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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
August 9th, 2018 6:26am
talk to your brother too, communication is key. By talking you're opening new opportunities and new parts of your relationships with your family. Speak to your parents, for your safety. It will all work out okay :)
August 11th, 2018 4:53pm
Talk to your brother, for me its like getting stamped or labelled by doctors and that made me feel isolated, by talking with him you may be able to help each other and overcome it. I hope you do
August 12th, 2018 12:51pm
Your needs are as important, it's not attention seeking when you have a real illness. Sit with them and tell them the truth about how you are feeling and recognize that they will only know what you confide in them. If they got your brother help certainly they would want to give you help also. Have an honest discussion with your parents and ask them for assistance, whether it be a Therapist or psychiatrist, but feel that they are on your side to do what is best for you.
August 12th, 2018 8:37pm
Your parents care about you and they won’t think it’s for attention. If your anxious about it you can talk to them and tell them that you have thought you’ve had this before your brother got diagnosed and feel more comfortable telling them now.
August 28th, 2018 4:22am
Depression is never an easy situation to deal with, especially when you have a family member struggling with the same issue. The key to telling your parents lies in choosing your timing wisely. If possible, talk to your brother first about his own experiences with depression, explain how you relate so deeply to them you think you might also be depressed, and then you can ask for his input on how you both can approach your parents and ask for help, together. From your honest and open discussion and brother's help, they'll realize you're not just looking for attention, and perhaps it can even help your brother having someone who understands what he's going through and who he can seek help with, and your parents will most likely look for the best ways to help you both.
September 1st, 2018 8:04pm
Depression is one of the highest rated health concerns and more people have it than what is known as a lot of people don't want the stigma of "being a depressing person" but if you truly want to make sure your parents believe you, the best thing is to go to a GP and discuss it with them first and get a diagnosis before telling anyone about it. That way, if they question it, you have the facts to back them up. Simply stating that you may have depression is completely different from stating factually that you have it. Most people won't believe you until you have a full diagnosis. You could always try talking to your parents and stating how you feel without out-right telling them that you think you have depression and let them come to their own conclusion. Tell them you don't know what to do and why you feel this way and perhaps they'll be the one to suggest that you may have depression. It's also important to note that depression (like autism) has only been publicly accepted as a medical condition. Back in the old days, it was one of those "get over it, you're just having a bad day" eras. It wasn't as understood as it is now so perhaps your parents would have a difficult time dealing with something that wasn't understood back in their day. Hope this helps.
September 14th, 2018 11:14pm
The question you are asking is a valid question. If your brother recently got diagnosed by a professional and you think you might be exhibiting/feeling depressive it would be a good time to tell your parents. To be honest I don’t think that for this type of things there is a “right” time to share or reach out. I’m sure your perception might be completely different from what your parents think or what they will do once you tell them. Trust that they can handle it plus they love, care and want the best for you.
September 27th, 2018 2:37am
I would still tell them anyway. You are just as important as your brother and deserve to get help as well. I think your parents will be a lot more understanding then you think and depression is a very common thing for people to get. I believe everyone at some point in time gets depression and it takes a lot of courage to ask for help. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your parents, maybe you can write them a letter telling them how you feel and why you think you have depression and ask for there help. I know its scary to talk to parents especially if your worried they wont believe you.
October 3rd, 2018 7:21pm
You could guide your parents into seeing what concerns you, by asking open ended questions, like: How much do you know about Depression running in families ? I think my brother and i both have a lot of 'Low Moods', what do you think? What would you think if i said i believe that i also have Depression? Questions like these can guide others to take a good look at something they might have missed before. At the very least, they might consider having you evaluated by your brother's doctor. This would serve both you and your parents: you would either receive treatment or find another explanation; and your parents could rely upon expert evaluation.
October 7th, 2018 3:45pm
Gentle honesty sounds like a good place to start is explaining that you are struggling with problems yourself and need help. Focus on creating a massive list of options. Ways you can help yourself. Places or people you can go to seek help, take responsibility for his own health and let others be responsible in taking care of themselves and learning skills to eradicate issues. TALKING REDUCES STIGMA Why It’s Not Attention Seeking To Talk About Mental Ill-Health. TALKING RAISES AWARENESS TALKING SAVES LIVES We often hear conflicting messages. On the one-hand, we are encouraged to talk about our problems, but, on the other, if we talk about them too much, or too openly, we’re labelled as an attention-seeker. It’s hard to know what to do for the best, and it can feel easier to keep it all inside. Something that can really help is re-framing. When we reach out for help, we are not attention seeking; we are care seeking, support seeking, or connection seeking. Every single one of us needs care, support, and connection at times, and it makes complete sense for us to ask for these things. It is not attention seeking. Mental ill-health is not something that happens to other people – it happens our family, our friends, our neighbours, and our colleagues. The more we talk about mental-illness, the more we realise how common it really is. In turn, more research and funding is dedicated to it, more resources are created, and more people can be helped.
