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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)


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
May 30th, 2018 1:42am
Just wait until they are calm and resting, then ask them can you talk to them. Tell them your symptoms and how you're feeling and see where it goes
June 14th, 2018 8:30pm
Hm.Maybe it would be a good idea if,instead of labeling yourself as being depressed,you could tell them how you feel: sad, melancholic, maybe like you need more encouragement and support from them.Depression is a strong labeling word.and, they might become really scared and insecure,maybe even blaming themselves for the way you feel. You want them strong and reliable and caring. By telling them how you feel in small doses-so to speak- you allow and empower them to help you.
June 21st, 2018 1:35am
I have always just been honest with my parents, a lot of times they have been depressed at some time or another just like anyone else. Even if you don't have the best personal relationship with your parent/s they will always love you and hopefully be able to shed some light on your situation. In any case, at least you got it off your chest.
June 23rd, 2018 5:52pm
They don't need to be told, because they will get to know about your condition by just looking at you. After all, they have brought you up. But the best way to tell them is by speaking up to them, as we used to ask for little things when we were small children. Tell them about, from what you are going through. They will understand you and go heaven and earth to solve your problem.
June 27th, 2018 2:45am
Be straight forward about it. Don't leave subtle messages, or procrastinate on it. Just tell them, "Hey, I think I might depressed. Can I go get evaluation to see if I am or not?"
June 27th, 2018 8:31am
If you feel they are someone you can trust, honesty is the best. Start with expressing your feelings to them and take it from there. Opening up in a private situation, let them know its important they listen.
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.