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I think I have depression and I want to tell my parents but my brother recently got diagnosed so I feel like they would think that I'm just trying to get attention. What do I do?

298 Answers
Last Updated: 12/24/2021 at 1:23am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lisa Groesz, PhD


With evidenced based therapies, we find the root of the problem together to implement solutions. We all face crises, transitions, or disorders at some time.

Top Rated Answers
June 22nd, 2016 2:43am
You deserve love and support for your depression, equally as much as your brother does. It's stressful to feel like you're stirring up drama or being a burden on your parents, but the bottom line is that you need help. You wouldn't secretly hobble around on a broken leg because your brother recently broke his leg. Depression is no different. I hope you and your brother are able to support each other through your journeys.
June 26th, 2016 6:41pm
If you are uncomfortable or afraid to talk to your parents, try talking to your brother about it. He understands what it feels like and can help you understand why you are feeling that way and how to make it better. Also, when you are ready to tell your parents, you will have your brother's support, which makes dealing with depression (and admitting you have depression) easier. I hope this helps!
September 1st, 2016 6:17am
I think it would be a good idea to tell them, my brother also got diagnosed with depression and ended up feeling really guilty that i felt this way, but the more I held it in the worst it got. It got to a point were I was getting suicidal thoughts daily and I felt like I had no one to tell. Not telling anyone, especially your parents won't help you get better. What needs to be the most important to you right now needs to be your own mental wellbeing. That doesn't mean abandon you brother but be mindful of your mental state and put yourself first.
June 30th, 2016 9:21am
Well, depression has also been linked to genetics, so that would be a valid point to bring up when talking to them. And since they allowed your brother to get diagnosed and treated, they obviously acknowledge it's a problem; one big problem already eliminated. Explain to them exactly how you're feeling; are you feeling down, up and down, suicidal, irritable, etc. They may even notice the symptoms but haven't made the connection. Chances are they won't brush it off; depression is a really serious thing, they'll want to make sure you're alright before they think it's an attention stunt. Best of luck to you
June 13th, 2020 6:08pm
It is always best to tell them, even if you have your doubts, they would want to know. It's never best to hide things, not only may it hurt others around you but it may also hurt yourself not talking to anyone. If you don't want to talk to your parents straight away you can always mention it with other people you trust. The best thing to do is to do what you think is right, nobody can tell you what to do because it's your own unique situation. What I may think is best might be different to what you think is best, so it's up to you to decide.
July 13th, 2016 8:50am
Say to them that you think to have the same thing like your brother and explain why do you think this. Be sincere and they will understand you.
July 24th, 2016 12:04am
If you think you have depression, tell your parents. Don't worry about what they have to say, just tell them that you think you might be developing depression, and that you're saying it genuinely and not for attention.
July 5th, 2017 11:39am
Be specific about what symptoms you are having. Whether it's sadness, lethargy, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy. It may be depression, but that is ultimately up to a doctor to decide. If you are specific about what you're struggling with, it gives your parents an opportunity to help or get you help. It's very common for depression to affect multiple family members, so it is more likely a sibling would have it than not.
June 13th, 2018 11:25pm
I think you should talk to your brother a bit first because he was already diagnosed, ask him about his symptoms see the similarities, if you believe you have it, mention to your parents that you feel like you have some of the same problems your brother has
May 9th, 2020 9:39pm
Having the mental health talk with parents is not always an easy thing to do. Personally, it was one of the things I struggled with the most, because I was so worried about how they were going to react, but was pleasantly surprised by how well they took it. What was helpful in my case was that I sat them down and had an honest and genuine conversation about it. And lesson learnt: even people we think we know really well can surprise us too:) It'll be good to catch them at a time when you guys are alone, when they have time to be focused and not disrupted, so they can listen to you attentively. Would it help by letting them know about both your depression and also your concern ? i.e. why you think they might respond that way, but how it's not the case. If you feel comfortable, what about explaining to your parents that you've been going through a difficult time, and why you think you have depression? Parents would want the best for us, and they care. Due to the circumstances, it might seem they aren't willing to focus on you, but why not give them a chance?:) and let them hear what you really think. and no matter what, please remember that your experiences and feelings are valid regardless of what they say, and there are platforms and resources that you can look for for help. All the best!
June 23rd, 2016 9:24pm
Tell them exactly what you're feeling, and they'll understand. They're your parents, they'll help you get the support you need. :)
June 25th, 2016 7:03am
I understand how you feel. You probably don't want to feel like a burden to your family because you feel like they have their hands full with your brother. If I were in your shoes, I would try to talk to one of my parents. Have you considered maybe telling a friend if you can't your parents?
