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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
July 28th, 2019 9:01pm
If it’s recent you can try something like I’m not feeling like myself lately. I’m feeling a bit down or low. If it’s been ongoing for a while you can try I just don’t enjoy the things I used to, it’s hard to find motivation and purpose sometimes, getting out of bed in the morning is hard. Those are all just ways of indirectly saying it. Besides that actions speak louder than words. People who love you usually pick on without you having to mention it. If they don’t, that’s ok some are just not as observant. Doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
August 8th, 2019 3:08am
You could always physically show it. For example, always look down, answer quietly to questions, show that you've lost interest in daily activities. Act like no one in the world will ever love you and you're just absolutely hopeless. You can walk away from people or hide, and you can even possibly cry if you feel like you can, or you just want to let that emotion out.You could dress in more simple clothes, and accessorize less. You could even put dark circles under your eyes and pretend you haven't been sleeping. You could also not do any school homework.
September 8th, 2019 1:44pm
You can say that you're feeling lack of motivation to do anything in your daily activites. You lose your motivation and willingness to even do anything. You felt that everything you do is pointless and will never change anything. You felt that anything you do will be the same and won't change or improve anything in your life. You feel like everone around you, are not helpful and you felt alone and unable to do anything right. You felt that everything in your life is useless and pointless because nothing can really helped. You just felt everything is pointless.
October 12th, 2019 7:34pm
To my mind, depression is like losing taste for life. I would use this taste metaphor to share my feelings. I would say for instance, if we share a meal or if I can relate to a dinner experience, that even if I usually enjoy this or that food, today this food does not nourrish me or has no texture. Or that I could not feel any more the taste of the food I am eating as if my tongue was a kind of sleeping beauty immersed in some kind of anesthesia. In a nutshell, I would maybe try to express through food tasting the fact that I do not have any more the same ability to feel what is usually good for me.
December 15th, 2019 5:29am
That's a great question. One that I have wondered myself. I am curious as to what's behind your not wanting to actually say the words. For me it can come from a place of shame or wanting someone to prove their love by caring enough to understand what I need without actually saying it. Maybe it's that it is a understandably hard topic to bring up and you're not sure how they are going to react. All of these and whatever you may be feeling is valid and it's okay. To answer your question, it can help to list symptoms (ie: feeling really sad, worthless, sleeping/eating too much/too little, not wanting to get out of bed, etc). If they understand what depression looks like, they may understand. Sending positive thoughts your way!
December 30th, 2019 3:05pm
Although you may not realize it, or believe it, the people who love you will have noticed some of the signs already. They may be waiting for you to feel comfortable enough to come and speak to them yourself. Those people want to help you, although your illness might mean that it is difficult for you to see and accept that right now. However, they cannot make you feel better - that has to come from you. Those around you can help you, they can listen to you, they can give you all the reason in the world to feel better but the only person that can make it happen is you.
January 11th, 2020 9:18am
It's important to put up boundaries in this situation , if they do something or your feeling a certain way just say what you need. People can't read minds (yet)! If you want to do some self care things like reading or taking a nap if your tired, just tell them you need some time to work on self care, and it's something important to you. Make sure you stick to what you say with your actions, so people can believe your words and actions. If you are depressed you don't have to tell them whole world, but you should eventually talk to someone(like a therapist about it) if you feel like it's something you can't resolve yourself. If you need a therapist that' okay! Millions of people go to therapy for all types of things, and you don't need to share it with others if you don't want.
February 2nd, 2020 8:05am
If you really are depressed, the first thing is to care for yourself. Should you need to let someone know, there is no need to use words. If your depression is clinically diagnosed, it is certain that their are certain habits or mannerism changes that point towards depression. Even the simplest of activities you perform appear differently upon close observation. By saying this, I do not advocate that you change your mannerisms to exaggerate on the point,but the best way to draw it up is to talk about depression in general. We only talk about things that have somehow affected us, which should make the person in question realise that there is something on your mind that you're not putting out blatantly.
