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How to tell someone you're depressed without saying it?

235 Answers
Last Updated: 09/19/2020 at 1:53am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Canada
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Sara Radford, MA Clinical Counseling

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Within the context of a supportive, collaborative relationship I help clients to explore themselves in a effort to create healing and lasting positive change.

Top Rated Answers
braveNight89
March 2nd, 2016 7:35am
Telling someone you are depressed without saying it? that's a difficult question... I ask myself this everyday when I want to open up to my family. When I want to let them know how alone I feel because they don't understand me. I don't know if they know I am depressed, if they do know and have never said anything to me... well I really wish they would say something. Some days I really think they do know but they choose not to say anything to me because they are scared they don't understand or they can't accept the reality that their daughter is depressed. Telling anyone you are depressed is one of the biggest challenges because you don't want to be seen differently, you simply want someone to be there for you, to understand you, to accept you, so you don't feel so alone.... I know I feel that way all the time. I want someone to see that I am hurting but not to make a big deal out of it. I want you to see that I am trying to get better, I am making an effort, but everyday is a challenge... Some days worse than others. I just want acceptance. Just see that, yes I am depressed but that doesn't mean there is something wrong with me. I am still normal... maybe not at the same level as you, but I am still normal and I am making the best effort to be the best person I can be. I am trying to be happy.
Anonymous - Expert in Depression
February 15th, 2016 3:23am
"I'm feeling low' 'I've been struggling' 'I'm going through a rough time' 'Things just aren't working out' 'Things are spiralling out of control' 'My life is going downhill' 'I just don't feel too great anymore' 'I'm unhappy' 'I'm feeling emotional'
Anonymous
February 14th, 2016 4:57pm
There's no point in doing so. Don't try and give people "hints" about your depression; it wastes your time, and theirs. Depression is a serious illness, and there's no need to beat around the bush about it. Would you ask, "how do I tell someone I have cancer without saying it?" It's absurd. Consider reevaluating why you're unwilling to just tell someone in the first place. What are you hoping to accomplish by the conversation?
Oliverofsummersgoneby
February 13th, 2016 5:31am
I've been feeling lost and confused a lot recently. I haven't been feeling like me, for quite awhile.
JordanPeraltaa
February 19th, 2016 3:16pm
I recently got diagnosed with Depression as well as Social Anxiety. It took me nearly a year to build the confidence to finally seek help. Now, how did I manage to tell my GP this without speaking words? I spent some time writing down everything I feel all the time and things I struggle with, not needing to speak made me finally feel a little relieved I was able to finally get help. My suggestion, book an appointment with a GP, (If you haven't been diagnosed) and write down how you are feeling and why etc. If you have been diagnosed and want to tell family members / friends, writing down a note about it can also help and be really effective. Good luck.
HakunaMatata2k
February 21st, 2016 4:41pm
Let them know the symptoms you're experiencing. That's probably better than saying your depressed even if it's just in casual convo where you just start to say things like "you know, I really don't enjoy [playing football] like I used to anymore, it really just doesn't make me happy anymore and it doesn't feel fun." and hopefully if you do that the person should pick up on it whilst allowing you to carry on and explain other symptoms
pandapopxx
April 30th, 2016 10:48am
With a lot of people they need the straight up, if you use things like self-harm it will go completely the wrong way. it is a case of you saying "I am a bit stressed" or "I don't know what it is, but I don't feel well". This will let them know...
Anonymous
February 14th, 2016 12:43am
The best way to "tell someone about your depression is writing notes! It isn't "saying" it, but it gives the person the news about your problem. When you write a note to anyone, it gives more self esteem, so you don't get anxiety from talking to them in person.
Anonymous
February 13th, 2016 11:32am
Help i need to talk about some things that are holding me back when you have time may we talk? then just talk about being sad they will get the hint
Fenixashes37
February 13th, 2016 11:50am
Just be honest to them. Give them expression in your face. But hey, life is beautiful. You shouldn't be depressed. Yours friends will get sad too if they can't help you. So give them chances.
AnimalOfFood
May 21st, 2016 7:32pm
Signs of depression is usually numb state, more or less sleep, sadness, and lost of interest in things
AnthonyNW29
February 18th, 2016 1:29am
It can be very difficult to tell somebody you are depressed without actually talking to them. They may mistake your attempts as general low mood, bad mood, self-pity or a range of other negative emotions. I personally found talking to people helped, because it have me direction and also gave them an understanding of my condition. Never underestimate the power of conversation!
Larelya
February 15th, 2017 12:23am
Art - Music, Paintings, Poems, Sculptures - whatever you're good at. Try to express your feelings through pictures and colours, through moves and ideas.
dancingOcean
February 19th, 2016 10:04am
I'm having a hard time feeling motivated to do what I'm supposed to be doing, staying in touch with my friends and getting out to do pretty much half of what I normally do. I just want to sit around and block everyone out.
proudRabbit95
February 24th, 2016 2:20pm
