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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
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
November 8th, 2019 1:35am
The most important thing right now is to get the help and support you need. Asking for help in itself is a daunting task and on top of that, if you pile on other reasons why not to ask then it will become that much more difficult. Just think of the right reasons, take courage from the truth of your emotions and go for it. Tell your parents about your problem and what you need. They are more likely to understand and help you than judge you, since they already have some experience dealing with this with your brother. All the best!
November 29th, 2019 11:30am
Hey, it's okay. I know it's hard. When I had been feeling depressed for a while I decided it was about time my parents knew about it. So I wrote them a letter. Writing felt safer than talking. Of course I had to start talking after writing the letter, but it proved to be easier because I didn't have to explain every detail since they were int he letter. I suggest you just put your raw feelings on paper. Just for you, for more insight. Then you can try putting it in a letter. I put the letter in the mailbox before going to school, but I get that it might be stressful to wait an entire day. Good luck! Hope you are feeling better soon
December 12th, 2019 2:54pm
I've been here before, and I know it's a stressful experience. The best thing you can try and do is to try and communicate with them. Explain how you feel and what is making you feel this way. They're your parents, they love you and care about your well-being. Can you tell me what makes you think you may have depression? If you aren't comfortable answering this, you won't have to, just know that this is a safe-space where there is no judgement, and only support. Is there anyone else you've spoken about this to? Just remember to breathe, you've got this.
December 22nd, 2019 6:58pm
Tell them about your should know that depression is not a myth..and everyone goes through difficult stages in thier family members had also once gone they will understand a bit...just dont hold it inside...and tell them about your worries little by little..they will try to understand you and they will try to make a environment around you which can be comfy and which can may bring a ray of hope and liveliness in your life...try to talk them about your thoughts little by little and let them know what you have been going through... try to open sources of pain, in front of the one person in your family who according to u ,truly loves you and cares about u....
January 4th, 2020 6:37pm
Depression is something highly genetic more often than not, and sometimes the triggers between siblings are the same, i.e. a traumatic event you both experienced etc. I think it would be a good idea to speak to them. Maybe have a research into the link in depression with siblings etc. Tell your parents how you're feeling and explain EXACTLY how you feel. If your brother has just been diagnosed and explained how he felt to them, they should hopefully notice consistent symptoms in you, and therefore believe you, rather than think it is for attention. If you'd prefer to, go to a doctor before you speak to your parents, that way a formal diagnosis can be done and they know a medical professional has diagnosed you.
February 2nd, 2020 7:40am
I feel like you do have to tell your parents about it because they deserve to know about what their child is going through. They're not going to think that you are trying to get attention because after all, they're your parents and they care about you. Depression is a pretty serious condition and you should not take it lightly. It can cause severe problems if not treated. You have to take care of yourself, not just your body but your mind also. I really do think that you should definitely tell your parents about this. It's better to tell it now than wait until things get worse.
February 12th, 2020 3:50pm
As much as you are concerned that your parents may feel like you are just trying to get attention, you need to remember that you have needs also. And it is very important to talk about your mental health. You may even find that it could bring your brother some comfort knowing that someone close to him understands as they have similar battles. Be open and honest with your parents, tell them your concerns but also ask them for their support to help you through this too. Also it may be helpful to seek medical advice first, therefore you would know for sure if you have depression or not before talking to your parents.
February 29th, 2020 11:49pm
Tell them regardless of your worries because they are your parents and your fears stem from your own mind, not theirs. Be honest and open up about your feelings as your brother has done. They will be there for you just the same way they have been for him. They are your parents and they love you all the same. Please don’t keep this to yourself because of your fears of what they may or may not think of what you’re saying. What is important is that they know what is going on with you so that they can better help how you are feeling lately. I hope you find the courage to do so, for you.
March 13th, 2020 1:05pm
If you suspect that you do have a depression ,then it's best to see your therapist/psychiatrist to be sure you have's impossible to acquire something that is wrong,for instance depression,without further evaluation,there are many ways that people can get depressed and most of those ways can be both physical and psychological,and just saying "I think I have a depression",is not enough without seeing a proffessional.As for seeing a psychiatrist/psychologist already,people may still be depressed and they could not seem why,that is because,not only psychological thinking does the depression itself.Some cases are actually pointing out to the body itself,not the mid,as if your body is weak,ill,sick or have electrolyte imbalance,can as well make your current mental state worse,in that way it can actually make you anxious,depressed,hallucinated,sleepy,tired,angry,insomniac,and etc.Which to conclude,it's ALWAYS a best idea to seek a professional help if possible,and having an emotional support,cause whatever the case might be,support is ALWAYS best cure for literally everything.
March 14th, 2020 2:07am
It’s normal to feel afraid to tell someone about how you’ve been feeling or how you think you might have a mental illness, especially if you have reason to believe they might not take it seriously. Even worse, you don’t want to seem like you’re trying to draw attention away from your brother. I can tell you care about your brother a lot, seeing as you’re so hesitant about doing anything that might negatively affect him, even if you feel that that something could be helpful for you. I really commend you for your love and selflessness. That said, it must be hard keeping this all to yourself. How is that making you feel? And do you think it’s at all possible for your parents to react differently than you’re expecting?
