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How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?

305 Answers
Last Updated: 03/19/2022 at 10:21pm
How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, MSc Psychology


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
February 24th, 2016 1:10pm
This is a pretty tough question because there's no one way about it. You know your parents way better than I or anyone else could, so I think the answer you're looking for is in you. What I can suggest, however, is asking them to take some time to have a quiet talk together - in which you explain your feelings and what you want them to do for you. Maybe they'll take it well and support you all the way, perhaps not. Regardless, you are so strong and so brave for taking this step to confide in your family and that is a quality that can never be measured. I'm so proud of you, sweet one.
October 23rd, 2016 4:29pm
Telling your parents you're depressed can be really intimidating. Some people find it easier to write them a letter about it, or even just a text that will initiate further contact. Get them to sit down, they will probably be upset about hearing their child is struggling so much. If it worries you how they will react, you could tell them that you have to tell them something, but you just want them to listen to you and not say anything until you tell them you're ready to hear their feedback.
June 9th, 2016 9:14am
To be honest, this is a question I've asked myself a million times over the past few years. Last night I finally managed to tell my mom. It really isn't easy, but it's worth it. I found an article that explained how depression feels and made her read it, since I couldn't find a way to explain it myself. I also asked her to read some poems that I wrote explaining how I felt at the time. I know it's very scary, but it's better for them to know than for you to have to go through it alone. Or at the very least, it's better not to live with secrets.
February 14th, 2016 7:01pm
It's hard to tell your parents you're depressed. Even though they'll understand your feelings, it's hard to scoop up the courage to talk to your parents. To ease the anxiety, just hint that you're feeling sad, don't flat out say it. Explain your feelings, and they'll get the message.
February 13th, 2016 5:53am
Well...I would start with telling them you have been feeling sad lately, as simple as that, then when they ask why, you can go deeper with the situation so they can help. But in no way i would go " OMG I AM DEPRESSED HELP YOU TERRIBLE PARENT"
February 14th, 2016 7:49am
I have a friend named Peter who once struggled with depression and wanted to die. He tried and failed and today he's so glad. You see, everything looked so bleak then that he could never imagine that things would change, but they did. Life got better, way better, but the first thing he had to do was to be real about he felt. You did that with us today. It's so important that you tell your parents, but if you feel as if they won't understand, maybe you could talk to someone first who can help, who knows the right things to say and who might even help you find the words to tell your mom and dad. One is your youth pastor or pastor. Be honest with them. If they don't listen, go to someone who will that is an adult and someone that you trust, like a youth sponsor, school counselor, Sunday school teacher. If they don't listen as they should, let them know that you are serious, that you're really struggling and need help to make it through this tough time.
February 17th, 2016 6:15pm
They probably already know something is wrong but you can start by saying "I'm not feeling like myself, I've been sad and have no desire to anything so I think I'm depressed".
April 1st, 2016 8:45am
By being frank and honest with them, try to write a note or a letter to them if you think you could not tell them face to face
November 13th, 2016 12:39am
It's not always an easy step to tell one's parents about depression. There is always a fear of not being taken seriously, that they might not understand or that they would dismiss it as a "phase". So it's good to start by sitting them down and showing them the seriousness of what you are about to reveal. Maybe tell them about what you have been feeling first, why you have been feeling as such and the problems you have encountered from being in this way. Wait for them to respond and then proceed by telling them about your state of depression. Allow it to sink in for a moment. It is natural that they ask you questions about it and sometimes respond by saying things like "Are you sure?" "How long has this been going on?" or "It's not THAT bad." Know that some ate not fully aware about what depression is so you may want to explain it a little further and how it has been bothering you so much. The key is patience in responding to their queries. Even if mustering the effort to be patient is hard in itself.
November 2nd, 2016 1:19pm
Make sure it's a calm situation on a quiet and calm place where no one can just walk in on you. Try to explain you want to tell something and ask if they will listen. Then tell them.
Anonymous - Expert in Depression
February 14th, 2016 6:41am
Ask to talk to them (seriously talk). Sit them down with you and try to explain to them what you have been going through and how you have been feeling of late or however long it has been. Explain in as much detail as possible and if needed ask them questions and console if they are willing in them. If needed you could speak to them about seeing a counsellor as well.
February 13th, 2016 11:31am
Start by saying you need them to spend an hour or so with you, then lightly bring up how you feel upset, have a good long conversation about what makes you feel depressed
February 18th, 2016 2:28am
Try not to leave it too long, if your nervous you can write a letter or just come straight out with it. They would feel better knowing sooner than later. I think just dont hold back.
