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Talking to Others About Your Depression

By HERWriter
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Depression related image Photo: Getty Images

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. Pick the right setting and explain to that person how you’ve really been feeling, not just the standard “okay”.

One part of being able to talk about your depression with one or more people is learning to accept your depression, but also realizing that you’re not going to let yourself be miserable. You may have a disorder that drains you and makes it nearly impossible to have positive thoughts, but that is not necessarily who you are. Through counseling and even medication you have a chance to live a healthy life without being disabled by depression. Of course this is a long process, but first accept that you have this inconvenience that needs to be “fixed” and go for it.

For stubborn and secretive people, the above can be a challenge. In the American society, there is an ideal of total independence, but with depression that can be a challenge. For now, accept your depression and also realize that you do need help from others, and that’s not a bad thing and it doesn’t make you weak. If anything, asking for help makes you a stronger person, because you are trying to help yourself by receiving support and guidance from others to get through this life with depression. If you’re a secretive person who can’t imagine telling others about your depression, you might want to think again – this could save your life. Now is especially the time to open up to those you trust. If you feel that you can’t trust anyone, then look to a therapist to help you with your depression and even trust issues (and look for better friends possibly). A therapist or psychologist is trained to provide confidentiality, so remember that and feel at ease during a session to share whatever you want.

As a last thought, remember that depression is not weakness or something to be frowned upon. Many people have this struggle, and living with depression will only make you a stronger person in the end. If you’re around those who don’t share this understanding, realize that they are misinformed and consider it a challenge to educate them in the future.

Have you had issues with talking to others about your depression? Do you think it’s important to talk to others about depression or to keep it to yourself?


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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