How To Tell Your Parents You Have Depression: When They Are Likely To Believe You
Guys, I have a problem, and I need your help. I was wondering if youve noticed or not, but I recently started shutting down and staying in my room more often. I also started turning down invites to events and social gatherings. I thought that it would be a temporary feeling, but it has worsened. Now I know that I am depressed, and its not going to get better without help. I feel so unhappy and low all of the time. Sometimes, I wish I were dead. I need treatment, please.Mom and Dad, this is really difficult for me to talk about, but I am suffering from depression. I am telling you because I hope that you wont be angry with me and because I cant suffer alone anymore. I didnt think it was serious, but its just getting worse every day I feel so ashamed to be feeling like this. On the Internet, they say that you should tell someone before its too late, so I am telling you now. Please, I need to get some help.
Help Them Get Support
While your compassion and guidance can make a big difference for your child, professional support is typically the best way to improve symptoms.
If they resist the idea of therapy at first, talking to a school counselor, family pediatrician, or favorite teacher can help them get more comfortable with the idea. They might be more willing to consider therapy when other trusted adults encourage them to reach out.
Talking over what happens in therapy can also help demystify the process. If they seem worried about being hospitalized or forced to take medication, explain that a therapist will listen to their thoughts, offer support without judgment, and help them explore ways to start feeling better.
You can also explain that, while medication can help relieve severe symptoms, they have other treatment options, too.
Newport Academy offers mental health treatment for teens dealing with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions.
When My Dads Not Well: Tips For Helping A Loved One Living With Depression
This article was first published in May 2019.
Seeing someone you love going through a spell of poor mental health is tough. Grace Campbell asks, is there anything you can do to help them?
Grace’s dad, journalist Alastair Campbell, was press secretary and director of communications for prime minister Tony Blair. He’s spoken openly about his own mental health difficulties and is an ambassador for several mental health charities.
Growing up with a parent with mental health issues can sometimes be quite confusing. As a child, when my dad would go through bouts of depression, I would find it hard to understand why he was sad, and why I couldnt make it better. My dads a big character, and so often the mood of our house would be changed when his depression was there.
When I was a child, I think my dad found it difficult to explain how he was feeling to me. At that point, I didnt have much understanding of what mental health was. I understood physical pain. If my dad had had a cut, or a bruise, or an upset tummy, Id have been able to understand what was going on. But I couldnt understand why he was so sad, when he had all of us around.
Because the symptoms of poor mental health are harder to describe than physical ones, it is often hard to talk about mental health with people who havent experienced the same thing.
Here are some tips, for you, if youre living with someone with depression.
1. Don’t take it personally
2. Focus on what you can do
3. Make them laugh…
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Talking To Parents About Depression
If you feel depressed, alone, or are having a problem you can’t solve, you need to reach out for help and support. Talk to a parent or to another trusted adult in your life, like a school counselor, teacher, pastor, or coach. Let them know what you’re going through.
Talking To Your Nearest And Dearest
Opening up to your partner or mates if you feel confident enough to do so will help as well, they may not know what to say initially, but they try to understand what youre going through. It can help with explaining why youve been off recently, and they should be sympathetic to your troubles. Its alright to speak up.
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What If I Need More Help
Sometimes talking to a parent is all you need to start feeling better. Sometimes you need more help. That’s OK, too.
If you are having a sad or bad mood that lasts more than a week or two, let your parent know. Ask them to set up a health visit to check for depression. Your doctor can ask you a few questions or have you fill out a questionnaire that has questions about depression.
Sometimes it might be helpful to talk with a therapist, especially if you have had these feelings for a long time. Your parent can set this up for you. The information you share with your therapist will be kept between the two of you, unless your therapist is worried about your safety.
How Is Paternal Prenatal And Postpartum Depression Treated
Sometimes, self-help isnt enough. Professional treatment may be necessary. Using one or a combination of therapies may help fathers cope during pregnancy and the stressful postpartum period:
- Psychotherapy, or talk therapy
- Couples therapy, especially if both parents are depressed or the relationship is suffering
- Medication that works on the mind, behavior, or mood
- Complementary or alternative therapies, such as exercise, massage, or acupuncture
Also Check: How Many Children Have Depression
The Best Ways To Tell Parents Seriously That You Have Depression
Categories Parent & Kid
For most teenagers and young adults, the cycle goes like this: after you discover that you have all of the signs of depression, you start wondering how to tell your parents you have depression.