March 9th, 2016 5:36am
Telling your parents that you are feeling depressed can be a challenge. In a perfect world it qould be easy, and not at all a worry. However a lot of people feel uneasy, anxious, or worried for one reason or another. We fear looking weak, like a failure or that we will face ridicule, which is understandable. Just remember... your parents LOVE you, even if it feels like they dont. They will be there for you when you need them, to support you. If they aren't able to help you in the way that you need.. keep looking! Dont stop trying!!!
February 16th, 2019 9:06pm
Telling you're parents that you suffer from depression can be stressful especially if you don't know how they're going to respond. I have suffered from a similar issue and I found that the best way was to tell them in advance that you want to talk to them about something, this then prepares them and makes sure that they'll find time to talk to you and the conversation won't be rushed. Begin with telling them how you feel. I found that jumping straight into it and saying "I've got depression" can cause your parents to become distressed and worried. However, if you begin with telling them how you feel, it slowly eases them into it. Also don't feel pressured to tell your parents if you feel that they won't empathize or understand, instead tell someone you trust.
February 13th, 2016 11:47am
Be completely honest. What and why. Every parenting is different. But whatever their reaction, try to be humble about it and seek help from your parents. Because if they can't help, you gotta have to find help from friends and don't forget us here at 7cups that will always listen to you.
February 14th, 2016 10:30am
You don't need to. They will ask you if it really shows ... Best you can do is spend time with them and learn more of what they are to you. :)
February 20th, 2016 10:43pm
I told my mom flatly, and told her the reasons and how I wanted to get better, tell them the truth.
February 21st, 2016 3:50pm
That's a very very very touchy subject, depending who your parents are... Some parents accept it and offer to get you help, others Deny your depression and will be angry with or reject it. So just focus on things that are bothering you, let them know those things, if they don't offer help don't worry it's common in some parents to do that, See a doctor :)
February 15th, 2017 2:10pm
Tell them that you have depression. Family is meant to support you in times like these. Please, I promise.
March 4th, 2016 4:19pm
Speaking out about depression can sometimes be quite a hard action. Sit down quietly with them, explain that times have been tough and you're feeling low. If it doesn't click, you need to explain softly about your depression. Help is always avaloble.
March 6th, 2016 3:58am
Sit them down. Have an actual, real conversation with them about how you're feeling and let them know that you aren't in any harms way, but just feeling depressed. Tell them you're going to do something about it (like see a counselor maybe) so they don't get all up in your face about seeing a doctor. They love you and they'll be supportive.
October 28th, 2016 11:42pm
Try sitting them down at a time they're both very calm and happy. Make sure to tell them this situation is serious and explain some feelings you've had over time. Youll be scared of course, but that is completely normal. Your parents should sympathise with you, and offer to schedule you with a therapist or even see a doctor for medication.
April 4th, 2018 8:20am
The best way to tell your parents is to explain to them that you've been depressed and down lately and you're worried about it. Tell your parents also why you're depressed (if that's possible). Or arrange an appointment with a professional to determine what causes your depression.
February 20th, 2016 10:12am
Sit them down and talk to them about how you feel. They will understand and be there for you. Parents Are there for you no matter what.
November 17th, 2016 4:59am
The best way to approach an issue especially one such as depression is head on. Sit them down tell them straight and talk about the next step.
March 22nd, 2017 12:42am
It's always hard to tell someone close about your problems, especially depression. I suggest to sit down with your parents. Try to explain it's a serious issue and tell them exactly how do you feel. Maybe if you'd make a tea or coffee for them before, it'll be more comfortable. Good luck.
April 2nd, 2021 10:02pm
Opening up to people close to you can be really difficult, and just being on 7 cups and reaching out on here is an amazing first step to take! There are lots of different ways to open up to people, and different things work better for different people, but here are a few ideas that have worked for me in the past you could possibly think about: - Letting them know you need to talk and arranging a time & place - Planning out what to say beforehand and thinking about the sort of questions they may have - Bringing it up at a normal conversational time, such as a mealtime or family time. - Speaking 1-on-1 with someone you trust first and asking them to be with you when you open up. - Writing them a message/ email beforehand to let them know some brief details of how you're feeling but also how you felt about telling them, and let them come to you to talk about it. There are so many options to consider though, and I'm sure there are plenty more ideas spread across the forum to consider. Opening up to parents is always going to be really difficult, but It's so great that you're taking this step and I hope it works out for you :)
February 17th, 2016 5:26am
If you tell your parents then be ready for what they say because sometimes parents dont understand other time they do and maybe say you want to see a doctor or therapist.
February 18th, 2016 6:46am
Try approaching them about how you feel or sit down and have a talk with them about depression. Open up to them and tell them what's wrong. Tell them that you need someone.