March 19th, 2020 12:33am
Depression is well known to be very genetics-oriented. This could mean that it is very likely that if your brother was diagnosed with it, that you could have depression. Perhaps tell your parents this. If you maybe know of other family members who also have depression, you could use that as a basis to prove that you're not just looking for attention. If you feel strong about this, you should act on it. Depression can easily become worse and if you feel as though you're at a point where you need intervention, you should tell your parents about it.
March 25th, 2020 3:18pm
Depression is not something you should ignore. It may be untimely and seem like a coincidence but it is a very real position for you. If you don't feel as if you can speak with your parent yet maybe try speaking with your local doctor about it first and see if this is something you can work through with them or if you need further support. Your doctor may suggest seeing a counsellor or psychologist and have a discussion with you around medication if you feel you need that little bit of extra help. Regardless of all this, you need to speak to someone as soon as possible. Depression has a lot of different levels and can spiral downward very quickly if we do not attend to it in a timely manner.
March 28th, 2020 2:41am
Depression can be hereditary in the same family, and it is possible to suffer from depression when seeing one of our loved ones depressed, you can try to explain to your family what is happening with you exactly, and try Convince them that you do not want this to develop and get worse, I do not think if you are able to tell your family and show them some facts about your condition that they refrain from believing you, pay attention to your mental and physical health, and if you cannot persuade them, ask for help From people who care about you, I wish you get better and get rid of depression as soon as possible
March 29th, 2020 10:53am
Try and talk to your brother if you can. The best thing to do is to form a team to support you through this, whether it be friends, family, or people you look up to like teachers. Another important thing to remember is that it is not up to your parents to decide if you have depression or not. Only you can know your feelings and emotions, people like us are here to help you understand them and help you with what ever you need. Tell your parents when you feel ready to, not when you feel you need to.
April 23rd, 2020 3:41pm
I think it’s best to tell them. I like to write down what I’m going to say beforehand. I hope that helps you. I also think they will help you. Tell them how you are really feeling. They will understand and be there for you. Also, if it’s too difficult to tell your parents now, try talking to your trusted friends, or even your brother. It is important you find help, before it gets worse. Your parents will be there for you. They will help you out, just tell them how you are really feeling, and that it’s not just that you are trying to get attention. :)
May 6th, 2020 7:24pm
It sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed with what you think may be depression and are worried that because your brother was just diagnosed that it will be a challenge to talk to your parents. What are some ways you can think of to take care of yourself. Perhaps there is a better time to yell them. In the meantime are you practicing self care? Sometimes we need to remember to put ourselves first and treat ourselves kindly so we do not burnout and learn to love ourselves. Then we are more open to helping others and resolving issues.
May 14th, 2020 3:33pm
Try talking to your brother first to see if this truly is an issue you think you will need help with. He may be able to help you a lot, as he is going through something similar. Ask him as many questions as you need. You two are both going through it together. It’s even a possibility that he’d be able to help you when you tell your parents. There’s a strong bond between siblings that should never be pushed aside. Depression can be a serious issue, it’d be reassuring to know that you guys have each other’s backs.
May 20th, 2020 10:35am
Depression is a very serious and debilating condition and should be addressed as soon as it has been diagnosed. Because any delay could lead to potentially dangerous conditions such as self harm or suicide. A family must be supportive of all of its members. No one should feel left out or discriminated against. If you share the problem with your parents, it allows they to work on a solution that could potentially resolve both you and your brother's illnesses. Your parents are in the best position to help both of you as they are most familiar. Hiding will not benefit anybody. I think it is best for you to share your problem with your family and be as open and honest as possible.
May 22nd, 2020 3:39am
It never hurts to take a chance and talk with them. What we think can always be the opposite of the outcome, and depression is something people wouldn't want to dismiss, and your parents, like many others, would want the best for you, their child, and will support you in any way they can. Even if you feel that you can't open up to them yet, you can try talking to your brother and go through your journeys together. Though sitting down with your parents and telling the truth will help them step into your perspective and feel through your shoes.
May 28th, 2020 12:35am
Sometimes when we feel depressed we can feel like we don't deserve any attention from our loved ones. This is quite the contrary, If you feel like you do not have great mental health, it is important to reach out to people we care about. Even if others are suffering from depression, it's totally valid to reach out to help. You don't need to feel like only one person is allowed to not be mentally healthy. Your health should be your number one priority. Depression is a condition that requires just as much healing as any physical wound.
July 1st, 2020 9:58pm
I want to start off by saying that you are never, ever, fighting less of a battle because someone you know is also struggling. We all have our own personal stories and comparing our struggles to others can be harmful; Please know how important your story is. It may be helpful to consider working your way up to speaking with your parents about this. For example, is there a school counselor or trusted teacher you could reach out to? A close friend or relative? Finding other trusted people to confide in can be good practice as well as offer you the support you need until you feel ready to open up to your parents. It can be scary not knowing how someone will react, we just need to be sure you still get the help you deserve. Similarly, if a school counselor or other trusted adult is an option for you, it may be helpful to have them mediate the conversation between you and your parents. A third-party perspective is a useful tool and they can help you and your parents communicate effectively!