February 16th, 2020 10:54am
Hornesty is the best way, If you are uncomfortable with your depression just try to express how you feel as best you can. Depression is different from person to person, so you never know what people are going through - it can be the person you confide in knows a little about it without telling. It's a process, and it's not easy. It is important to be comfortable with what you're going to say so it doesn't weigh you down. Take it one step at a time in your own pace - people tend to be understanding and helpful.
February 26th, 2020 9:39am
I’d start my telling someone I trust and who is supportive that my moods have been different lately. Explain your symptoms and exactly how you’re feeling. Feeling down, low, unhappy, blue are all ways you can describe depression without being the word depression into it. It is important to explain any physical symptoms as well and emotional or mental ones. Being unable you get to sleep or sleeping too much and having little energy, finding it hard to concentrate on things that you normally would be perfectly fine with and not wanting to do anything, some days maybe you feel you can’t get out of bed or face the world
February 28th, 2020 6:14am
When I am feeling depressed it can be an especially challenging time for me to reach out for support from others. However, reaching out for help is so important. I find someone safe and let them know what I am specifically struggling with like: Today I am having a hard time getting out of bed and I could really use some motivation. I've learned that it helps others help me when I can tell them exactly what I need from them, like "I need someone to spend time with me" "I need to eat. Can we get coffee or food together?" "I need someone to listen to me about some things that have been causing me stress lately without any advice" or "I need some advice about a situation"
April 10th, 2020 4:24am
I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. I don’t have much motivation and don’t like to get out of bed most days. I don’t feel like I have a purpose. I just feel like my life isn’t going in the direction I want it to go in. I feel helpless and alone. I don’t feel like I can talk to my family about this problem because I am embarrassed they might think less of me. I just want to feel like I have something to live for and to make my family proud of me. I feel like a disappointment.
April 18th, 2020 6:52am
You can tell them that you have been feeling off for a while and that you are concerned that it hasn’t been getting better. Don’t give up immediately if they don’t seem to understand: it is a complicated thing to process for people that haven’t experienced it. If they don’t react well to it just know that the most important thing is that you know yourself better than anyone else can, and you can’t let them get in the way of something that you have finally been able to identify with. I’m sorry this is like a million words long, I didn’t know I would need a minimum of 100 words to submit it... 🤷🏻‍♂️😪
April 24th, 2020 5:18pm
If you cannot say it verbally, writing usually helps a lot. In writing, you can do it at your own phase and you can incorporate photos and arts to help you express better how you are feeling and what is going on inside you better. :) Remember that sometimes, people won’t understand quickly. Sometimes, you will need to use music or arts to provide some aid for other people who may not get a good grasp of your situation quickly. Otherwise, if you really cannot do it, a more expensive alternative is to go to a psychologist and ask her for an evaluation which you can give to the people you love back home.
April 26th, 2020 1:50am
I have felt similar when I struggled with depression. I experienced so much sadness and constantly wanting to just hide. I understand the feeling of not wanting to get out of bed like you had said when you talked about your sadness. Commonly people feel sad for periods of time after anything that may have caused them grief. It does not normally last for months at a time or longer. It is extremely daunting to think about all of the symptoms you might’ve had recently but I would encourage you to write them down. This might be a great way for you to talk to your provider about how you’ve been feeling if you feel comfortable. If you do not have a provider that you want to speak with as well, it is good to track your feelings and put a note on what you have done to make the situation even better, and often to include what has not worked. It’s therapeutic for someone to write commonly. You might find a lot of joy or absolutely nothing as well as you may not like writing. If you give it a try you may realize so many things about your situation that could potentially explain why you feel so down.
May 21st, 2020 11:15am
This is a tricky one a tip i have is that one time when i felt okay i decided to have an object that would come out when i was feeling sad. For me i chosse a stuffed toy. The people i trust know that if i am depressed i will bring the toy out. This helps eliminate the scary step of saying you arent okay. Perhaps writting it down might help also. A reminder that you are not alone. Its hard to know what to say when you feel depressed but i do reccomend finding an object that can be used for when you feel sad. Take care
May 23rd, 2020 3:08am
If you’re not comfortable saying that you have depression by simply stating it, there are ways you can hint at it. You could say, “I just wanted to let you know I haven’t been doing very well,” or something along the lines of that. If they are understanding, hopefully the conversation will flow until you are comfortable enough to speak what’s on your mind. You could even simply ask to talk, that way you can talk about some else if something becomes uncomfortable. Hopefully everyone around you will be supportive and loving. Remember that there’s no shame in getting help, and that it’s a great thing to do!
