When Itâ€™s Time to Talk: Discussing Depression with Your Love Onesď»ż
Some people have a hard time understanding mental illness because itâ€™s rarely seeable. Itâ€™s hard to know what goes in someoneâ€™s head. This is especially troublesome when itâ€™s your family who doesnâ€™t understand you. Your partner may not understand it. Your parents may wonder what you have to worry about. Your siblings may not fully understand, either. If you have children, talking about your mental health may feel like showing weakness, but itâ€™s not. It shows that you too are human and have your own problems.
Your loved ones should empathize with each other and help one another out. Here are some ways you can do so.
Tell Them You Have Something You Want to Talk About
Itâ€™s usually not good to suddenly talk about your mental health during a family dinner or a sudden meeting. What you should do is go up to them and explain that you have something you wish to speak with them about. Tell them itâ€™s about yourself so they donâ€™t worry that youâ€™re mad at them.
Be Blunt About It
When explaining your depression to your love ones, donâ€™t beat around the bush. Donâ€™t tell them five stories at once before you get to the point. Explain your depression. Tell them your symptoms and what you believe is the cause, if there even is one.
If your depression is due to something your family did, donâ€™t try to place the blame all on them. Donâ€™t use accusatory language like â€śYou did this.â€ť Say â€śI feel this wayâ€ť or â€śThis is how I reacted.â€ť This can help your family be more empathetic.
Tell Them to Read Up On It
Youâ€™re probably not a mental health professional, so you canâ€™t fully explain your depression or may have a hard time describing it. What you should do is tell your family members to look up more information. Suggest the family to do some research on depression from reputable sources.
If They Listen
If they listen, you can have some people to talk to your depression about. Sometimes, they may open up about their own depression. Many times, your love ones especially family members may deal with depression as well. It can be hereditary, after all.
If They Donâ€™t Listen
Some loved ones just wonâ€™t understand your depression or not be sympathetic. Sometimes, itâ€™s ignorance, and other times, theyâ€™re willfully ignoring depression for whatever reason. If this happens, donâ€™t try to force it on them. Instead, you should speak with someone who is more qualified.
If youâ€™re depressed, a counselor or a therapist can help. They can find the reason for your depression and work with you to try to handle it. In the meantime, they can teach you ways to cope with your symptoms.
Sometimes, a counselor can help you explain your depression to your family as well. If you have a hard time describing it, a counselor can help by explaining it in a way your family can understand.
Donâ€™t be afraid to talk to anyone about your depression. You deserve to be listened to.