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

234 Answers
Last Updated: 09/13/2020 at 3:10am
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
June 1st, 2018 6:49am
Talking about these sorts of things can be kind of scary. Maybe you could ask someone if you could sit and talk with them for a minute, so you have a particular time and don't have to worry about finding the 'right' time. You could tell them that you've been feeling down, or maybe not like yourself. You could also just say that you've been having a hard time lately. Most people will understand what you mean, and will be there for you. Good luck, and everything will be okay
June 8th, 2018 2:58am
i think it is so hard to tell someone your're depressed because they might want to help and they could give wrong advise because they have never had depression so i would tell that person that i am not feeling right today. something is a little off in my brain, i am tired is what i would say
June 15th, 2018 2:57pm
Just tell them the truth ask them for help. You need to be strong and tell them, it can save you a lot of trouble!!!
June 22nd, 2018 2:41pm
Have you tried expressing what you need from others? How long have you been depressed? Do you have anyone you feel comfortable enough sharing your feelings and needs with?
June 23rd, 2018 12:01pm
Well, you can tell others that there are problems in your life or you can also say that there are some things that intesify your unhappiness. Overall you need to tell others your problem in order to get help.
July 8th, 2018 1:27am
I understand the desire to keep your personal problems to yourself, but I think clear communication is key. If the person needs to know, then you should try to be clear with them. If you don't feel like you can tell them plainly what you are going through, then perhaps they aren't someone who needs to know.
July 12th, 2018 12:19pm
Maybe the best way to tell them is the truth but if that’s not an option just try explaining what depression is and that you feel sad or just say google depression
July 13th, 2018 7:13am
Express to a person you trust what emotions you have been feeling lately such as stress or anxiety or the feeling of being overwhelmed. Explain to them what you are going through and how it makes you feel. They should then begin to understand what you’re going through.
July 14th, 2018 4:55am
I feel tired, emotionally and mentally. Like I can barely get out of bed in the morning or I don’t enjoy the same things anymore.
July 16th, 2018 3:24pm
You can tell the weather so disturbing. And people annoying outside. I think I need fresh air or I need to go beach
August 2nd, 2018 6:07pm
describe how you feel, although it’s not a easy thing to do it’ll definitely help out in the long run.
August 8th, 2018 2:46am
Simply dont use the word depressed, or despression and use other words to express how you feel and if they are somewhat smart they will be able to indentify.
August 9th, 2018 5:56pm
You can express the feelings you've been having toward yourself, this might express to the other person that you have depression without explicitly stating it.
September 6th, 2018 2:33am
I list some of my symptoms. For example, if I've lost interest in things I normally like I'll talk about how I miss doing such and such but can't seem to find the motivation or interest. If it's a one-time thing my family and friends won't probe much, but if it becomes a trend they know that something more is going on and it is more likely that they will ask about my overall health emotionally and physically. I think the word "depressed" is sometimes used carelessly in media. To me, not being able to take a shower is different than feeling sad about a situation. Of course, it's important to have boundaries and only engage in these probing conversations with safe people.
September 8th, 2018 10:53pm
this is a great question and i command the person that posts it out there. Most of the times people do not want to share this type of subject with anyone thinking people might "run for the hills" once is shared but most of the times that is not the case. One of the ways i think you can indirectly bring it up is by contrasting for example; remember i used to enjoy i.e. going out, laughing, working out, etc., well I have noticed for a while that i don't enjoy this things anymore. Have you noticed that too? I think I have been feeling like this since i.e. i moved to this city, left for college, changed my job, etc. Its really difficult because I feel i.e. not motivated, hopeless, disconnected, etc. There in all this context you are pretty much presenting the way you are feeling without labeling it. However, as a disclaimer let me add the most important thing here is how you feel.. and to validate your own feelings if necessary look for professional assistance or support groups.
September 19th, 2018 10:24pm
Expecting someone ,even if that someone is close to you, to know you are depressed without saying it is probably asking a lot. Everyone has there own things, gets stuck in their own head and might not always be paying as much attention as you would like. A tip would be to work out a code word with your primary support person to indicate that you are in a depressive episode or worse. This way if you may be uncomfortable talking about your feelings with this person at least they know what is going on with you so they can help you get what you need.
September 21st, 2018 2:41am
Use a metaphor from nature... I am a leaf that has fallen to the ground and is supposed to blow in the wind, but is too heavy to move. You can share what functions you've stop doing or participating in. What in your life has changed because of your depression. What self care rituals have stopped? Which base level needs are you not meeting for yourself? What social engagements have you stopped participating in? How has it impacted your work life? An example: I just have a hard time getting up in the morning and I want to wear the same thing most days. I don't even care about taking a shower and even forget to eat some days. I am late to meetings and can't seem to focus on anything.
October 3rd, 2018 3:08pm
Without saying only those people will understand who know you. It is not a certain situation and will heal with time, so ask them to give you space. Focus must be on cure and not on explanation. Only case person won't do that is when they have accepted their state of mind as permanent, which is not true. Most of the time factors are external and with enough understand and counselling it can be dealt with. If telling someone close relation about it, its better to be clear and straight forward. You should not hide it. Better to have help around you when you need.