November 9th, 2018 6:06pm
You think you have depression. And your brother recently got diagnosed. You want to tell your parents but you feel like they will think you are doing this for their attention. Your parents won't think like anything like that. Go tell them and get help. They are your parents. They live you more than anything. You need to reach out if you need help. They'd be glad you told them before it gets serious. They'll take care. They won't think you're doing this for attention. You are overthinking. I'd you think you need help then you ask for it. Please tell them.
November 23rd, 2018 3:53am
Even the diagnose of brother itself might cause the depression. Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression. If you feel like in all this time you have the symptoms like loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, feeling worthless or guilty, difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions or even having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, you should immediately talk with parents. 1 out of 6 people confront depression so no matter if there is another member of family already diagnosed with this. Once you talk with parents about this, its just getting better!
December 6th, 2018 11:33pm
You can go to them and say that you are dealing with some of the same symptoms that your bother is facing. In that aspect then it will get there attention as well because they know he is dealing with depression.
December 26th, 2018 3:06am
Don't assume the answer just like that, you should know that they are your parents. No other person will love you care for you like they do. They know you better and they will always listen to you they can't ignore you. You just go to them, explain that your in pain and you need them. Don't just rush , be calm and tell one by one what is going on with you. And also tell them that 'i wasn't gonna tell you because you probably gonna think I'm seeking attention but I'm not I need you and I can't handle this alone' . I'm sure if you act patience they will never ignore you.
December 28th, 2018 6:19am
Be honest with your parents. Depression is nothing that you should treat as not need to be mentioned just because your parents could think that you just try to get attention. If they still say that you do let a doctor change their minds. If your brother got diagnosed recently then it could run in the family, you never know. Your parents should believe you when you tell them, but of course the risk of them thinking wrong cant be eliminated without having seen a doctor. So i see two options, tell them and hope for the best and if not see a doctor, or see a doctor and then confront them with the diagnose.
March 8th, 2019 7:31pm
If you really do believe you have depression, the best thing to do would be to just tell them despite your fears. You could tell them that depression is hereditary and maybe him getting diagnosed made you realize what the feelings you're having might be. I'm sure your parents care about you and don't what you to be upset. Perhaps instead you could ask your brother about his experience talking to your parents about it. Maybe you could also just tell your family doctor first at a regular check up if you get them.
April 26th, 2019 5:59am
Never push away thoughts of seeking help for fear of being labelled as an attention seeker. I lived that way for 18 excruciatingly disorienting years of my life, and when I finally sought out treatment it was the best decision of my life. If you feel like you need help, sit down with your parents and have a serious conversation about it, don’t just mention it casually. Your mental health is important and you should try not to put it on hold if you do have access to the proper kinds of care and treatment. In the end, if you don’t ask for help, you most likely will not receive it. Ask for help. It makes a huge difference.
June 6th, 2019 9:30am
This will depend a lot on your relationship with them and their understanding of depression. But your brother getting diagnosed might not be a bad thing in this scenario. It might mean your parents are more receptive to signs and more understanding of what it means now than they were before, which may in fact make it an easier conversation. I would suggest to approach it from that angle as well: you’ve probably seen your brother’s signs, or can see them in retrospect now, and that may open ways for you to note how you’ve been feeling and what worries you about it. Talking about it and seeking help is important—and it’s much better for you to open up and see what can be done about it than to keep it bottled up until it goes much further.
June 13th, 2019 12:48am
I suffered with the same thing for many years. Sometime or another I will tell them. So they can get you help, they have your best interest at heart. They love you and only want the best for you. They might think that at first but once you you explain why you think you have it they will understand. I completely understand where your coming from but balling up your feeling gets you in a bad place. I was in a very bad place because I never told mine and I almost cracked. Balling it up makes it worse. You have to tell someone. Someone other than a friend someone whos a trusted adult because they can give you the best advice.
June 19th, 2019 6:20am
I've been through something similar. My siblings also were diagnosed with depression and later I thought I was too. I was right where you were and scared to tell them in fear of being a disappointment to them and being more of a burden. This really set me back. Don't make my same mistake. Reach out to them and show them that you are willing to seek help with it. Once I did, my parents were very understanding and were willing to help me get better. Don't be afraid to reach out to loved ones. You'd be surprised at how willing they are to help you.
