How do I tell someone I’m depressed?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I’ve been extrmely sad, disoriented, confused, upset, bored, and sensitive over the past few months. i’ve anonomyously talked to various psychiatrist, and many of them tell me i suffer from manic and major depression. i often have severe headaches, and pain in my side. i’ve been extremely irritable and mean, no matter how hard i try to be nice. i cant stop crying. i’ve started cutting myself and hitting myself. i want to stop, but something just wont let me. i cant seem to concentrate on or enjoy anything anymore. i stay up late, often until 5 am or later. sometimes i have a big appetite, and other times i cant get myself to eat at all. i love my family and friends, but i cant seem to relate to them anymore. i’ve done research, and i think i show signs of depression. how do i tell my parents i may be depressed? how do i know they wont be mad at me? is there anyone else i could have do it for me?

A. I know this is hard for you and I am glad you are at the point of thinking about how to tell your parents. They need to know that you are depressed. You can have someone else tell them but it is better that you tell them yourself. Be very straight with them and tell them the truth about what you have been experiencing. Be honest with them. There is no other better way to tell them. If you are not comfortable about telling them face-to-face, write them a detailed letter about your depression. I do not know your parents but I cannot imagine they would be mad at you for telling them the truth about how you feel. I am sure they would be more upset if they knew that you were suffering and you did not tell them about it so they could help you. My advice is to be honest and straight forward, tell them about the depression you have been experiencing the past few months and that you would like to get help. If you are worried and not sure you can do this alone, talk to the school counselor and maybe he or she can talk to your parents for you or with you. Try writing a letter if that is easier. I hope I have given you a few ideas on how to go about telling your parents. Which way you decide will be up to you- just be sure to find some way to tell your parents. Please keep in touch and write again if you have any more questions.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Oct 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). How do I tell someone I’m depressed?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/10/13/how-do-i-tell-someone-im-depressed/