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How can I speak to my parents about depression and self harm without anxiety getting in the way?

14 Answers
Last Updated: 03/16/2020 at 6:49pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Meredith Seltzer, LPC

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Top Rated Answers
June 22nd, 2015 10:23pm
When dealing with anxiety sometimes we can't quite find the right words to say. I would recommend writing down in a letter exactly what you want to say to your parents. This really does help. Perhaps even find a few leaflets explaining self harm and depression. There are usually leaflets for parents. So have all of the stuff ready so that if you are unable to speak and confronted by anxiety you can hand them the letter instead.
January 15th, 2015 2:43am
One technique my therapist taught my parents and I was to do it in a note-passing fashion. You could either do this by writing them a note and slipping it under their door/putting it on their bed, asking them to respond the same way or you could get a journal and write in it and ask them to write back in it.
December 15th, 2015 2:50pm
Remember that you are telling them so that they can help you. they won't criticize you, they are your parents. they are on you side.
January 3rd, 2017 10:42pm
Something that's helped me is to write them a letter or email explaining how you feel. It's a great way to communicate with your family beacuse it is indirect. Facing your parents and watching their reactions can be very difficult. This way you can communicate to your family in a calm and safe manner
April 8th, 2015 7:53am
It's a very difficult topic for anyone to talk about. Anxiety will often get in the way of this happening. Try to remember that telling them has potential for positive outcomes. They can be there for you and support you through all those tough times, it will be a huge weight off your shoulders
April 26th, 2015 3:51am
Take deep breaths. If you do it before bed, you'll have an escape to sleep. You can ask a friend to be there with you when you do so. Make sure you explain clearly- parents LOVE to assume things. Be clear and honest. BUT DON'T PLAGUE YOUR MIND WITH IT THE WHOLE DAY. That just ups your anxiety.Be totally at peace with your decision to tell them. And remember, even if they react badly or not the way you wanted- they're your parents; they may be a part of your life but it's not life or death. Good luck.
March 16th, 2020 6:49pm
Well, you always have to be honest if you intend to really get your point across. Some parents, like mine, will react very negatively and bring up other things. My parents blamed my self harm on my step sister, me wanting attention, and me needing to go to a mental hospital. You should always wish for the best when talking with your parents about this, but do not neglect to prepare for the worst. If you begin to stutter or go quiet, just take a deep breath and start over on your sentence. If you parents really want to, they will make an attempt to understand what you are going through and their first priority should be to help you get better.
July 7th, 2015 5:48pm
The way I told a family member about my depression and self harm was talking my way into confessing. I started a conversation (it can be about anything really) and, slowly but surely, lead up to talking about depression. After it went to depression, I "accidentally" told them I had depression and was self harming (I made it sound like an accident). And if your anxiety gets too bad, end the conversation and start again when you feel you're ready. Thats a slow way, but good if you have some time to spare. I hope that helped :)
May 27th, 2015 2:37am
I have had problems with this in the past as I have not been that close to either my mother or father. Try writing them a letter about the things you want to say, or even email/ text! Try other forms of communication that won't cause anxiety
June 6th, 2016 1:01pm
If it gets too much to talk directly, it is always an option to use letters. Handwritten letters. Usually it gets too overwhelming to talk when you have anxiety, so handwritten notes and letters will do the trick. Hope it helps.
July 12th, 2016 1:59am
it wont be easy and it may happen no hard you try but be confident in yourself and seeking help fom them.
November 4th, 2019 11:00am
The first thing you should know is that they're your parents and they would never judge you. They want your happines and your health. Talk to them indirectly until the conversation escalates itself. And also don't feel anxious, as that is a big step to a positive progression. They should acknowledge your mental status and afterwards they will know how to work on that. The only thing you will think while trying to tell them is that "they will it out someday. How about telling them right now?". Don't feel afraid or ashamed or judged, as there is nothing wrong with not being okay. This is the primary thing you should keep in mind. Be brave out there and love yourself ❤
June 18th, 2015 2:32am
Practicing helps. Taking deep breaths, reminding yourself that you can do it, and memorizing what you'll say to feel more prepared are all helpful. Remember that no matter what, you made a very strong, positive decision to speak out about something that's hard to. And you should feel proud, no matter the outcome.
September 1st, 2015 1:51pm
Take a lot of deep breaths before you start, try to get them to hear you out. They will understand a lot more then you think they will.