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Talking to others about depression can be a difficult decision when living with depression, but in many ways it can be rewarding.
It is important to at least have one person you can talk to about your depression. That person can be a therapist or psychologist, or even a trusted family member or friend. Choose someone who you know has the capacity to understand and accept you despite your depression.
The last thing you want to do is tell the most judgmental person you know about your depression. Although in some cases stigma associated with depression and other mental disorders is improving, many people still hold negative stereotypes and are prejudiced against those who are considered “abnormal.” It can be one of your personal goals later to enlighten those people, but your first step is to take care of yourself first by building a support group of people you can rely on to talk about your depression.
Having one or more people you can talk to in confidence about your struggles with depression can allow you to vent and also get feedback from others. People around you might not be as informed as you are about your depression, but they can provide information on whether they notice any differences (like if you’re taking medication) or even ways they think you can improve your situation.
Inform yourself first about some basic and even lesser-known facts about depression from credible websites, like the National Institute of Mental Health, and then inform your trusted others as well. If they aren’t the reading type, summarize some information for them so they can have a basic understanding and know where you’re coming from. Even try to correct any stereotypes they might have. When talking to a therapist, write anything down that you want to talk to him or her about in case you forget later.
Observant people will notice that something’s not okay with you if you have depression, unless you’re really good at hiding it. Even if they don’t realize you have depression, an easy way you can start talking about it is when a person asks how you’re doing or what you’ve been up to.