How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?

262 Answers
Last Updated: 01/31/2020 at 9:10pm
How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Victoria Cook, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I work to meet all clients where they are - working first to understand their needs and employing the tools needed to help them become their best, most empowered selves.

Top Rated Answers
imperfectionisbeauty24
October 25th, 2017 6:09pm
Explain thoroughly and honestly, how you feel and what it means to you. Don't be afraid to share your true thoughts and feelings. Allow them to ask questions, to ensure they have an understanding of what you're experiencing. If their response is opposite your expectations, be honest about that as well. Parents react the way they know how and sometimes that is incorrect or not the most helpful response. Keep in mind, this is tough for them too, as they do not want you to feel the way you do. Together you can try to work on solutions.
mySong
November 8th, 2017 8:21pm
There are many ways you can go about to doing this, and there's really no right way to do it in my opinion. You can just come out outright and tell them, or just drop subtle hints, or even ask someone to tell them for you. In my case, I wrote a letter. A really, really long letter; mostly detailing events and thoughts to show that I wasn't just making it up since I wasn't show my parents would have believed me at the time. I won't lie, it was a scary experience for me, writing up the letter and leaving it a place for them to find it, but I felt a slight relief after doing it because it was something I had to do.
vegetables
November 10th, 2017 10:08am
Depression is heavily stigmatised where I'm from. I didn't have the courage to tell it to them, face to face. For me, I wrote an extensive Email to them because writing words down helps me put my thoughts in perspective!
BubbleGumKissxoxo
November 11th, 2017 9:55pm
Sit them down when they have time, tell them why you feel depressed if possible, be open and honest, they will want to support you. Try to see from their viewpoint on how you would feel if you were in their shoes. Try and explain as best you can how you feel and explain that you need their support and try to think of ways that you think they could best support you and discuss them.
Anonymous
November 15th, 2017 12:43pm
There is no sugarcoating it, to get the support you need you will have to say it as it is. Remember that you are asking for support just as you would if you were physically injured.
SofieSof
November 15th, 2017 8:29pm
In my experience, telling close family members/friends about mental health is best done by being as short and precise as possible. Telling them a little bit about what's been going on, and then - perhaps most importantly - what I need from them. So it could be something like: "Hey mom, I've been feeling quite down recently and I am pretty sure I am depressed. This means that I would really like to start seeing a therapist. I have found one that's covered by our insurance and I was wondering, can you drive me there once a week?" Maybe you already have been diagnosed and have a therapist, in which case it could be modified - I even think bringing it up with your therapist could be really beneficial.
Anonymous
November 15th, 2017 11:12pm
Not only have I been depressed myself but I’m sure if your visiting this website you are looking for the easiest way to tell your parents you are going through depression. Although there really is no easy way out on this you could start off by telling your parents why your feeling this way. As your parents begin to understand what you are explaining to them I’m sure that they will at least try to understand although it feels like that’s impossible. Our parents are the only two people that I’m sure you can trust with everything so telling them is the best way to help you. Just know that you will get better and that they’re going to help you. :)
Anonymous
November 16th, 2017 1:44pm
In my case, i tried to tell my parents several times, and it got pushed off as unimportant. Because i was a child, and their opinion meant so much to me, i believed that it was unimportant, and afterca few times, i stopped asking them, knowing I'd be put down. I did everything to cover it up in fact. I cut, i cried at night, i hid whenever i broke down...
Lalicz
November 16th, 2017 7:49pm
Talk to them calmly, talk about how you have felt the last weeks and that you need their help to get out of this, because parents are a great help at such moments
brightHoliday35
November 25th, 2017 4:33am
Tell them at the right time. It is important that you are serious. Dont make it a joke. Ask directly for help. And tell them how you feel
positivePoetry45
December 6th, 2017 4:45pm
Start off with a casual conversation and you can work your way in. Ask your parents how did their day go today. When they open up to you, open up to them as well. Explain how your day went and that you feel happy all the time. Parents are always their to listen to us. Even when we are a little hesitant on talking to them.
contentedHero57
December 9th, 2017 9:24pm
approach them gently with a kind attitude and tell them that you are depressed and you want to find help from someone
Anonymous
December 10th, 2017 12:12am
Tell them between the lines slowly, and then reveal more and more to them until they het what you’re feeling.