July 2nd, 2020 9:17pm
I was diagnosed as a teenager and when my older sister sought help she was one of the unlucky few met with this anticipated response. It took some time but soon it was made ever so clear through diagnosis that she did suffer too. I feel many parents only want the best for their children and as such will try to dismiss this potential reality as more 'potential' and less 'reality' for this very reason. After discussing this with my parents, they agreed. Perhaps it would be worthwhile telling your parents that with your brother's diagnosis you now feel more comfortable discussing the potentiality of your depression. Fighting for your belief alone that you have depression may not be the best goal. Fighting for your belief that you should be tested may be, as this is what could have saved my family some tension. Overall, I hope you are doing well and wish you only the best! Should anyone ever tell you, as I was told, that depression does not exist, then please understand that it is real for so many.
July 12th, 2020 3:55pm
It's OK to talk about how you're feeling. Each of us are different and will go through things at different times in life. Your feelings matter too. Try to find a time when you can sit down with your parents at a time and place that is comfortable where neither of you will be interrupted and explain how important it is for you to be able to tell them this. Sometimes it is difficult not to naturally compare ourselves to others--especially family members closest to us--but it's important to remember that regardless of what else is going on around us, OUR feelings and struggles matter as well.
July 15th, 2020 9:57am
I can understand what you’re going through. You already have a lot on your plate as your brother is diagnosed and now you got diagnosed but see they are your parents, they have brought you up since your childhood, supported you and what not so you should just sit down with them and explain them what you are going through. You should tell them about your symptoms and them tell that you are not doing this to seek attention but you’re also going through a rough phase. I am pretty sure they will understand if You communicate clearly with them.
July 15th, 2020 3:48pm
first know why you are having depression. whether it is your job, loneliness, love life, stress or something. see if you can deal with it yourselves, try to hang out with friends, have a fun family time. try solving your brother's depression too. that may help yours a lot. once you feel you can't control it yourselves, decide whether you should tell them or not. think of this... will they think you are trying to get attention if you are always sad and frowny? and be frank with them. what could possibly go wrong? they're your parents!!! tell them what exactly you are going through... they'll definitely help you. if not, 7 cups is always there buddy ;)
July 22nd, 2020 10:21am
It can be hard trying to 'prove' your mental state to others, but remember that no matter what your mental health is yours alone to decide. I would recommend talking to them about what makes you feel this way, and if you have internal or external factors that are causing your depression. If both you and your brother have it, it could be an environmental/external factor related to family/school/home. The best way to confront them about it is to make sure the topic of conversation is focused on you, and that you make sure to express your emotions as your own. Even if you are nervous, realize that getting recognized for depression is the first step to healing and recovery. No matter what happens, there are many people willing to help. I hope you that you find the answer you are looking for. Have a great day! :)
July 24th, 2020 1:18am
I feel like it's best for you to not hide this from your parents - afterall, if we weigh the options: telling them might (although i doubt it) make them react passively, but also might allow them to provide you with the help you need and help you access a full diagnosis and treatment. On the other hand, if you keep them in the dark, they definitely would not be able to help you at all! I however understand that you might feel scared. It's absolutely normal, and I cannot hide that some parents might actually feel this way. But, if your parents actually show care fo your brother, they will definitely try and show care for you too. You and they all have to understand that mental illness is not a question of wanting attention or stealing the spotlight - it's always better to be safe than sorry. I suggest you tell them, but then again, that's completely up to you
August 2nd, 2020 7:16pm
I understand you must be very afraid that you might get misunderstood. I have actually told my parents about my mental health concerns and they didn’t take the message very well. Initially I felt hopeless as even my closest family members are doubting my struggles. However, I realised that though it’s hard for them to take in the news at first, eventually they have tried their absolute best to improve my mental health. The key is to really communicate your thoughts and feelings, let them understand that your emotions are valid. I hope this helps and feel free to talk to me if there’s any follow-ups!
August 7th, 2020 10:51am
I think the best thing to do is sit down with your parents and have a conversation. I think the best approach is to ask them to listen before commenting or coming to any conclusions. It might be helpful to write down some notes about what you are feeling and experiencing, and why those things make you believe you have depression. If you are able to articulate with examples, it should prevent them from thinking you are trying to garner attention. Also, you should explain to them that your brother’s diagnosis has helped you to understand that you may be dealing with some of the same issues. Good luck!
August 13th, 2020 10:36am
I understand your fear but your feelings are valid too. It may seem very scary now with your brother in the same situation as you are. You should listen to yourself because I can't hope to know what you are expriencing right now so I cannot give advice. I hope from the bottom of your heart you find the solution you are seeking and are able to find a good solution with our help. We are here to help you and will gladly listen to you and are glad to listen to you so you may understand yourself more and get to know your situation and maybe find a solution with pur help.