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I Have Depression and My Dad Doesn’t Believe Me

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I took up smoking as a form of distraction due to my depression. My father caught me three times and I promised that I would stop all three times, but somehow, I still couldn’t stop myself. It was my way of curbing my depressive episodes and the suicidal thoughts that never cease haunting me. However, when I try to explain depression to him to make him understand depression from my angle, my father refuses to understand. He keeps telling me that other people have it far worse than I do and I should appreciate it. How do I explain to him that it is not that I’m not grateful for my life, it’s that I have this monster in me that is telling me nothing is worth it no matter how good my life is? How do I let him know that I am only smoking because I couldn’t find any other way to curb these feelings? And believe me, I have tried to stop smoking, but when the thoughts come, nothing seems to matter more than to put those thoughts to a stop no matter what. And in my case, it is by smoking. (From Malaysia)

I Have Depression and My Dad Doesn’t Believe Me

Answered by on -


As you have described yourself as a first year university student I would go to the counseling center in your university and seek counseling. Don’t look for you father’s permission to treat your own emotional needs. He doesn’t understand, and trying to get him to beyond what you’ve done sounds like it will be frustrating and ineffective. Take the matter directly into your own hands and get the help you need. As far as the relationship between smoking and depression — you may want to read this.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Have Depression and My Dad Doesn’t Believe Me

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Have Depression and My Dad Doesn’t Believe Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 1 Mar 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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