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How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?

302 Answers
Last Updated: 01/15/2022 at 5:37pm
How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)

Counselor

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
Anonymous
April 4th, 2020 1:29pm
opening up to your parents about mental health can be very hard. some things to remember is that parents want to understand you and will love you unconditionally no matter what. most of all they want to help you get to a place where you are happy, even though it might not seem like it. if you feel ready to talk to your parents but are unsure if how to bring it up try to find day where both your parent and you are relaxed. as your parent if they have time to talk, if your too nervous you can write them a note or even text them. once you get the ball rolling it will become much easier. talking to someone might help you express your feelings and feel better even, good luck!
AlissaRose
April 22nd, 2020 9:40pm
Hello. You are very courageous that you want to share your depression with your family. It is very brave, and most people never are able to do it. However, it is crucial to have a robust support system. Multiple studies have shown that family and social support plays an important role in treatment outcome. I have a hunch that since you are confident that your family will support you have a trusting relationship; therefore, you know the best way to talk to them. If you are interested, you can practice here, and we can support you and listen. People usually gain confidence when they practice with the therapist or peers.
Anonymous
April 30th, 2020 12:14pm
Let them know that you have been feeling really down recently, and maybe mention some of your symptoms. Take it slow, it may take a few conversations and it can be a little bit scary on both sides. Sometimes it will be hard to hear on your parents behalf as no one wants their child to be depressed, but even if they don't fully understand or accept it at first. When they see how it is affecting you and see the signs now they know what they are looking at they will start to understand. Just take it as slow or as fast as you need and listeners are always here to support you if you need to chat afterwards
BrofessorPsychNerd
May 8th, 2020 5:25am
I have been in this situation before, and I understand your struggle. There is no one right way to go about this. The best thing to do is approach your parents in a way that you know they’d be receptive to. Can you think of another time you’ve had a serious conversation with them that went well? Using similar techniques may help you. You are very brave for taking this step. No matter how you choose to go about it, the fact that you’re doing it shows that you are brave and capable of handling tough situations. Good luck!
Anonymous
May 15th, 2020 1:50pm
Tell them how it feels to be depressed, how dark and cold it it. And how much you want to feel warm again. You can tell them that everything is dark and you can't figure out how to make it better. Tell them you know you love them and you know they love you, but you can't feel anything but sorrow. Ask them to help you find your way back home with them. Tell them how hard it was to open up about this because you know they gave you everything they can and you don't want to be ungrateful, you just want to feel better.
Anonymous
June 18th, 2020 3:06pm
Honestly, there is no correct way to go up to your parents and tell them that you are depressed, but it is important to communicate with them if you need support, love, and help. Parents do not always understand why their child is depressed and sometimes would rather tell their child that they are not depressed. Do not worry nor stress, they are struggling to know or understand how this happened. Once your voice is heard and you let them know, whether you write a letter, send a text, tell them face to face, or however you want to express it, they will listen. Your parents will hear you.
Anonymous
June 20th, 2020 5:36am
This can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you’re afraid your parents won’t validate your feelings. The best thing you can do is let your parents know how you feel in others words than just saying “I’m depressed”, let them know that you feel tired, sad, frustrated etc. and you feel like you don’t have control over it. Some may be afraid that their parents won’t understand and why explaining these feelings in detail may help your parent understand. If you are not close with your parent this could be extremely difficult but my biggest advice is to take a deep breath and try not to over think the situation.
Anonymous
July 15th, 2020 9:02am
Telling your parents you are depressed can be a hard and challenging thing to do. Though, it takes strength to express wanting to tell your parents, which is something to be proud of. Telling your parents may be hard, so, it may be best if you let them know you have something serious to talk about. Taking them to a private space to be able to discuss your current mental health would be a great start. You can always come to 7 cups after speaking to your parents, and speak to a listener on how you feel the conversation with your parents went.
peacefulPraval
July 24th, 2020 8:26pm
Telling your parents you're depressed in one of the most important steps to take during this stage. The first thing you should know is that your parents will always love you, but they may not understand the concept of depression because he or she may not have experienced it themself. The first step is to sit your parents down and tell them how your feeling and how it has been affecting you on a daily basis. This will slowly lead to them asking how they can help, and you can suggest them to a therapist, etc. If your parents don't understand then your next best option is to talk to another trusted adult who your parents are close with.
Anonymous
July 25th, 2020 1:07am
I am not one to give advice as I don't have depression, but I have told my parents about my anxiety. Try explaining it to them, telling them how you feel during depressed times. Explaining to them when it started and how they could maybe help. It is best if they understand what you are going through before they decide to help. I am not an expert, so I don't know how your parents could possibly react. But just remember that there are people who understand you everywhere around the world. But yes, explaining it to them seems like the best option.
naturalSong6926
July 25th, 2020 10:17pm
Talking out with your parents about your depression would be a good idea. They are your immediate help and a important support support system. Your parents would be able to give you emotional support and help you deal or reduce the symptoms of depression. Communication is also important rather than keeping to yourself and not looking to reach out to get help. You would not only worsen your depressive state but it may progress to chronic illness, which you don't want. Your parents will help you find a way to improve your symptoms and how to deal with your illness
Anonymous
July 31st, 2020 12:10pm
There is no need to hurry this process. Opening up to the people you care about can be extremely challenging, and scary. But always remember, your parents are there to love and support you no matter what. I am sure they will understand what you are going through, and support you every step of the way. An easy way to bring it up would be to find a time where you can both sit down comfortably, and talk with no interruptions. Explain how you're feeling, and make them see this is bothering you. Be honest and direct, your parents are there to cherish you and love you no matter what. So don't be afraid.
