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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?

290 Answers
Last Updated: 03/20/2021 at 4:56am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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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
April 27th, 2018 8:10pm
I think that either you tell your parents or someone else close to you. You shouldn’t carry those feeling or thoughts alone.
April 29th, 2018 11:17am
I'd suggest maybe using that as a good way to start. Explain that now your brother has alerted the family to it, you feel as if you could be suffering from the same.
May 2nd, 2018 5:55am
I think that it is important for you to speak up. You always need to take proper care of yourself. I think for this particular case communication could ease things out. I would sit with my parents in a proper time and space and with all honesty I would talk to them about the way I'm feeling and also about the concern of all of this being misguided to need of attention. I would also add that it is uncomfortable for you to tell them since they are dealing with your brothers condition too, but that the last thing you want is to make a bad choice and for this to become a bigger problem in the future.
May 3rd, 2018 5:07am
It's probably best to just tell them as soon as possible. Maybe judge how they took your brother's diagnosis and go off of that?
May 17th, 2018 8:12am
You should talk to a therapist and then tell your family the result, they will accept and understand you no matter what
May 18th, 2018 10:05am
Depression is a serious issue and I feel like your mental health comes first, do talk with your parents or school counselor about how you are feeling.
May 19th, 2018 12:09am
Hi, that’s so sad to hear , I understand how you feel actually, my mum was diagnosed with a very rare illness and I have a lot of problems in my life but I just can’t tell her I’m depressed, because it would seem as I would want to get attention but it’s not like that and I get you. In my opinion , you should tell them that you have to talk to them about something serious and when they’re ready and wanting to listen to you I think they’ll understand how you feel and maybe will consider the option of testing if you have depression too. Taking things out loud is the best way to solve a problem and believe me , it’s really fantastic to get rid of all that thinking in your head and to finally express it out I hope this works! And good luck :)
May 20th, 2018 11:16am
Hello, based on what you have said I think you should try to talk to atleast one of them about it. Keeping quiet will not make you feel better so might as well try to talk to them about it at an appropriate time. they are your parents they love you and they will surely understand you. hope this helps. you can always reach out to me if you need help.
May 23rd, 2018 5:28am
Tell your parents, don't worry about it being a competition with your brother. Depression can run in a family, or it can come on for different reasons.
May 23rd, 2018 7:13am
try sitting your parents down and really just talk to them about how you feel, if they think it’s for attention then maybe they just really don’t understand what you’re also going through.
May 27th, 2018 5:05am
That's great you care about what your parents may think, but eventually and you will know when it's time... You should let them know by expressing some of your thoughts and emotion you experience.
May 27th, 2018 7:11am
I think it would be advisable to talk to your parents as they would be really unhappy to find out at a later date that you had felt like this and not known so not able to support you. Life can be hard at tunes and hopefully within a family it would be good to be able to trust and share. Only you know how this feels so if this doesn’t feel like the best option then and only then get some outside support.
June 1st, 2018 8:52pm
I think if you feel you need help, or even just want to talk about it with them, you should. If you explain to them how you're feeling, I'm sure they'll understand and be there for you. As for your brother, this may be an opportunity for bonding and growth, rather than the opposite, as weird as it sounds. Good luck :)
June 13th, 2018 1:25am
That's a very difficult situation, but I might tell them that depression can be hereditary and that it makes sense if it runs in the family. They might understand that you feel better about revealing your depression now that your brother has it too, and you know you aren't alone. I thought my family wouldn't understand either, but they put aside any preconceived notions of it and listened to what I had to say, so I think your family might believe you if you tell them what's going on.
June 20th, 2018 10:54pm
I think it's important to discuss your concerns with your parents and ask to talk with a licensed therapist. Your feelings are no less valid just because your brother has depression.
June 22nd, 2018 11:41am
Be honest with how you are feeling. Nobody knows you like you do! If you really feel like you might have depression the best thing to do would be to let them know so you can get help as well!
June 23rd, 2018 6:55am
Depression is just like any other disease! Would you hide your stomach ache because others might think that you are doing it for attention? I assume that your answer would be no. So why hide your depression?
June 24th, 2018 7:24pm
Speak with your doctor anyway. If you leave it without talking to someone or trying to wait for the right time to talk to your parents, things could likely get worse. Your doctor should help you try to cope with your low moods by way of talking therapies, referring you to peer support groups, etc. They should try different avenues first before offering anti-depressants. They only really mask the issues and you could become reliant on them rather than learning coping techniques.
July 1st, 2018 7:23pm
Try to bring it up in a car journey where they can’t look at you or judge you. Just bring it up casually
July 5th, 2018 8:35am
First and foremost, be honest both with yourself and your parents. Depression isn't easy, and it's uncomfortable. But remember that you need to take care of you.
July 5th, 2018 6:47pm
That is a hard situation to be in. I find it admirable that you are asking the question here, that shows you are putting your family first, even though it may make it harder for you. The answer depends how your parents are coping with your brother being diagnosed, how you feel they would feel if you didn’t tell them. And the answer to that may not be obvious right now for you. Regardless what you decide, to be wondering about whether you may be suffering depression and sharing it here is a good thing, it means you are not ignoring signs, it means you want to do something to get better I had depression for years without my parents knowing, I hid it, because I felt it would have made my dad too sad and my mum would have shrugged and not done anything. I still got somewhere and got better eventually. It doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t tell them, but I am saying, meanwhile, there is support elsewhere, including listeners here at 7cups who can try to explore the issue with you, as well as supporting you generally: the main thing is to find support and not be alone working through this. Don't hesitate to chat with listeners, it you feel it will help you, if you want to find out more about how to get though this.
July 8th, 2018 7:33am
Tell them, they will understand, especially if your brother is going through it too. Maybe talk with your brother too and ask him how he told them. Ask for help to your friends, maybe they have good suggestions for you.
July 12th, 2018 5:12am
I've actually been in the exact same position with my older sister. Just know that it can be in your genes. Tell them it's a real problem you have and since they understand what your brother is going through, they'll be more kind and accepting.
July 14th, 2018 5:43am
Tell them the truth, fully, including that very concern. Many mental health issues are a product of exposure vs being hereditary so it is not outside the realm of possibility.
July 15th, 2018 2:44am
It might be best to reach out to your parents if you truly feel that you may have depression. It's important that you take care of yourself first, specially when you suspect you might be having this.
July 15th, 2018 8:25pm
It’s great that you recognize you need help. Unless you feel like you need to talk to someone immediately, it might be good to wait until your family has accepted the news and then tell them.
July 18th, 2018 4:18am
You could bring up the subject and specify your worries about their reactions. It may help to tell them beforehand that you are worried about them thinking you are attention seeking.
July 19th, 2018 10:47pm
I'm sure your parents wouldn't think about you, they are here to listen and help you. They would feel better knowing they have supported you when you needed it the most.
July 21st, 2018 9:32pm
Communicate with your parents. Just cause your brother has depression doesn't mean you don't. Share on why you feel you are going through depression. If you feel you can't verbally talk with them, write a letter to them. Good luck!
August 5th, 2018 5:29pm
Oh, dear. As someone whose sibling also got diagnosed with depression, I can relate. I hid my feelings for a very long time, until I reached a breakdown point. If you think you have depression, it's better not to ignore the symptoms. I suggest you talk to your parents about this. You're not alone, and depression is definitely not for attention. Your mental health and well-being are very important!