Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How do I tell my parents I'm depressed?

277 Answers
Last Updated: 07/31/2020 at 12:10pm
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
June 27th, 2018 3:51pm
When I had to first tell my family about my depression, I started by telling them things I had done since a week back and let them realize that I was getting depressed each day. After that everything followed suit and fortunately, it was possible to work things out.
June 30th, 2018 4:46pm
I personally wrote a letter to them and told them everything I felt because I think that was a better way to clearly express my feelings without being cut or backing out halfway
June 30th, 2018 10:28pm
Ask them for a conversation when you're feeling ready for it and tell them, ask them to stay calm and listen to you
July 1st, 2018 8:03pm
Sometimes things happen in our lives that make us very sad and make us struggle through little things. Tell them how your feeling be honest and open and tell them that you are telling them because your ready to do something about it.
July 5th, 2018 12:54am
Make sure they are in a good mood and say hey I am having a hard time and I am depressed tell them why and tell them if you are feeling suicidal or if you are self harming
July 7th, 2018 11:26am
It can be a very hard thing to introduce to someone but you can start by sitting them down in a serious environment and introduceing it to them.
July 7th, 2018 11:33am
Do you have a good relationship with your parents already. May they already be aware of how your feeling
July 8th, 2018 5:22pm
I think the big thing to do is be able to talk to them when everyone is calm and in a mental space that allows openness to unknown feelings. I would want to make sure there wasn’t a lot going on the day to ensure everyone can focus on what I was going to say. I know how hard it is to tell your family you’re depressed. I would fear they just wouldn’t understand or would judge me. Just know that you don’t have to tell anyone you aren’t ready to. Chances are they will be open and receptive because they love you and want to see you feel better.
July 13th, 2018 1:13am
Sit down with them. Tell them that your not ok don't let fear get in your way. don't think about it.
July 19th, 2018 8:18am
Youu not need to tell that you are depressed , your behavior,your attitude automatically indicates that you are depressed
July 21st, 2018 6:02am
You sit them so and tell them how you feel and what is making you depressed and as a family come up with ways to help deal with your depression
July 25th, 2018 10:13am
Try to express the emotions that you feel to the best of your ability. Try to make them understand what you are feeling. Be as direct as you can.
July 29th, 2018 1:41am
Explain to them what depression is first, and that it is a serious illness that needs to be treated. Explain to them what you are feeling, and what you need. What you need could be therapy, love and support, etc.
August 2nd, 2018 6:05pm
be completely open, your mental health is a huge priority. You deserve to get some help on it. If they don’t understand, try describing how you feel to them.
August 4th, 2018 10:28pm
It may sound more difficult to do; but ask them if they could sit to discuss some things with you. And then be very upfront, open and honest (that's the hard part). Be truthful about how you feel, how long you've felt that way etc. It may even be a good idea to think about beforehand what you want to say and what you want to gain from the meeting with them. And it's okay to tell them what you want from them, it could be space, it could be just someone to listen to you etc. The key in my opinion is it being a very open and honest conversation.
August 12th, 2018 8:49am
Pick a time to tell them when they will be able to listen and have no distractions. Remember that people only have a split second to respond but after a while and thinking about it may come up with a rational plan.
August 15th, 2018 3:14am
I struggled with this myself and had to bring in a doctor to back me up since my parents don't "believe in" depression but the best way is to sit them down and explain to them how you feel and try to explain that there is little reasoning. I had to express that I was sad and did not know why. It is really hard though. Another suggestion is to get a sibling or other close person to help you.
August 23rd, 2018 1:45am
The best way I found is to sit one parent down that you feel most close to and talk about your stress and what is making you feel this way and also ask for help this way you are able to talk to them with out being bombarded with loads of different questions that you may or may not want to be answering. It is one of the hardest things to go through. On one hand you need to seek help and on the other you don’t want your parents feeling pain. But they will suffer more pain knowing you are hurting deep down. All the best~ keely xo
September 9th, 2018 2:11pm
I personally have not told my own parents that I get depressed sometimes because the stigma and negative connotations surrounding that word prevents me from doing so. So for me, it isn't that important for them to know my personal life. They're still very conservative and close-minded with their ways; depression is seen as mere laziness for them. If you somehow have parents like mine and would really want to tell them, I suggest you try to enlighten your parents first and foremost about the definition (get them to understand what it really means and convince them it's not just a fancy term or excuse for being lazy or anything like that) and how destructive depression can be if left untreated/neglected. I wish you good luck with it :)
September 14th, 2018 5:40pm
I'm so sorry to hear that you feel that way, to begin with! My parents didn't react well, and here's why. I didn't quite explain how or why, I didn't make it clear to them I wanted help. I was really nervous at first, and before I talked to my mom I had many panic attacks about talking to her about my depressive tendencies. You just have to be patient, know that they might not get it right away, and try to explain it as clear as you can. Know that no one, will ever be able to understand your depression completely the way you do, do try to explain it as thoroughly as possible, and when it all started. When I told my parents, I felt very guilty for taking up there time for something as silly as depression, (it's what they think, I think depression is very serious however) I don't want you to feel guilty at all. You are strong, and you can do this! Good luck and I hope I helped a bit! :)
September 20th, 2018 8:45pm
It's pretty hard to hide the fact that you're depressed from your parents. I tried to do it but failed - it's not as bad as you think it's going to be. They love you and will want to help you get through your worst days as well as your best
September 29th, 2018 6:59pm
Tell them you have something to confess, that's been haunting you and you don't feel good, make them believe you are not kidding around and you mean this. Sit with them choose words to explain how you feel, and what you feel about, why you are depressed. If you can't do that, because you don't have that kind of relationship with them, you are not very open with them, talk to your mom or your dad first, with who you are the closest, tell them how you feel, explain it open yourself, let them read you like a book.
