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

236 Answers
Last Updated: 10/01/2020 at 4:00pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

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
March 7th, 2018 7:39pm
maybe by pointing the symptoms out in some sort of way or u can write it down if itll help with like a website where they can see which symptoms u have so they understand more
May 6th, 2018 5:58am
You can write about depression from your perspective how it is to live with it and let them read it... if they are interested to understand more they will find the way how to talk you about it more.
March 2nd, 2016 1:30am
If you can't say that you're depressed, then describe how you feel, it'll have the same effect. You could also try writing a letter to that person talking about it, if you physically can't say it
March 3rd, 2016 6:26pm
You could tell them you are no longer interested in the things that used to excite you. You don't feel the slightest bit of happiness upon waking, and you have miserable sleeps at night. You could tell them you are weepy at times for no apparent reason and you may even have physical aches and pains in your body with no explanation.
March 31st, 2017 6:20pm
Ask them if they have experienced sadness before and tell them what made you sad. You can tell them the story if you want or ask them what they think about depression. Based on what they think you can tell them that you are depressed if you feel like it. You can ask them for help too because you feel like you are overwhelmed for example. Most people have experienced depression, so if you are talking to an adult don't be afraid of saying it.
May 9th, 2018 5:56pm
Small actions or words can lead to them understanding. Eventually you'll have to outright tell them, but small conversations about feelings and emotions can help prepare them for that conversation.
February 18th, 2016 7:16am
The look on your face can usually express how you feel. You don't always have to say you're depressed to show it. Also the way you act can show it.
July 14th, 2017 9:58am
Try to convey that you are having trouble performing everyday tasks that are normally very easy for you. Although, its just better to try and put your trust in someone and say your mind.
June 1st, 2018 10:09am
You should try your best to have a conversation with someone about this. You should prepare for the conversation and accept that you are ready and willing to talk about it. You should make sure that you are going to tell someone that you trust. If your telling a friend Can your friend be insensitive to you at times? Or is she going on with big troubles currently, if yes it would be best to either try and find someone else you can trust or maybe just tell her you're going through some major issues but that you’re working on them. Make sure to think about what information you want to give your friend. How much are you going to share, and how your friend might react. Write down what you want to say and try your best to practice your conversation. To tell your friend you should plan a casual activity with your friend, try your best to not do it around multiple people and that you two are alone. Ease into talking about your depression whenever it feels right and communicate to your friend whether the information is confidential. (private). Say what you have practiced and make sure to make your friend feel comfortable. If your friend seems uneasy, break the tension by thanking her for being there and listening. Try and keep your friend engaged and if you feel 100% comfortable try and pick out the 'next step'. When you feel that it's time to move on from the conversation try your best to say something like. "We should go home." etc..
March 4th, 2016 12:02am
You don't. Or at least from my experience, it's just not a very good way and people won't get it because that's too roundabout. Trying to beat around the bush and being indirect might feel like a good idea, maybe because it feels so obvious to you you think others should be able to pick up on it, you're uncomfortable talking about having depression, you feel distrustful of others in regards to your depression and worried they won't understand so you don't want to risk it or etc. But regardless of your reasoning, if you want to tell someone you have depression, with hopes that they'll be understanding, supportive, etc. I've found it's best to be bluntly straightforward--with someone who you trust. If you can't do that or think it's not a good idea, then maybe it's better to determine if you can trust the person you want to tell, by getting their views on mental health issues or the like, by how close you are to that person, things like that. But in the end, I don't believe there is any way to tell someone about having depression, if they don't know already, without directly saying it. From my experience that process is far too muddled and only confusing for both sides involved, without any understanding being reached.
March 5th, 2016 8:24pm
You get that feeling when you lose your self confidence and when you feel the efforts you put to succeed is the limit. Instead work harder to achieve your goals with a positive attitude. Take up new and tough challenges. In case you come out successful, it would be a moment to cherish and will boost your confidence for a life time!
April 7th, 2016 7:09pm
i have been feeling consistently below average in elation as of late and it has become to common to just be temporary
April 23rd, 2016 7:31am
Leave a note or message to someone you can count on asking for the kind of support you know you might need during depressive times. Calling someone in for comfort and help doesn't mean you owe them any details or justification for why you're reaching out. When you've called someone in and they respond affirmatively, it gives a greater sense of closeness, better trust, and permission to be more open and vulnerable when you feel ready to talk now that you know they actively want to be here for you and are willing to listen. A message you could send that hints at the depression without making you come out with what's going on could say something like this: "Hey. I wanted to let you know why I might not seem myself lately. I think really need something to lift my spirits and feel supported right now, and that's hard for me to ask. Are you around? If I need to talk sometime, is it okay to confide in you?"