Anonymous
August 7th, 2020 4:13pm
This may be a really hard thing to do depending on your parents, bt it is important to know that no matter what, talking and searching help is always the bst option. Onc you've done it, though as I said it may seem hard, you will feel much better and relieved. Talking about how we feel is always valid, and much more if we can tell it to our parents, or whomever it might be that lives with us. When we open ourselves to others we automatically allow them to help us and give us a hand. Therefore, saying it to them is an extreme personal decision, but always making sure that opening up is the right decision.
Daniela27
August 13th, 2020 3:31am
Telling your parents you're depressed can be difficult or even impossible, because they may feel shocked or upset that their child is going through something serious. First, tell them that you would like to talk about your mental health when you have their attention. Make sure you stay calm and patient, as the news can be shocking to them at first. Then, explain to them how you've felt for the past few weeks or months. Provide examples or details. Be as open as possible. Remember, you are brave enough to talk about your mental health. Your mental health is just as important as physical health, and your parents would want the best for you.
greatfulMelon369
August 28th, 2020 6:54am
First addressing yourself and what is going on personally is the best first step. Sitting down and having a space that is safe for both parties can be more relaxing for all. Speaking out loud about feelings and showing you care will then lead to the other party caring as well. Emotions and words should be felt and said, not being afraid and opening up can help the person talk about how they feel. When the parties have talked it through and feel like it has gone somewhere, a middle ground can be met to have both parties be okay.
Anonymous
September 12th, 2020 6:20am
Well, if you afraid to tell them personally. If you are afraid to break down in front of them. Then there is one way I can suggest I used to do it whenever I felt something was so tough for me to tell my parents or when I make a mistake. Just take a paper and write a letter to your parents describing all your feelings. Call your parents and tell them to read it and you go away sit in another room. When they are reading your letter. That's it. And your work is done. I pray it may help you.
LaszloSzakali
November 11th, 2020 2:49pm
Find a time when you can approach your mom or dad in a calm way. You might want to open the conversation by asking, "Can I talk to you? I've been feeling depressed and bad about things. I've been thinking I might need to talk to someone." If it's too hard to start a conversation in person, you could write your parent a note saying you need to talk. Sometimes the conversation just gets started by itself. For example, if you're crying or overwhelmed, you might just blurt out your feelings. This could be the perfect beginning to the conversation you need to have. If you're really upset, you'll need to calm yourself (at least a little) to make the conversation worthwhile. That way, a parent can hear what's on your mind and really listen.
healingTime2480
December 5th, 2020 6:33pm
Depression is a very difficult situation to go through and its more difficult to go through it alone. Your parents are there to help you. You should take the time to collect your own thoughts before you speak with your parents and then sit down with your them and tell them the truth about how you're feeling and why your feeling this way. Sometimes you may not even know why you're feeling this way, and that's ok. Tell them how long you've been feeling this way, the thoughts that have gone through your mind, and anything else you want to share with them. You may have the steps you believe will help you get through this situation and feeling you should share that with them. Its a scary thing to be alone and it takes so much courage to ask for help and this is the first step to asking for help.
JustBreathe019
December 17th, 2020 7:49pm
It may be hard to have that conversation with your parents mainly because you have no control over their reaction and there is a fear that you may leave that conservation worse off than you started. Guess what? You're not alone! It is difficult to open up but it is worth the risk. See, sometimes we focus on the negatives like what if they think it's their fault, what if they don't understand, what if they think I am being dramatic and looking for attention. But...and really think about this....what if they support you, what if they arrange for you to get professional help, what if they become more sensitive to your needs, what if they love you unconditionally no matter what, what if this is the best decision you have ever made. Write down all that you need to tell your parents so you won't forget anything or freeze up in the moment, sit them down, let them know that you have something very important to discuss, take a deep breath.....123.....and pour out your heart.
Anonymous
December 25th, 2020 1:22pm
First of all acknowledging your feelings is a great job upon therapy path. And I'm so proud of you. So now about how to confront your parents: First take a depression test and also read about depression symptoms. It helps you alot with expressing your feelings in words more easily, and also you will sound reliable and reasonable when you have evidence to approve you. Second take action or ask someone to take action on your behalf if you're not comfortable talking to your parents. Counselors, family friends, best friends, cousins or any other person that you and especially your parents have a good and close connection with can be very helpful if you have difficulty to tell your parents about it yourself.