September 30th, 2018 7:35am
Parents are amazingly knowledgeable about our emotions whether we share them our stories or not. most parents can analyse a child's mood based on the activities he/she do before their eyes. But some parents are needed to be told as they can't share enough time with their offspring. When you want to share or tell that you are depressed, there is no need for second thought. Just approach them right away. They will care for you for sure. It is also the best way during such time. A shoulder to cry and a soul to hug are no more than the heaven itself in such tough time. So, please do share anything that make you feel depressed with your parents straight away.
October 10th, 2018 11:11pm
Be patient with them. It can be hard to hear. Start of by explaining you've been having a tough time recently. Tell them what's been going on. Explain the situation that you're in. Let them know you're feeling depressed, and ask them if there's anything they want to know. Give them time to process everything. Don't panic they'll love you regardless. Let them ask questions, even if you're not sure how to answer them, just try your best to help them understand. After all explaining to someone else might help you understand it better yourself. Discuss your options with them for getting help, such as going to the doctor or seeing a counsellor or therapist, and that might relieve some of their worry.
October 11th, 2018 6:22am
Rather than telling them you're depressed, try showing them. Basically, describe to them your symptoms. Depression can vary from person to person, so if they know how it is affecting you, they can hopefully better help you then. And maybe they won't know how to help with depression, but maybe they can help address your symptoms. And by describing symptoms, they will hopefully be more likely to believe you, since unfortunately not all parents are understanding. And if they believe, hopefully they can help direct you to professional help that can make a difference in your life for the better.
October 26th, 2018 9:26pm
I know some parents will deny that a child of theirs is depressed but I believe in general most parents would want to know and would try to help. I also believe many parents don’t know how to help the depressed individual. So, if you are apprehensive about talking to your parents start with a trusted adult and talk about it. An adult often has insight into issues and can help. If there is not a trusted adult find a time you can talk to your parents and have their undivided attention, no tv, electronic devices, etc. and talk to them. Be honest. I’m not thrilled with this last option but sometimes it’s easier to tell someone with a text. If you do this please don’t solely use this method. It’s important to talk face to face about such issues.
November 24th, 2018 6:52pm
They will want to know. They will want to help and console you. Telling anyone something like this may seem daunting and may be embarrassing but I know for sure if this is someone that loves you they will be happy you told them. They will want to help you and be there for you in any way they can. If they cant help you with what is going on they will help you find someone who is able to. Depression is a real and serious thing it's important you tell someone in your life that cares about you what is going on.
December 5th, 2018 3:19am
You talk to them and you tell them that your not doing well and that you have a lot of things on your mind. For starters talking is the most important part of this journey with your parents and take the time to show your feelings what is troubling you and make sure that they listen to everything your saying here about what you are feeling I mean this is the best approach for you when it comes to talking to your parents about depression and that is the best thing I can come up with and hope this helps you out.
January 12th, 2019 8:56am
Usually we find it easier to talk to one of our parents over the other. Maybe they are a good listener or it’s just more natural. Imagine your telling one of them how you feel. What one made the most sense to you ? Remember they are your parents and love you. If you had a child dealing with depression you would do anything to help them. So let’s say you have picked one and your ready to talk. I would start by telling them that you want advice and need their guidance. Naturally they will be concerned and ask you what’s wrong. At this point I would come straight out and say” i have worried about telling you this, but I want you to know I’ve been dealing with depression” Once you have opened the door, the rest will follow naturally. After speaking to them. They will likely inform your other parental figure in a clear way how you are feeling. Unless you don’t want the other to know. You should make it clear. I hope this helped.
January 16th, 2019 11:29am
I'm not there's a parent that doesn't recognize the state of her own child. Especially the mother. They might not start the conversation, yeah. But they know it, somehow, some way. Not all of them maybe, but that's the quality of a parent after all, they know the emotions and normal level of actions about their own children. what they choose to do afterwards, that's another discussion :D So, i don't see any problem with full honesty. it's not like you go to your boss, to announce your depression :P Now, more about depression, I feel to add to it. I see depression as a very natural state (When it's not exaggerated by us) As i see it, there are always 2 stages in life, even life itself goes the same. 1. find the goal, or a goal. 2. achieve the goal (or give it up) transition from 2, back to 1, is always interpreted as depression, but it's actually a release. You are released from the goal. and it's great, now you can choose another goal. (and "i choose zero goals" is also a goal :P) so basically we cannot choose to not have a goal, and we cannot choose to not give attention. one way or the other we will always work with and for a goal, and we will always give attention to something. what we choose though, what we can control, is the combination: goal + attention. what we choose to focus more on.