May 5th, 2016 12:08pm
If you ended up with miserable life because you listened to your priest, or your parents, or you followed what someone on tv told said, then you deserve it baby, crybaby cry.. no heal no more, no lies...
August 19th, 2017 9:45pm
Depends what you mean by not saying it. If you just don't want to say the exact words just saying that you are struggling and think you need some help can be enough especially if the person knows you well. They may have noticed changes in your behaviour a d mood already. . Just describing how you feel will alert most people, Not being able to sleep, finding it difficult to get up the morning, lack of appetite, feeling worthless, I suffered from post natal depression I didn't know that was what it was. I called a help line and said I was confused and explained my symptoms and they told me it sounded like depression which I hadn't really considered.
October 20th, 2017 2:22am
Hmm.... honestly my answer is a question. What reasons do you have for not saying "depressed"? Is it that you don't want your friend or parent or teacher to 'freak out'? Are you yourself afraid of something, like what their reaction might be? Sometimes it is good to say out loud those hard (okay, very difficult!) things. Other times it's okay to cut yourself some slack and beat around the bush a bit. I do find though that the more I come at a conversation or subject head on, even when I *really!* don't want to ... when I face that topic straight on and with honesty, the person I'm talking with usually can understand me better and can offer the help I need - or offer to go with me to find such help. Maybe you could ask yourself, what do I want this 'someone' to know and what do I hope their response will be?
January 31st, 2018 10:14pm
I would say that us as humans shouldn't judge each other by our depression.I just now took a test from a psychologist and it came oit for me as me having severe depression.Im starting to starve,damage,and keep my self up all night.I would say tell the ones who are close to you but, in a sad or serious tone.Im planning on telling my parents during the summer of 2018.And also on telling my Church friends that I have depression THIS Sunday.Give the "friends" a subtle hint and if they dont get your hint.Theyre not worth telling.
February 1st, 2018 12:20pm
when they dont talk alot, have alot going on , always seem in an upaset mood . sometimes if they wear long sleeves it could indicate that. not all the time though
April 2nd, 2018 12:34pm
You can’t really tell someone your depressed without saying it, like others said you don’t have to say ‘I’m depressed’ I’ve struggled saying that to my mom and I haven’t even told her im struggling, I’m not diagnosing myself but if you can’t get the words out just say ‘recently I’m not coping with things very well, I haven’t (say what’s wrong) and I’ve been more emotional than ever(if you have)’ you don’t want them crying thinking it’s their fault, that’s the worst thing ever and you don’t want to be treated like your unwell because your the same person but just more down than usual.
April 27th, 2018 5:30pm
If you're going to try to get the same message across, do it in the most straightforward way. Just tell them with an open heart and an open mind.
May 23rd, 2018 12:58pm
This is hard. For me, I tried showing subtle signs. My subtle signs included trying to getting closer to my friends which showed them how I needed their support. It worked and will be able to help me overcome depression slowly. However, do not hesitate to get help! Depression is not something to be taken lightly. I earnestly hope all the best for you. xx
June 14th, 2018 12:27am
I am depressed can be a hard thing to say to someone else. Explaining your symptoms can be helpful in helping another person understand what you are experiencing. Saying " I am tired, tired in my body and in my mind." I feel like I just need a break, time away from everything."
June 21st, 2018 12:36am
There are lots of ways, but here are some that might work. You could describe how your feelings and your symptoms (i.e. I've been feeling down, I lack an appetite etc) You can be more general and say that you are struggling right now, going through a hard time, or something similar. If you want to avoid the face-to-face telling them, you can text, email, or write to them about it. You can just be up front and say it too even though it is difficult.
June 27th, 2018 4:51pm
If you don't want to say you're depressed, you could say something like "I haven't been feeling myself lately," or "I'm feeling down and need some help getting back to feeling myself again."
July 5th, 2018 6:43am
Mmm maybe you can say that you have been feel really sad for a long time, that it involves others parts that like lees appetite and insomnia
July 8th, 2018 6:00pm
You can't. You just have too think calmly and phrase your sentence correctly before telling someone you have depression
July 25th, 2018 1:54pm
Tell them of some difficulties you are experiencing which you know are attributed to depression such as difficulty getting up in the morning, maintaining self care and socialising.
February 14th, 2016 12:49am
I appreciate there's stigma attached to mental health experiences. The comment that I've heard is that the blues are a few days, while depression is much longer. I may be helpful to speak to the length of time, or the consistency of what you've been feeling.
February 18th, 2016 5:36pm
Sometimes people can tell that you're unhappy even without telling them. Your body language is a clear indicator.
February 19th, 2016 5:25pm
how about telling her about some friend that she was depressed and telling her symptoms and that how it helped when she started treatment , this will make him think that do i have those symptoms of depression