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How Do I Get my Parents to Believe I’m Depressed?

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From a young teen in the U.S.: I think i may be depressed or have some sort of depressive disorder. No one believes me when i try to explain it to them. Around march 14th or 15th of this year i was hospitalized because i was exhausted for no reason, i was drinking water but wasn’t staying hydrated. I was also not eating, i was always feeling down and sad, and i couldn’t sleep at night. I was diagnosed with insomnia and my parents just used that to make jokes out of.

It’s like my life is just a way to get a few laughs out. No one takes me seriously when i say that there’s something wrong with me. I don’t have any major history of lying, but yet no one trusts me. Sometimes i would tell my mom i was sick because i was just so tired and all i wanted to do was sleep. And not like a fun day in bed surrounded by snack and on my phone, i mean just either sleeping or laying there feeling exhausted from the moment i got up. I really need someone to give me some advice..any will be accepted at this point.

How Do I Get my Parents to Believe I’m Depressed?

Answered by on -


Insomnia is no joke. Not getting sufficient sleep at any age, but especially as a teen, is serious business. Sleep disorders can cause depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. According to a poll done in 2005 by Sleep in America, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night. A study done in 2007 showed that people with insomnia are 5 times as likely to be depressed as those who got sufficient sleep. At your age “sufficient” means 8 – 9 hours a night.

I urge you to go back to your medical doctor for more tests. I’m alarmed that you were drinking enough but not staying hydrated. There’s more to that than sleep deprivation. I’m also alarmed that apparently you were given a “diagnosis” but not then given a treatment plan to regulate your sleep.

If your primary care physician isn’t able to help you, get a referral to a sleep medicine clinic for a sleep study. Such clinics do a thorough evaluation of how much sleep a person gets and how often and for how long the person is awake. You may be sent home with a monitor to wear. More likely, you will be asked to spend the night at the clinic where they will monitor you throughout the night. You will sleep in a comfortable room in a comfortable bed. You can usually even bring your own pajamas.

Don’t be scared. A sleep study isn’t painful. Doctors or technicians will monitor you while you sleep. Little disks called electrodes will be temporarily glued to your head and attached to an EEG (electroencephalogram) machine. This will monitor the electrical impulses in your brain while you sleep and will show the technician how you are moving through the stages of sleep. It will measure possible interruptions in the pattern of your sleep. The technicians will also measure things such as eye movements, oxygen levels in your blood, heart and breathing rates, who much you snore, and how your body moves as you sleep.

The data from your sleep study will be evaluated by your doctor. You will then have a follow up appointment with your doctor to discuss the results and what may need to be done to help you have more regular and restorative sleep.

Please share this response with your parents. I don’t think you are lying or faking. I think you have an untreated medical condition that left untreated will only make things worse.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie


How Do I Get my Parents to Believe I’m Depressed?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Do I Get my Parents to Believe I’m Depressed?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 25 Jul 2019 (Originally: 27 Jul 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Jul 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.