June 1st, 2020 5:01am
Hey! Sorry to hear you’re dealing with depression. That’s a rough spot to be in and I wish you the best. I understand that directly telling someone that you are depressed can be challenging and the words can get stuck in your throat. Makes sense, I’ve been there. I believe the best way to tell someone you’re depressed without saying it may be describing the symptoms. Such as, “I feel so numb and unmotivated all the time. I don’t know what’s up.” “I keep feeling sad about everything and have lost interest in all my hobbies. What gives?” “I can’t sleep and even when I do, I don’t get any rest at all.” Good luck ❤️
June 6th, 2020 6:14am
People will tell you they are depressed without saying it by their present outlook and comments. They have one fixed perspective that they cannot shake and want to communicate it. So talking and turning the subject over in their mind is important. This is where you can be their helper and friend. People are social and want to resume their normal relationships and activity. They want relief from their depressed outlook. Depression is a feeling that things are going badly. If a person dwells too much on it, other things may go wrong as well like health and sleep and interactions with others. People need anchoring in someone else or in their religious faith.
June 20th, 2020 8:17am
It is often easier for people to understand symptoms. Saying things like you are not sleeping or eating well help people without experience with depression understand without risking judgement. If you know the person well Or know they have struggled with depression as well, saying you haven’t been yourself lately is helpful. Try to avoid details if you are letting the person know for the first time. Unloading everything at once can be painful for you and the person you are talking to. It can also be helpful to ask the person if they have experienced something similar.
June 24th, 2020 8:37pm
You could start the conversation saying that you're feeling under the weather and not quite yourself. Also you could say that you are sleeping too much and you have lost your appetite because you just do not feel like eating. Everything that you eat does not taste the same as it tastes like dust in your mouth. And that places you used to go to do not interest you anymore. You just feel like laying on the couch and watching the television all day. You kind of feel like there is a black cloud hanging over you all day long. You feel like you just want to be by yourself and not hang out with your best friends like you used to do daily.
June 25th, 2020 5:30pm
I have struggle doing all the things. Even the basic chores like making the bad , cleaning my room is so hard.Sometimes ı cry for no reason .And everything is bothering me . Every person seems so annoying even they are the best person in the world. It feels like ı have no faith now. And ı do not believe this days will go . I feel like it will be like this forever and ı do not want to live this life forever.Ido not see Beaty or happiness in anything. It feels like my life is about to end .
June 26th, 2020 3:00pm
Telling someone you;re depressed without saying it can be tough. Maybe hint a how you are feeling, how it has impacted you, and how it can affect your relationship with others. It is hard for others, such as family members, to understand what you are going through. It is even harder to accept that you might be depressed. Try describing how life has been since you've been depressed: “I don’t feel well.”, “I’m not doing well today", “I’m hanging in there.”, “I feel ‘off’ or ‘incorrect.’”, “I just need a break.”, "I am exhausted" "I just need to be alone" "I need someone", etc. Just let them know that you are not doing well.
September 13th, 2020 3:10am
Talk about where you feel things in your body. How does it feel when you think about being sad? Happy? Angry? Talk about where you feel pain, where you feel numb. It's okay to not have the words to describe the feeling. It's okay to not be comfortable with labels (like depression, anxiety). Connecting with yourself does not always mean having to get it right. Sharing what you feel and what you don't can help you connect. Let a loved one, or someone you trust know when you feel numb, overly tired, painful body aches, anxiety, or feelings of hopelessness. It can be scary to share your feelings with others. That's why starting small can help. Tell someone how your body feels, or let them know you haven't been enjoying your activities like you used to. Talking about your feelings does not mean you are helpless or hopeless. It means you are human.