Talking to parents about depression - Anxiety and Depre...

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Talking to parents about depression

Whitenoise14 profile image
11 Replies

I am a high schooler and I go to therapy every week. I’m pretty private about what happens and do not really let my parents know how I am feeling or what my therapist is diagnosing. I am about to start medication for depression and my parents felt very shocked and confused about it. I know that I have felt depressed for a long time but they just don’t see it and always tell me to feel differently. It is very frustrating and I don’t know how to talk to them about it without getting upset.

11 Replies

Bravo to u for getting help for yourself. That's a very mature thing to do at ur age.if ur parents aren't understanding where ur coming from just be patient with them.keep taking care of urself.the difference they see in u might wake them to u.

Calm_mama profile image

Hi Whitenoise14,

Fantastic of you to seek out help!

As a parent of a teen on an SSRI (the most common class of meds used to treat anxiety and depression), I know both where you are coming from and where your parents might be coming from. I agree with Monkeysmiles- try to be patient with them. They are probably grappling with the idea that their child has something that might need medication. They are probably loving the heck out of you and are simply worried about you, as parents so naturally do. They may have no experience in this area and need help understanding. And....time to let it all sink in. You are their child, and they've played a role in your care and treatment going way back to all those urgent care visits and sore throats, vaccinations, sniffles and rashes. The adjustment to having your child begin taking care of himself is difficult for parents.

Here is a link you might like, and if you think it's appropriate, share it with your folks:

Uptodate is for clinicians, mostly, but they do write some patient education pieces and this is one of them. I think it speaks beautifully to the likely benefits of medication for anxiety and/or depression in teens.

My daughter is doing great on her SSRI. She is in therapy also. Research shows that the combination of the 2 can be very powerful.

Keep us posted?

So very glad you are getting some great help:)

Chantalmarie1988 profile image

Hi there. If you mind me asking how old are you ? With that being said It’s your body and your choice . If you need medication that’s your decision and clearly your doctor agrees. The final decision is yours and not your parents. What matters for you is to become a healthy and happy teen again . I say not to worry about your parents opinion. Maybe they don’t understand anti depressants and are worries and not informed about mental health. When I was 19 I had horrible anxiety and depression and knew something was just not right. My dad didn’t understand and he doesn’t believe in medication. But I knew I needed help and I did what was best for me . I know it’s hard to be a teenager and feel like no one gets you or you’re just going through a “phase” and they think you’ll get over it. which can be immensely frustrated because it’s difficult for you to communicate with your parents and other adults and espress how you feel. Maybe going to family therapy might help or have a serious sit down talk with them and make key points as why you need medicine . Maybe a PowerPoint... Best of luck ! ✌🏻✌🏻

Whitenoise14 profile image
Whitenoise14 in reply to Chantalmarie1988

I am 18 and in my senior year so I will soon be on my own at college.

That is my exact situation, but you are a few steps ahead of me. My mom knows I've been feeling "down," but by no means does she know the extent of it. I still need to work up the courage and tell her I need to see a doctor. Best of luck to you. It's so hard when they don't understand.

Calm_mama profile image
Calm_mama in reply to

Sad_Slytherin, I'm rooting for you to talk with them :)

I like Essentiallyfree's idea below to perhaps write a letter instead of having a sit-down. I have done this with my teens for the tough subjects. It gives me time to get my thoughts just right, and it gives them time to process things before we have any conversation. Love that idea. Wishing you luck and I hope you keep us posted.

in reply to Calm_mama

I like the letter idea... I might do that.

Whitenoise14 profile image
Whitenoise14 in reply to

I understand how hard it can be to work up the courage to tell your parents something is even wrong when you may try to act like everything is ok on the outside. I was lucky in the fact that my doctor noticed physical signs of anxiety and told my mom herself I should start seeing a therapist. It is very hard but I would have been very scared to go through this past year with no prefessional help so try really hard to tell anyone you think you want to see a therapist or doctor.

in reply to Whitenoise14

Thank you for your advice. :)

Essentiallyfree profile image

I'm sorry you're facing such a dilemma with your parents; talking to them about depression can certainty be hard and overwhelming. If the person you're talking to hasn't experienced the illness it can be very difficult for them to relate and understand why we can't just "feel different". I am so proud of you for realizing there was an issue and that you sought out therapy. That's incredible and really shows a maturity and desire for healing. If talking with you parents in person is too difficult, writing a letter to them is a great alternative! Remember, you are strong and courageous, be patient with them and honest about your journey. Take care!

Lilo_and_Stitch profile image

I understand. My parents didn’t not realize I was depressed for years till I told them. I believe parents minds try to oversee our sorrow because they want us happy. Which also makes it hard to discuss. I still struggle to talk to them about it, but can almost openly talk to anyone outside my family.

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