If this is your current situation, you are not alone. You also need to tell your parents so that they can get you some professional help.
Below are a few notes and ideas for how to tell your parents you have depression.
Is Medication A Good Option
Sometimes, medication can be a good option for older persons, and sometimes it can make things worse by affecting cognitive function. Its important to get a thorough evaluation by a qualified mental health professional who is trained in a variety of treatment approaches.
Watching an aging parent give up and not take good care of himself or herself can be heartbreaking and frustrating. Its natural to want to insist that your parent get help, but being overly pushy can make things worse. A gentle approach that respects your parent as a competent adult is often the best bet.
Gellis, Z. D., & McCracken, S. G. . Mental Health and Older Adults Chapter 3: Depressive Disorders in Older Adults. Council on Social Work Education. Retrieved from http://www.cswe.org/File.aspx?id=23509
Also Check: Major Depression Without Psychotic Features
Find A Counselor At Your School
A little self-disclosure: When I was a teen, this is ultimately the route that I had to take to access help.
Many schools have something called a crisis counselor, and they arent required to report back to your parents except in extreme cases, such as being a risk to yourself or others.
Some schools also have psychologists that you can schedule time with. Reach out to a trusted teacher or staff member to get more information on whats available to you.
Increased Depression After The Death Of My Father
I was diagnosed with depression. My dad passed away four days ago. Before the death, my depression was perfectly controlled I was very strong and happy. I thought that I am unbeatable and nothing could harm me or cause my depression again! I was very happy and excited. However, when I was told that my father has just passed away, I was very shocked and in doubt that he passed away. I am still in doubt due to the shock!! I am sleeping 12 hours a day due to increased depressive symptoms! I feel the desire to sleep all the time even when I am typing these words to escape the reality. I feel no reason to stay alive. I do not mean suicidal thoughts or attempts but I mean hmm, actually I feel it difficult to select the appropriate word here. May I feel no motivation for staying alive. Is anybody willing to help me?
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Accept That There Will Be Bad Days
Your father is going to have good days and bad days even with treatment and therapy. Do not take negative responses personally. Understand and validate his feelings as he shares them with you.
It is vital to understand that having bad days are a normal part of depression. Do not withdraw your support or love during these bad times. If you offer to be there for him, clearly state what you can and cant do make an offer with clear boundaries around it to preserve your own mental health and wellbeing.
Placing too much pressure on someone who is depressed can make them feel like they are disappointing you if they fail to meet your standards. If they are having a tough day, try taking some time off to do something fun.
Does The Doctor Know How Youre Feeling
Depression is a very real illness. This means its often treatable and manageable. Encourage your mom or dad to talk with their doctor if theyre feeling depressed, because there are options for resolving the issue. Be honest with your parent: Tell them that youre concerned about their well-being and that you think a health care professionals opinion might be helpful.
Also Check: How To Help Depression At Home
How Can Talking To A Parent Help
It can feel like a big relief to have someone listen, hear you out, and show they care. Talking together can help you feel more hopeful. It lets you know you’re not alone. Someone believes in you and has your back.
Sometimes, a parent can help you see another angle to a problem you’re dealing with. They can give good advice. When you feel their support, it’s easier to think of ways to help yourself, too.
Next Steps And Useful Resources
- According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 40 to 70 percent of caregivers experience symptoms of depression. If youre struggling to cope with the needs of an aging, disabled or mentally ill loved one, youre not alone. Theres help. Northwell offers support groups in your area.
- The Pew Research Center estimates more than one in eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent. In addition, between 7 and 10 million adults care for their aging parents from a long distance.
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What If I Don’t Know What To Say
Don’t wait to talk just because you’re not sure what to say. You can keep it simple. You can start just by saying, “Got a minute? I need to talk.” Then say what’s on your mind. For example, “I’ve been feeling down a lot lately. I think I should talk to you about it.” The person you’re talking to might ask you to tell them more. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get started talking.
