distracted. Tell them your serious and that you need help and someone to trust.
October 23rd, 2014 3:15am
Encourage them to seek support, perhaps from a family members support group. NAMI offers family groups, as do other mental health organizations. Education and support is the best way to fight the stigma and discourage ignorance on their part.
October 23rd, 2014 10:25pm
Explain to them that clinical depression is not just a feeling, it is an illness of the mind. It has been proven that the brains of those with depression are different from the brains of those without depression.
October 25th, 2014 1:37pm
Again, talk about it. Tell them how you feel now, why you feel depressive, and how they can help you. First explain it to your family and if they understand you can get help and tell it to your friends.
October 25th, 2014 1:48pm
Sit down with them and have a calm discussion explaining how it is affecting you and that you'd like to seek help.
October 25th, 2014 9:03pm
I would suggest laying out the facts for them about depression. Have them read about it. Maybe they just haven't been shown just how common and severe of an issue it can be.
October 27th, 2014 11:28am
family and friend are the very important part of our life and they never misunderstood us but if its happing with you then you should talk very seriously with them .May be they are thinking that you are doing drama only because of your past history or may be they knew that your nature is very impulsive. you should talk with them that whatever you are suffering is not a drama and i hope that they will understand the same.
October 28th, 2014 2:48am
education is the best tool to help anyone understand the severity of any issue. Try educating them on what depression really is and how it effects people daily.
October 30th, 2014 4:56am
You can explain to them the difference between a “depressive" mood and depression. Depression is an actual disorder in which there, in many cases, is actually some kind of inbalance in the brain (usually, serotonin levels are lower than normal).This is why clinically depressed people tend to have to take medications as well as seek therapy. It is not just a mood and people need to understand the difference.
October 31st, 2014 4:37am
Well you cannot push your views on to others, but you can make them more aware that depression is a serious issue. One way is communicating with them the impact depression can have on ones livelihood. People with depression are suffering and it isn't something that just goes away. It is normal for people to have their ups and downs, but with depression is something that you cannot control.
November 1st, 2014 8:15am
Talk to them slowly, explaining how you feel and why you feel that way, (if there's no why, you can explain depression to them) You can always to talk to a counselor who can help them understand what you're going through (thats what i did)
November 2nd, 2014 5:41pm
I think that this is one of the many situations where honesty goes a long long way to building strong relationships. Talk with them frankly about your mood as it hits extremes, and be consistent with your communication. Make it clear when you feel bad, or frustrated and try to articulate why if there's a reason or how frustrating it is not to have a reason. There's nothing wrong with being dramatic or asking for help.
November 2nd, 2014 8:43pm
Tell them every little detail about what is making you feel bad. If they don't answer, just bring it to them all at once and they'll realize how awful you must feel
November 3rd, 2014 12:35pm
Well my first suggestion is to just talk, openly, from your heart. Tell them exactly how you're feeling, and if you can't explain how you're feeling..then tell them that. If just talking isn't working, there are lots of Youtube videos that do their best in explaining what depression feels like and is. This is a good one:
November 4th, 2014 1:12am
It may be helpful to start by sitting down with someone you can trust, even if that's someone outside of your family or group of friends. Talk to that person, and explain how you're feeling, and how depression is affecting you. Once you have one person that is able to accept that depression can be a very serious issue, they can be a support system, as well as help you talk to others.
November 6th, 2014 2:58am
Have a sit down, be serious, and use serious language (ie: Mom and Dad, I'm having some serious issues as a result of what I think is depression. These are affecting my social, physical, and mental health, and I need to do something about it. Please don't just think I'm being dramatic, but work with me to try and make myself feel better).
November 12th, 2014 12:52pm
I have fought with this very topic, myself. While my friends understood a little bit, my family could not come to terms with it. I believe the biggest thing you can do is educate them. Depression is a serious thing and you need all the support you can get, in order to overcome this battle. Do your research about this disorder and if possible seek out professional help. My family didn't believe me, even though I felt I was completely right, until the doctors agreed that the depressions was really there and not a product of my imagination.
May 3rd, 2015 9:50am
I think sitting down with loved ones and explaining how you feel and why - as best as you can - might be helpful. Emphasise that you really need their support. I guess it is important for loved ones to know so they can help you.