Anonymous
December 21st, 2017 4:44pm
If you are closer to one of your family members tell them that you want to talk with them Be honest and say everything that is going on your mind..reach out for them..let them listen to you
happyName29
December 22nd, 2017 4:30pm
It's good to be up front and honest. If your struggling with depression it's healthy to address it and find the source.
Anonymous
December 23rd, 2017 2:00am
Slowly tell them and it may not seem like it, but they will understand and if they dont help them understand. It will be okay!
debojyoti012
December 24th, 2017 1:41pm
You can try saying something like this: “This is difficult for me to say. I have been concerned about your reaction but I have something very serious to tell you. I believe that I may have depression. I have suicidal thoughts at times. These thoughts are frightening and I don’t know how to handle them. I believe that I need help. I am serious about wanting help. Can you please help me?”
Power14
December 28th, 2017 9:52am
You can tell them in different ways, you can tell them face to face, you can write it and then let them know. I know it requires courage to speak your heart out but they are your parents I'm sure they will understand you if you talk to them about your situation.
Anonymous
January 4th, 2018 2:06am
Sit down with your parents and have a honest but loving conversation with them about how you're feeling. Explain to them how this affects your life. If you want their help, you can tell them this as well. A lot of parents are happy to do what they can when they realize you need their help.
NomenNescioDo
January 13th, 2018 4:51am
Be honest, first word/sentence is the hardest, start with saying mom/dad i want to talk, than stand tall and tell them how you feel.
healingEagle10
January 17th, 2018 8:28am
It’s even courageous of you to want to reach out to your parents about your mental health. When I first told my mother, I sat her down, took a deep breath and just poured out everything I was feeling. I felt so much better afterwards and she was so supportive and vital to helping me get back on track. You don’t have to suffer alone.
SympatheicSeal7329
January 18th, 2018 1:58pm
Make sure to set a time to talk when they won't be busy, and can focus on the topic. Calmly inform them that you've been struggling with depression, and ask for any assistance you need. Inform them of your safety level, your plan to stay safe and anything they can do to help. Expect questions, they are your parents and will want to know.
Anonymous
January 21st, 2018 12:15pm
Based on my personal experience it wasn't something that came easily. I ended up telling my schools counselor before telling my parents. I wrote what I was going to say on a piece of paper and gave it to my mum. I then quickly ran upstairs and hid. It gave my mum time to process what I had written without me actually having to speak to her.
DanaMH
January 24th, 2018 4:46pm
Have a family meeting and just be very honest with them and lay everything on the table. Get the help that you need. Get a good therapist, I would suggest a young person because they seem to know more. Open source counselling is $30-50 per session
indigoraspberries
January 31st, 2018 12:08am
Sit them down, and slowly but surely explain how you feel. Do not over exaggerate but don't miss out important detail. It's important they know because they can help.
Anonymous
February 7th, 2018 8:06pm
This can be an extremely stressful thing to do, because you never know how your parents are going to react. I've known people whose parents are extremely supportive and understanding, and others whose parents are awful at handling it. The easiest way to tell them is probably to just tell them right out how you are feeling. You can say something like "I've been feeling really down and hopeless lately, and I think I might have depression." Just get it out there - and if the conversation doesn't go well, you can come vent about it to one of the listeners :)
robcruz
February 21st, 2018 12:27am
Honesty is the best policy afterall, everyone goes through depression and one or both parents might understand what you are going through.
Delaney4
February 21st, 2018 6:33pm
Sit down and talk talk to them, tell them how you feel. It may seem like they don't understand so help them understand.
Anonymous
February 22nd, 2018 3:45pm
We grow up thinking parents are the one who have all the answers and are our ultimate protectors, but in truth they are as vulnerable as anyone else in the world. If you’re feeling depressed and need to talk to look for somebody who isn’t having problems themselves and if your parents are strong minded and seem to keep things In control. Start off slowly that you’ve been having negative feelings. A good parent will always try to listen and understand and help guide you. At the end is always up oneself if we want to listen and be better.
Thegirlwhowrites101
March 1st, 2018 2:31am
Tell them you need to talk to them, sit them down and talk to them. Explain to them how you feel and why you feel this way.