I would say that the best way of telling someone you're depressed is to say it straight out. You can always say that you are feeling a bit down lately, but then again there might be some misunderstandings. If you just say it, they are probably more likely to understand what you are going through.
Anonymous
May 15th, 2016 11:55am
One reason why many people STAY feeling depressed is that they DWELL on what has made them unhappy. Thinking and thinking about it KEEPS them depressed. Thus, it's possible to be unhappy and/or depressed for years about something that is actually an old event, or an aspect of life that could be CHANGED. You might well very feel good if someone understood how you feel. It would be nice if someone cared. BUT that probably won't change a thing. The change from depression to happiness MUST ultimately come from within YOU. Some people are very unhappy, even though they have wealth and friends. Some people live in poverty and are sick but feel happy. Amazing but true. To a profound extent, it's not circumstances that make people unhappy or depressed - it's how they FEEL about these things. This perspective can be altered. Maybe you don't REALLY need to talk about it. Maybe you just need to start thinking differently. Perhaps you can simply start to look forwards optimistically, looking forward to there being much more in life that will make you happy.
CaringJoy
February 17th, 2016 12:23am
By staying in bed all day and avoiding the things we used to enjoy. By saying stuff like I'm sad, weak and drained.
IVBlackward
April 27th, 2016 4:16pm
i might argue that, as the level of intimacy with the specified person increases so too should their awareness of the non verbal cues of depression such as body language or behaviors that you exhibit and respond with a query about how you feel. barring this fact or the person's utter inability to interpret non verbal behaviors, the following directive seems of importance: unless they themselves are the cause of your depression in your opinion , you should consider informing them at the inception of the conversation that they are not the cause of your depression and continue to reiterate this fact periodically as you explain to them what is going on. if the person is the cause of your depression, you probably should consider a list of talking points such as what exactly they do to depress you and what they need to do to help you. in doing so, the other party is aware of what needs to happen and can decide themselves whether they will participate. or it will be too much for them. prepare for this possibility even if it is remote. i hope this is helpful...
Iwillalwayslisten05
February 14th, 2016 11:22pm
If I wanted to tell someone I was depressed but couldn't say it verbally, I would try writing it down. Give it to them, let them read it when they are ready or have time. Or I would maybe find someone that already knows, have them sit and talk to them for me.
Yourfairygodbro
February 13th, 2016 7:30am
I guess you could write a letter to them or text it to them? You could make it obvious to them that you don't feel like you're healthy, if they're a close person to you then its important that you tell them, I think.
Anonymous
July 18th, 2018 3:40pm
You don't. You don't need to tell them because the pain is in our eyes every time we look at someone. If can't see it, they don't deserve us
Rosiexx
October 27th, 2016 3:11pm
You might write them a note/message/email to let them know. Writing may be easier for some than talking(:
Pri009
November 4th, 2016 10:47pm
There's no shame in explicitly telling someone that you're depressed. It's an actual problem that needs to be addressed so it's perfectly alright to say it as it is, without using euphemism. However, if you do feel uncomfortable doing that, you could let your friends/family know that you've been unhappy for a while and would like to explore ways to resolve it or cope with it. Perhaps you could discuss how you've been feeling for a while/some of your thoughts. Also, be careful who to confide in--usually start with people you trust the most and who you think would handle such sensitive information in a mature way.
PacificSunrise
February 25th, 2016 7:53pm
A great way in which I sometimes express things that are hard to say is using music. I would pick out a song that express the situation I'm in and send it to the person and say this is the theme of my life my right now. I can even have the person listen to it and say this is currently my situation. The person usually understand because music is such a powerful way to get a message across.
tryingnottobeahermit
March 8th, 2016 9:59pm
Sometimes you just need to be honest with yourself and your loved ones. I recently tried to ask a hypothetical question to a friend to avoid getting and made this friend very mad at me. My friend said it was dishonest not to just ask the question outright.
Justanotherfangirl
February 14th, 2016 4:49am
Tell them your feeling down, you havent been yourself you haven't been happy for a while, you havent had the energy for anything
Anonymous
February 14th, 2016 9:19am
It's quite simple. Just say, "My life's been going lame for a while. I feel it's totally not worth it. I feel kinda bored with the same life everyday"
BlueberryMuffins
February 21st, 2016 8:25pm
Maybe say you've been finding life especially hard recently/or [insert time]. Or you could say you are finding it especially hard at the moment. Just try to let someone know and they will be able to help you.
NordligSno
January 27th, 2018 3:34am
Saying it straight out is always the best thing to make sure they are on the same level with you. But you can tell them what's going on. What are you thinking about? Is something bothering you? Do you need to talk to a professional? And so forth. Be honest. (:
Anonymous
April 25th, 2018 4:39am
If you want to implicitly tell someone about your depression you might say that you're not feeling the way you should be and have some work to do. You might follow it up with something else to make them realize that. But in seriousness, why not be explicit about it if youre talking to someone important?