July 5th, 2019 7:33am
Telling them how you honestly feel is better than hiding it not only for them but you as well. Hiding such things can cause your mental health to worsen and make it harder for you to cope. Telling your doctor before your parents can also make things easier by the doctor telling your parents instead of you or even seeing if you maybe have a different condition that might be easier telling your parents in the long run. But everything takes time and patience so find out who you are and ways to cope cause just because your brother has depression doesn’t mean you don’t.
July 11th, 2019 2:11pm
I wouldn’t know much about what you’re going through and I understand how it must feel completely draining but I think you should definitely reach out to someone. It’s important to realise that you’re not alone and your parents would have your best interest at heart. Tackle your doubts in the best way and find a route that does the best for you and don’t think too much about what others might say because you are just as important as anyone else and have the right to choose your own path, whatever that might be. I really do hope you reach out
August 3rd, 2019 11:50am
When you speak to them, acknowledge your brother. You could say that "since (your brother) got diagnosed, it's helped me recognise similar symptoms in myself." State that you are hoping for support and guidance to help you with your depression and be honest about how you felt it was difficult to come to them because you were scared of what they might have thought about you and your brother's situation. If that does not go down well or they are not very supportive, do not be afraid to go to a doctor yourself and ask for help and support.
August 16th, 2019 10:04pm
One thing you could do is approach them in the mindset of learning. You could mention that as you've seen what your brother is doing, its taught you about the signs to look out for when someone is dealing with depression. You could even use it as a learning experience and ask them if depression runs in the family! Then you could let them know that as you've been supporting him in his journey, you've noticed that some of those signs were in your life without you even realizing it! I think that will help them see that you are genuinely searching for help instead of just attention. :)
August 24th, 2019 5:20am
first off i would just like to say that it is very empowering that you are reaching out. so you feel as if your parents will think you want attention? i am not qualified to give you advice but here on 7cups, we have a large variety of resources i can connect you with! think about what is the best possible way this conversation with your parents could go? how does that make you feel? do you think that since your brother was recently diagnosed that your parents will want to help you too? you are so brave for coming here to talk about this!
August 29th, 2019 8:26pm
Tell them honestly, that you feel that way. Maybe talk to your brother upfront how you feel. Maybe he'll join telling it to your parents! They know that your brother is diagnosed they I think they would not interpret it that way as you are afraid of. I guess talking to your brother upfront, can also help you to because he also made the decision somehow to tell it to your parents. You can ask him how he felt. He probably was in the same situation like you. Take your time and don't be afraid of what they are saying. They are your parents and going to support you.
September 4th, 2019 3:35am
Your parents are your brother's parents, but they're your parents too, and they love you and care about you. If your brother struggled to open up to your parents, they're going to be pretty relieved that you're approaching them on your own. If not-- it's still unlikely that they would think you're just "trying to get attention." No one wants to pretend to be depressed. And if they already have one child that's struggling with mental health issues, they'd hate to think about losing their other child too. If you feel like you need help, it should always be okay to tell your parents about it.
September 27th, 2019 6:23am
I’m very sorry that you feel that way. Depression is a serious thing, and should not be taken for granted. I think you should start by telling your parents how you feel, and why you’re feeling that way. In that case they can help you go to a psychologist for you to be diagnosed. Then you will know if you are depressed or anxious. Remember that Every child is precious to our parents so don’t worry about them thinking that you’re trying to get their attention. It’s better if you always share your feelings thoughts and emotions to your parents. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.
October 13th, 2019 7:05am
"Getting attention" is a common stigma for depression. The thing is that depression is a real sickness - it's no different than getting "diagnosed" with a broken leg. If you think you might have broken your leg, you wouldn't hold off on getting an x-ray because someone might think you're "seeking attention" - you would get it treated! Here too, if you feel you have a real problem you should treat it. In a way, you are helping not just yourself but anyone around you who might feel the same. You will be giving them courage to stand up so stigma and get the help they need, just like you did. Have courage! Getting the help you need is the hardest step, and it is always worth taking.
October 22nd, 2019 3:24pm
Depression isn't an arms race where one person has it better or worse than another. It can be expressed in different ways. Not only that, depression has both an environmental and genetic component to it. 1/3 people in our lifetime will have it at some point in our lives. This means that people could possibly carry a predisposition for it and then something in our environment has activated it. I think it's up to you as to when you tell your parents. Otherwise, if you hold it all in, it will eventually get worse and your parents will have to help you anyway. So I think you should let them know that you might be experiencing depression and tell them directly your fears. This way they will understand where you are coming from.