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Old 09-22-2008, 07:43 AM   #1
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esther53 HB User
how do i tell my parents?

i've had depression for about 5 or 6 years now. i've never gotten or wanted help because i was denying it, i was too embarrassed, and i thought that my family would not take it seriously. my mom is incredibly understanding of everything and i'm not afraid of judgement from her. i just don't know where to start or how to make her know it's a bigger deal than just being "blue" or "down in the dumps" or "pms-ing" (which is the response i would probably get). if there is anyone out there that has had to tell someone in the past, please let me know how you handled the situation. it has gotten to the point now where i can't handle this on my own anymore. i'm accepting that i can't cure myself and the first step to getting help is telling my parents. please let me know! thank you.

 
Old 09-22-2008, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

Hi I think you said it yourself! The first step is accepting you need help! And if you feel as though you want your parents to support you in your journey to mental health then please be open and honnest with them. I would sit them down, and tell them that for the past 5-6 years they may have noticed that you have been dealing with issues and your mood was greatly affected. Tell them you have decided to speak to your doctor and are ready to get help. Tell them the truth, that you were in denial about having depression but now you simply want to get better and hope that they can be there to help and support you! Im sure if you explain it to them and show them that this is a serious issue for you, your parents should see that this is important to you therefore support you in your recovery!
Best of luck!
Congratulations on taking the first step! You will be happy you did!
Xo
Angèle

 
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

Thank you so much, Angèle. Just having advice on the subject is comforting enough, especially after not having ANYONE to ask. I'll put it to the test soon. Thanks again!

 
Old 09-22-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

you are more than welcome!! I hope you get the support you are looking for and derserve!! We are all here when and if you need us!
Xo

 
Old 09-22-2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

hi esther,
I understand your anxiety. It really isnt easy to tell someone you love that there is something wrong. Why? Is it becouse you dont want to disapoint them...dont be afraid, you wont disapoint them.
I told my mum about my depression in a very teary phone call at one of my lowest points. I wish I had had the courage to tell her earlier and avoided that call. It turned out that my parents (who I dont actually get along that well with) have been very understanding and accomadating for which I am grateful and it has actually helped our relationship a little.
If you dont know how to tell them, maybe talk to a trusted friend first, that might help you find the right words. But I have discovered, happily, that most people are kind and supportive.
Good luck

 
Old 09-23-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

I would start with your mom, and tell her exactly what you just told us. It's been 5 years and you're not getting better on your own. Depression is a disease, like many others, and when it doesn't get better on it's own, you need to seek treatment.

If you have some solid information to share with her, it might shortcut the whole discussion that starts with "well honey, it's probably just..."

Before you talk to her, take a diagnostic test (short questionnaire) with all the different symptoms of depression. Some of the big mental health agencies (NIMH?) have them on their websites. The tests give you a quick idea of whether you have the disease. They also have many articles that can help you, including some on how to discuss it with your family.

Regarding treatment, I would urge you to try talk therapy and exercise before considering antidepressants. Many doctors are quick to prescribe antidepressants, but medication is definitely NOT the quick fix that it appears to be. They all have side effects. I had to try many before I found one that worked, but I fear that it's changed my brain irreparably. Studies have found that exercise is as effective as anti-depressants, and it has score of POSITIVE side effects.

Note: I'm not usually so negative about antidepressants. I'm feeling depressed today because I've lost a great deal of hair (slowly over 10 years) and it looks particularly bad today. The dermatologist ruled out most other explanations and thinks that the antidepressants are a possible factor. Right now I have less hair than my mother does.

OK enough of this pity party. I've got to get to the gym right now to stop the negative spiral.

Last edited by lucylucy; 09-23-2008 at 04:50 PM.

 
Old 09-24-2008, 07:07 AM   #7
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esther53 HB User
Re: how do i tell my parents?

Thank you all sooooo much for your help and support! I'm taking all of your advice into consideration. Whenever I think about telling my mom about my problem, it's usually on one of my bad days. I never tell her though for fear of regretting what I say when my emotions are THAT out of wack. But today is one of my better days and I'm still planning on telling her...which usually does not happen. Everyone's reassurance has really helped me realize that what I'm about to do is the right choice and that I shouldn't regret anything I say. "Thank you" doesn't seem like enough...but thank you!

 
Old 09-24-2008, 08:25 AM   #8
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

No need for thanking, this is what we are here for Stay strong and you ARE doing the right thing! Let us know how it goes.
Xoxox
Angèle

 
Old 09-24-2008, 05:47 PM   #9
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

Good luck. If I can add another thought... Your mom might also need reassurance that it isn't her fault. Moms tend to get blamed for a lot, and we blame ourselves for a lot too.

When I was young I blamed my parents for my depression, but when I looked at my life objectively, I realized that they were fine (not perfect) parents. When I learned about the biochemical causes of depression, I realized that for many of us, the bad feelings come first, and then we try to find an explanation for them. If we don't know that it's caused by a biochemical imbalance, we look to the people around us and are tempted to blame them.






objectivesly

 
Old 09-25-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
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Artie E HB User
Re: how do i tell my parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by esther53 View Post
i've had depression for about 5 or 6 years now. i've never gotten or wanted help because i was denying it, i was too embarrassed, and i thought that my family would not take it seriously. my mom is incredibly understanding of everything and i'm not afraid of judgement from her. i just don't know where to start or how to make her know it's a bigger deal than just being "blue" or "down in the dumps" or "pms-ing" (which is the response i would probably get). if there is anyone out there that has had to tell someone in the past, please let me know how you handled the situation. it has gotten to the point now where i can't handle this on my own anymore. i'm accepting that i can't cure myself and the first step to getting help is telling my parents. please let me know! thank you.

 
Old 09-25-2008, 04:30 PM   #11
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Artie E HB User
Re: how do i tell my parents?

Esther,
I have suffered for many years and I'm married with 5 kids. My depression became so bad that I could not get out of bed anymore.It took me a long time (years) before I told my parents.My mom understood and my dad had a hard time dealing. My wife gave me huge amounts of support. At first I was embarrassed to even see a pschyatrist and a therapist but 5 years later I'm doing a lot better. So you go girl! Talk to your parents. That is what we have parents for.

 
Old 09-26-2008, 04:12 AM   #12
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

I put off telling my mum for a long time for some of the reasons mentioned but also because I was angry with her for not noticing my struggles and talking to me about them. I broke down on one of my particularly bad days and told her and I felt immediate relief. The fact that this was now a problem that I didn't have to face alone was huge and I have never regretted telling her. I hope, Esther, that you can choose a good day to share with your parents and I'm sure they will love and support you - after all - you are their precious daughter.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 01:18 PM   #13
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Re: how do i tell my parents?

I think it's worth telling your mother what you're dealing with but be prepared to deal with any number of different reactions.

Through group therapy sessions, it sounds as if most parents and family members are understanding, concerned and supportive. Most people have a natural capacity for empathy or are willing to learn about depression and ways to be supportive. That, unfortunately, has not been my case, so I don't rely on my family to be understanding, supportive or be active listeners.

But it is worth is to put it out there and decide how you want to proceed with relying (or not relying) on your mother to be understanding and supportive. If she doesn't sound as if she wants to be a support system in your recovery, then look for another family member of close friend you can rely on.

 
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