How To Deal With A Depressed Parent
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 325,032 times.
Its difficult to know your role when your parent has depression. Depending on your age, there may be very little you can do to help, but there are some things which may help you to deal with having a depressed parent.
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Dr Steven Rosenberg Phd@doctorrosenberg
Dr. Steven Rosenberg, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and behavioral specialist practicing in Philadelphia for over 30 years. Dr. Rosenberg assists clients with a variety of emotional and mental health issues including anxiety, stress, sleep difficulties, weight loss/management, smoking cessation, sports performance, etc. His treatment methodologies include therapy, meditation, mindfulness, visualization, hypnotherapy, and more.
Many caregivers feel powerless when it comes to helping their elderly, depressed parents
However, there are many things that can be done. The first sign of depression in the elderly is DISENGAGEMENT. They tend to not engage in once pleasurable activities. As a caregiver, you need to help the parent get back to engaging in these once pleasurable activities. To help facilitate this, you must be calm about it. Encourage them by having meaningful conversations with them. Speaking to your parents with feeling words is important. Use the phrase, It makes me feel better! This phrase tells the parent that you care. By saying, It makes me feel better when I see you smile, you are being compassionate and caring. Or try, I would love you to be happy!
Symptoms Of Depression In Fathers
While postpartum depression among new moms is a common topic, parenthood brings an understated risk factor for dads, too. According to recent studies, depression symptoms for fathers rise almost 70% from a new childs birth until age five. Symptoms of depression and anxiety can also manifest later in life due to biological factors and external stress factors.
Each individual reacts to depression differently. Depression and anxiety tend to look different between mothers and fathers, partially due to cultural pressures that make it harder for some men to acknowledge and express their feelings. Some common symptoms of a depressed dad include acting frustrated or irritable, getting stressed easily, and becoming tired quicker than normal.
You might also notice that your dad is less motivated and interested in spending time on their usual hobbies. Common symptoms also include wanting to be alone more, seeming sad or anxious often, and struggling to perform everyday tasks.
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How To Communicate With A Depressed Teen
Focus on listening, not lecturing. Resist any urge to criticize or pass judgment once your teenager begins to talk. The important thing is that your child is communicating. Youll do the most good by simply letting your teen know that youre there for them, fully and unconditionally.
Be gentle but persistent. Dont give up if they shut you out at first. Talking about depression can be very tough for teens. Even if they want to, they may have a hard time expressing what theyre feeling. Be respectful of your childs comfort level while still emphasizing your concern and willingness to listen.
Acknowledge their feelings. Dont try to talk your teen out of depression, even if their feelings or concerns appear silly or irrational to you. Well-meaning attempts to explain why things arent that bad will just come across as if you dont take their emotions seriously. Simply acknowledging the pain and sadness they are experiencing can go a long way in making them feel understood and supported.
Trust your gut. If your teen claims nothing is wrong but has no explanation for what is causing the depressed behavior, you should trust your instincts. If your teen wont open up to you, consider turning to a trusted third party: a school counselor, favorite teacher, or a mental health professional. The important thing is to get them talking to someone.
Postnatal Depression In Dads Can Have An Impact On The Development Of Their Child
Dads depression is associated with emotional, social and behavioural problems as well as developmental delay in their children .
The association is stronger when a father experiences antenatal as well as postnatal depression, and when his symptoms are particularly severe. There is also a stronger association when mum also has mental health problems .
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Making A Support Plan
If your child is experiencing depression and needs ongoing support, it can be helpful to create a support plan together with the professionals around your child so that you know exactly what help is available and how your child can access it. This could include things like:
- agreements with their GP, or their key worker if they are being treated by CAMHS, about when they will next check-in
- whether any referrals can be made to other services, and a list of the services available locally that might be able to support them
- what your childs school can offer including a staff member who they can speak to when theyre struggling.
- people your child trusts and can talk to when they need to, including family and friends.
You can find out more about speaking to GPs, finding a counsellor or therapist, accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services , getting help from your childs school and finding local services on our guide to getting help.