Kapil110
February 28th, 2021 7:56am
It would be good help if parents will be aware about mental illness. But if they are not its really important to make them aware about it. This will not be a one time thing but rather a process which will help your parents get acquainted with mental illness actually exist and that their is nothing wrong about it. For some parents this concept will be very alien because they are hard wired to think mental issues means something bad something terrible something that will shame to them. And trust me they will be really haunted knowing about this if you will just throw it at them. So what to do is : 1. Have conversation with them about any other topic 2. Have conversation with them about this topic and try to know what they feel about it 3. Create your rappo with them 4. If you will really do all this you will end up getting over your depression and be able to tell them about things happening with you. Just know that we humans have our own survival instincts which tells us to fight or flight from things we dont know. So try to understand parents too. Being considerate is good.
HazzyA
March 11th, 2021 2:58pm
Start by picking a suitable time and day to tell them - when they are not busy, and they will be able to listen to you and have a proper conversation about it. I would suggest planning what to say, perhaps writing it down on paper beforehand, as it'll help you make sure you say everything that you want to say to them. Another thing to consider is being completely honest about how you are feeling since it will be more difficult for your parents to give you all the help you need from them if they don't know how much your feelings have affected you. Hope this helps!
Anonymous
March 31st, 2021 1:55am
Telling your parents you are depressed is not a easy task, I know it can be hard and even nerve wracking to think about what to say and how to go about it. However, my best advice would be to just sit them down and start discussing what depression is and maybe even make up a fake friend saying how this friend is dealing with some depression stuff just to see how they feel about it and if you get a positive reaction from them begin telling them how you feel and that you are depressed Hope this helps :)
Anonymous
March 31st, 2021 2:46pm
I consider that this is a very complicated problem to talk about. Personally, I think depression is easily recognised throughout your daily activities. Therefore, your parents may have somewhat noticed the changes happening in you. When I was in this situation, my choice of telling my parents was to sit down and calmly express my feelings to them. I told them about my stress at school, how I felt and what my mind was going through everyday. So, I think it's worth having a calm and pleasant conversation with your parents with a view to telling them that you are depressed.
Anonymous
April 22nd, 2021 9:09pm
In my opinion I would say being honest is the best to do. Just say the truth how you feel and that you need help from a therapist. Nothing wrong with asking for help and most time your perants are most people that wanna see you fine and shine. If you feel its to hard to say, just remember their is no shame to admit that their is a problem. I am sure your perants will try to help and support you through hard time and find good therapy that can help you on ur healing steps. Wish you luck :)
Anonymous
July 9th, 2021 11:17pm
i would recommend starting out with an open and honest conversation. maybe try first sitting them down and asking them to reserve a block of time so that they're prepared and so that you also have the chance to prepare what you will say to them. but maybe dont do this too far in advance or it may cause some anxiety. if you think they might not be familiar with the concept/idea of depression, maybe prepare some notecards or a powerpoint on what it entails and what you are feeling. this can help them recognize your behavior/feelings in the context of depression.
happypuppy22
September 22nd, 2021 11:18pm
Well, one thing I would do. Is think about how you have been feeling over the past two weeks. And explain this to them. So for example, if I were to tell someone I was depressed, I could say something like it’s been hard for me to get out of bed. I don’t have the motivation to do anything, it kind of feels like I have a lot of weight on my shoulders that I just can’t get rid of. Or maybe for you it feels like you’re in a mental fog, you can’t think straight, you can’t remember things as well as you used to. You feel like being alone.
Anonymous
September 24th, 2021 4:41pm
This one is very tricky, something even I'm still struggling with. Sometimes just saying "I'm depressed. I need help" is the best. It's the most clear, direct way and might feel good to get off your chest, but it comes with its anxieties. If you're not comfortable with that, you can try using smaller words. "I'm sad", "I'm in pain", "I'm mad, whatever you're feeling. But, if you're like me and have a hard time talking about emotions with your parents, you could try more discrete methods. Texting about it, writing a letter about it, or, if you're lucky and your doctor makes you fill out a mental health evaluation paper, you could try answering honestly and let your doctor direct you and your parents towards the help you need. Your emotions aren't something to be ashamed of, it's not "just a phase", you're valid and you deserve the right to tell people about your battles.
Mariphia
September 25th, 2021 12:37pm
It is really hard to tell your parents that you are depressed. This is most especially true if you know that they are not open-minded. Like me, I have been so afraid to say it to my mother because I am afraid that I would get hurt even more. Luckily, my father was a great listener. Yet, it was not still easy, because I am not as expressive as other people. I feel like I'm still fortunate, because despite such a challenge, my father responded to me positively. We talked about it one and one, and he was positive in allowing me to seek professional help.
naturalStrawberry348
November 12th, 2021 6:48pm
I think that it is important to be direct and explicit. Depression and mental health issues are not things that we can beat around the bush with. We need to be open, honest and direct. Label your emotions, your struggles, your thoughts. When you are able to label your emotions, struggles and thoughts, you are able to express them to another person. Depending on your age, you may need their support in seeking care; but a lot of providers are able to assist teenage clients without letting the parent know what exactly is said in session.