Telling Your Parents About your Mental Health

Telling Your Parents About your Mental Health

Managing depression, anxiety, or other major mental health issues can be challenging, especially when you are doing it alone. However, telling your parents that you need help is a crucial first step toward feeling better. Although initiating that conversation can be scary and overwhelming, you still need to pull yourself together and be honest with them.

It is natural to have concerns about how your parents will react when you open up to them. You might worry that they will not fully understand, that they may feel disappointed in you, or that they will not believe you. Remember that it is a parent’s role to support and love you unconditionally. They may have already noticed that something is not right with you. Sharing your feelings with them can actually alleviate some of their concerns, as it helps them understand what you are going through. You might be surprised to find that parents often handle such conversations better than anticipated.

How do you tell them about your mental health state?

It is common for teenagers and young adults to worry that their parents will not take their concerns seriously, but you might be surprised by their response. They could have faced similar challenges in the past without ever mentioning them to you. Engaging in serious conversations can be tough, but you will likely feel a sense of relief once you share your worries with them. To help you initiate the conversation, here are a few tips:

Write down what you want to say.

It is normal to get lost in your words when you are telling your parents your feelings. It is a big help when you plan ahead and write down everything you want to say and discuss with them. This way, you are able to express yourself and cover all the bases. You may feel scared and nervous, but this is okay. Just stick to your plan and be very truthful about your real situation.

Choose the perfect time and place.

Select a setting where you can have your parents’ undivided attention, such as at home on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. Avoid having the conversation in a rushed environment, like the car when you’re on your way to school. Choose a moment when both you and your parents are feeling relaxed and open to having a conversation. This will create an atmosphere conducive to open communication and understanding.

Focus on what you really feel.

Rather than abruptly stating, “I’m depressed!”, it can be helpful to take some time to consider how you can effectively articulate your experience. Creating a list of symptoms in advance can assist you in conveying the specific ways in which your emotional well-being impacts your daily life. You can tell them why you are not going out with friends or why your grades are failing. It may be difficult to describe how you really feel, but once you tell them the different circumstances under which you feel depressed, your parents will know and understand.

Answer their questions honestly.

When having your initial conversation about your mental health with your parents, anticipate that they may have numerous questions. Do not worry if you do not have all the answers immediately; it is completely normal. Share as much information as you can, including specific details. For instance, if you are facing challenges with sleeping, concentration, appetite, or experiencing frequent headaches or stomachaches, these are crucial details to communicate. Being honest, open, and transparent will help your parents gain a better understanding of the situation.

Try again.

Parents may feel overwhelmed by these conversations, especially when their children are good at hiding their problems. It is possible that they may not give you the answer you’re hoping for during the first conversation. If your parents indicate that they need time to think or gather resources, give them some space. You can check back later and ask them if they can help you find a therapist to help you work on your emotions.

Talk to another trusted adult.

If your parents don’t seem to take your concerns seriously, don’t give up hope. It may take them some time to fully understand the severity of the situation. In the meantime, it can be helpful to reach out to another trusted adult for support. A teacher, school counselor, coach, or even an aunt or uncle can provide guidance and advocate for your needs with your parents.

Do it now.

Now is the time to have a conversation with your parents, and you are capable of doing it. One helpful strategy is to practice what you want to say in front of a mirror. You can also send a text message to your parents in advance. Let them know that you have something important to discuss, and ask if they can set aside some time for you. This sends a clear message that you need their undivided attention.

Remember, the sooner you seek help, the sooner you can start feeling better. Often, the anticipation of the conversation is the most challenging part. Once you express your feelings and open up, you have taken the crucial first step towards your recovery.

If you need help managing your depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue, visit Mindshift Psychological Services. You can check out their website to learn more about them. You may also contact them at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment.



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