June 26th, 2016 4:33am
Assure them to trust you. Go to them and explain it to them that you aren't messing around. That you really need help. Good parents will believe you.
July 15th, 2016 10:31pm
I would tell them how you feel about the situation but take some tests first to make you that you are pretty certain you may suffer depression
Anonymous - Expert in Depression
June 26th, 2016 5:15am
Talk to your brother and get some support from him, work your way around talking to people one by one and take your time
June 26th, 2016 4:58pm
Perhaps you could try mentioning that your brother gave you the encouragement to identify your problem when you address your parents with it, and always remember you deserve emotional support and help even if you're not the only one.
June 30th, 2016 12:16am
Try to talk to your brother about it. He will be able to help you figure out if what you're experiencing is depression and might even help you figure out how to talk to your parents.
July 1st, 2016 6:19am
Your health is the most important thing, I waited because my mother was diagnosed, and I ended up being hospitalized for waiting too long, almost having lost my life. I understand it may feel difficult and confusing, but like I said, your mental health is most important.
July 2nd, 2016 5:43am
Depression is a serious matter. It is completely alright to not want to tell your parents but don't keep it in. Tell someone whom you feel safe with; a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, etc.
July 2nd, 2016 6:17pm
If you have a problem such as depression, always get help for yourself no matter what. You want to get better and be happy again, don't deny yourself that. Your parents love you and they won't judge you, they will help you.
July 2nd, 2016 9:48pm
It is important to get the help you need. If you feel like your parents are not going to be supportive, it might be a good idea to talk to another adult first to sort out your feelings.
July 3rd, 2016 11:42pm
Explain to them how you feel, if they're understanding towards them, they should be understanding towards you too. Depression can get worse over time if you isolate yourself, so I urge you to try and speak out to them honestly and openly, and say you're worried they will think you are attention seeking but explain that isn't the case. The first part of seeking help is admitting to needing it and telling someone, it may be scary at first but it will feel a lot better telling someone than carrying it around on your shoulders only x
July 6th, 2016 12:36am
Oh, wow, it sounds like you're really worried about how your parents would react if you told them you think you have depression. Are you closer to one parent than the other? (I know I've always been closer to my dad!) How do you think that parent would react if you told them exactly what you said here? "Parent, I think I have depression and I wanted to tell you, but since Brother just got diagnosed, I'm worried you'd think I'm just trying to get attention." What would be their best response? What about their worst response? How would you feel about trying this?
July 6th, 2016 2:41am
I try to explain that I don't want to take away the attention from my brother. I share I'm going through something similar. Possibly, encourage ways we can work together.
July 6th, 2016 3:27pm
First of all, I am so sorry you aren't doing well. Please remember that we, as a seven cups community are here for you. Advice can be easy to give, but it can be wrong, or harmful. There are many choices you could make. You need to choose the best choice for you. No matter what you do with your parents, you should go to a therapist, and get asessed. It's a very important step in treating a mental illnes
July 6th, 2016 4:41pm
You are a unique individual, and you should take care of yourself. It has also been proven that depression runs in families so it scientifically make sense that you too suffer from depression.
July 8th, 2016 6:47pm
You should sit them down and explain how you feel. It could be something that runs in the family so i'm sure they're willing to listen
July 8th, 2016 6:54pm
Talk with your brother first! Depression can be genetic, he will understand you the best! He can join you in telling your parents.
July 9th, 2016 6:35am
feel free to tell them, but also tell some of your friends about it and your GP (doctor) since they might be able to support you by refering you to a counselling psychologist and ways to address it.. If you talk to your doctor about it they can help you devise an 'attack plan' on getting over it.. try not to have any expectations on how people will react - their reaction will not be able to do anything much for you and if you dont have any expectations then that helps.. telling people around you so they know what you are going through should help you and them.. it is up to you to do the work on getting through it, its not impossible, people live with it their entire life and usually it is something we all have to deal with at some point in life.. so long as it is not hurting your usual life and you can do everything you usually do then it cant be seen as a problem but as soon as it impacts on your normal life, then you need to get the right support .. 7cups website has a bunch of free information and courses you can do to get coping skills and methods to change your thinking style.. it is a common problem when we start to focus on how we feel sad that those thoughts continue unless we actively stop them or change them.. 7cups counsellors are always available as well 24/7 so if you need to talk it out, jump online and chat with someone.. hang in there. :)
July 9th, 2016 9:50am
Just tell them. Tell them your concern regarding telling them also. Honesty is key in any kind of recovery. Mental illnesses are just as important as physical, remember that!