October 10th, 2018 9:43pm
A common source of dismay is expecting someone else to notice depression through subtle hints, as it can be well hidden or even dismissed when someone asks you about it. You can begin with an opening to the topic such as, “I have been feeling unhappy lately, i would like to tell you more about it,” or “I need help, please listen to what I have to say.” You can start to elaborate and be honest from there. It is important to communicate your feelings in an unambiguous way; try to verbalise what is troubling you and convey the depth of your concerns. It is helpful if you are both sitting down and have the time to talk seriously about it.
October 18th, 2018 5:44pm
In my experience, it can be really difficult to come out and ask for help, especially putting a label on it when there can be so much negative connotation to saying, "I'm depressed." Some of the world thinks it's funny or okay these days to be upset by something and throw the word around like it's a game, so it can be difficult to say it and feel like you're actually being heard. People care about you, and they want to help, so I encourage you to tell someone "Hey, sometimes I feel really overwhelmed by life, and sometimes I feel a little bit numb." and explain the symptoms that are affecting you and your relationships to them especially so they understand. The other day I had to tell a really good friend, "Hey, I'm sorry sometimes I get really overwhelmed by social interaction and all the things going on in my life and I just have to take some time to myself and I can't respond to texts when I'm like that. Thank you for understanding."
December 6th, 2018 11:55pm
In order to get the help you need I suggest you reach out to get that help. And to be able to do that you need to be honest and tell them that you are depressed. No one is a mind reader and its not always easy to know if someone is depressed or not. I suggest that you just tell a trusted adult straight out. And they will direct you to help. Depression can be read as so many other emotions as well not just depression. They might not realize that it's depression.
December 28th, 2018 4:13am
If you're suffering from depression, you're not alone. Approximately 19 million people a year in the United States alone suffer from depression.[1] Depression can be very difficult to deal with, especially if you feel alone and isolated. Getting social support is not only desirable but it can have a real impact on your recovery process. Talking to close friends is one way to get some of the support you want and need, although it's not always easy to take that first step and open up to someone about your depression. Fortunately, there are several concrete things you can do to prepare for your conversation and get the most out of it.
January 9th, 2019 4:19pm
While it's probably best to tell someone your depressed so that they understand and there is no chance of miscommunications, if you wanted to tell them without "telling" them per say, you could ask them questions. Questions like "Have you ever been depressed?" or "Do you know any good ways to stop feeling depressed?" could be good ways to help them realize you are going through this. Hopefully they will catch on, but of course there is always a chance of miscommunications or misunderstandings, as with everything. I hope this helps you out! Remember to shine bright and stay positive!
January 18th, 2019 4:59pm
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.
February 14th, 2019 11:57pm
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.
May 30th, 2019 6:16pm
Well, if it’s a loved one, they’ll probably notice on their own. Has your appetite changed? Have you been sleeping more? How often do you cry or break down? Does that glow of passion and excitement still sparkle in your eyes? You’re usually not you when you’re depressed. And people can tell, even if you think they can’t. They’ll notice your different behaviors. Often times people even talk different when they’re depressed. They might make a comment that’s “out of character” for them, or something of the sort. Believe it or not, people DO notice these things. And if they don’t, then don’t be afraid to bluntly explain to them how you’ve been feeling lately. They love you, I promise they really do want to be there for you.
June 27th, 2019 11:07am
If it’s someone who has known you for a while, they probably would have picked up on the symptoms by now. The fact that you’re losing interest in all the things that you used to be interested in is usually the first indicator. If they are really close to you, they would also notice how your eating and sleeping patterns have changed. They would also get clued in due to the mood swings. Maybe you could tell them about how you have terrible mood swings often and how your eating and sleeping patterns have been changing for a while now.
June 29th, 2019 2:22pm
You could say, I am not feeling like myself lately. For some reason, I am not so interested in activities I love and it’s making me feel sad. Have you ever felt like you were in a funk that you just couldn’t shake? That’s how I feel lately. People will understand. Life’s circumstances can push us down, but talking to someone who cares for you and wants what’s best is helpful. Asking them if they have noticed a change in you helps too. Because sometimes we don’t know we are depressed until it gets so bad that we feel stuck.
July 18th, 2019 3:07pm
Start by telling someone about the feelings you are experiencing.. ring a helpline or speak to your doctor in confidence about your feelings. Feeling depressed and low is not a nice experience and wont just go away the more support the better and the more you open up about your feelings to your loved ones will also help them have a better understanding of what is going on and how you are feeling. Tell your loved one you feel low. Upset. Angry. Sad. Confused. Scared. What ever feeling you are experiencing try to tell someone who can help and support you.
July 19th, 2019 4:07pm
Perhaps you would find it easier to write it down. You could write a letter to someone explaining how you are feeling. Maybe include in that letter that you are struggling to say it out loud. The main thing is that you tell someone whether that be verbally or written. You could also think about sending an email or a text message. Whatever you feel most comfortable with. This can also be a good tool to use when going to seek help from a medical professional. That was if you aren't able to actually verbally say you're depressed, you can show them what you have written down .