I don't know how to explain my anxiety/depression to my close family and friends. Tips?

I don't plan on telling everyone, but I have a very hard time talking about things and I really want to open up to my sister and mother in a way that they can understand. My mind has been racing and I have been put on some meds, and I want to tell them about it but really don't know how. I tend to get nervous and just blurt it out and then I don't get the support I really need.

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  • Hello

    This can be difficult,as some families like mine gag up when you try and approach this type of issue, I gather you are still young and think to have the need to explain, this generally is not the case. I cannot understand why you need to explain. On way is just to say you are feeling jumpy at the time and give a reason why, although I would try and tone down any real reasons why this has happened

    The reason why I am hesitant is generally speaking after some time your condition will most probably get better and you will carry on with your life choices. If you make a thing of it now they may believe in your social weakness etc.

    You need to realise that 1-3 of the population will suffer from your complaint and a good, high percentage will get better after treatment. Sometimes some patients will have a return of their condition, while a lower number again will suffer throughout their lives. You need to try and see which way you are going to go and that may take a bit of time.

    If you tell them now,what will that achieve, if you are jumpy,regards college etc or you could put that down to that you are having stress related problems because of work stresses and strains

    Be kind to yourself and do not make a rod for your own back here,the reason I say this is I had a great deal of grief when I began with this problem you have. I lost my family through it over time.

    My depression is pain related, they thought I was weak willed and soft

    BOB

  • This is such a valid question. If you had asthma, or diabetes, or a broken leg, you'd not hesitate in phoning your family and telling them all about it. Unfortunately depression brings with it a huge, ugly stigma that makes us feel like we've done something wrong if we have it.

    I've never had an honest and frank conversation with anyone about having depression. It's just not something I've ever been able to do. However I have found that dropping odd comments into conversations with people to whom I'm comfortable talking, helps.

    For example, during a recent discussion with my sister, she told me that she was taking antidepressants. We talked a bit about that and I said 'that's something I might think about taking as I feel a bit like you're describing sometimes'. She just said 'yeh good idea,' and we left it there.

    I often find that getting people to suggest things to you, makes it a lot easier. People are generally very self centred and they think it's fine to be depressed if they've told you that you are, but not if you've figured it out for yourself.

    It's not essential that you sit your Mum down and give her the whole story over a cuppa one afternoon. Just drop it little tit bits here and there x

  • Write down what you want to say if you get nervous when trying to tell them. You don't have to read it like a script but it'll help you gather your thoughts.

    Anxiety means you can't think clearly in a situation and you constantly worry about things that may seem small to others. When you have anxiety you build things up in your head.

    Explain that sooo many people have it now across the world and there are more people who have it now than there ever has been.

    Relate to it them. For example, get them to think about something that stresses them and tell them the stress is way worse for you. Or something which makes them nervous. I did this with a friend and it worked really well and she actually felt bad for me but also amazed that I cope living at that level of stress/anxiety.

    If you want someone to relate to you, it's best to get them to picture being in that situation.

    I believe in telling her little bits at a time. But honestly, it all depends on your family and how close you are with them. It took a long time for my family to realise there really was something wrong. I felt like nobody supported me. But at the time they didn't realise how common depression actually is and they thought it meant not being able to get out of bed and they dismissed it. They understand me a lot now, but they have gotten to know anxiety through myself and my brother and now everyone seems to think differently about it. My parents were concerned about us having "labels" and the consequences that would bring.

  • I don't talk about it with my family at all now. When I have said a couple of things in the past my mother wouldn't listen and would either give me a pep talk or make it all about her, my dad just looked embarrassed and treated me like an invalid, my eldest sister is a hypocondriac and everything is always worse for her, my middle sister doesn't understand it, and my youngest sister says - what have you got to be depressed or stressed about? Hope you get more consideration from your family!

  • Thanks for your feedback everyone. I have so much in my head, that its hard for me to find a starting block to talk.

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