It Might Help To Ease Into The Conversation By Asking Your Parents About Their Experiences
Asking your parents if they’ve ever been depressed or anxious, or even just had a time in their life when they felt sad, hopeless, or stressed is a great icebreaker if you’re feeling nervous.
“What that does is helps you see that your parents might relate to what you’re about to say more than you think,” says Weichman. “It also makes those feelings fresh in your parents’ minds and prepares them for the conversation you want to have. Even if they say no, it’s at least a little bit of an intro that can make things easier.”
Resources For Teens Struggling With Depression
Depression hotlines can helpright now. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, or if someone you love is in danger, reach out to a qualified mental health professional.
To be connected with a licensed counselor trained to help adolescents thrive, visit teencounseling.org.
Here are some quick numbers for free, confidential support 24/7 if you need help now:
The Parent Consistently Makes Critical Or Hurtful Comments Toward The Child
Emotional and verbal abuse are much harder to detect than physical abuse, but it can be just as harmful. An emotionally abusive parent may put down a child on a regular basis. For example, they may call the child stupid for getting a poor grade. In abusive families, these types of comments happen on a regular basis and leave a child feeling worthless.
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How Suicidal Ideation May Impact Disclosure
While depression does not necessarily include suicidal ideation, its presence may be a consideration with respect to telling your parents. In a 2018 journal article, the factors that influenced disclosure were explored through semi-structured interviews with 40 people who had survived a suicide attempt. These factors include identifying motivations to disclose, a costbenefit analysis, and the selection of those who can be trusted with disclosure.
In this way, if you have a supportive relationship with your parents, and the need for tangible support, you may decide that it is in your best interest to have such a discussion with them. Especially if you may be a risk to yourself due to suicidal thoughts and urges, having support from your parents may keep you safe.
Given how depression can impact your ability to look after your responsibilities, it may be particularly helpful for parents to assist with tasks that feel insurmountable, such as making a healthy meal to eat.
Information presented in this article may be triggering to some people. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
How Culture May Impact Disclosure
Culture has also been shown to impact the experience of disclosure of depression to loved ones. According to a 2018 research study of older Latinx folx who had been diagnosed with depression, it was found that individual emotional and support needs, personal characteristics of a trusted support person, and quality of that relationship tend to impact the decision of participants to disclose.
For instance, “desahogo” was described as a release of emotions, for which, loved ones are needed for venting towards navigating their depression better.In this way, culture allowed some people to process their decisions to disclose and access support based on their understandings of how to cope. In stark contrast, shame or fears of being seen as weak sometimes posed a greater barrier based on the Latinx culture of these research participants.
As examples from that research study of older Latinx adults with depression demonstrate, your culture can aid or hinder disclosure of your diagnosis with loved ones.
Many other factors in your life may serve as reasons for your choice to share with your parents that you are dealing with depression, like their ability to provide emotional support.
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How To Tell If You Have Emotionally Abusive Parents: 15 Signs
byJune 9, 2021, 9:02 am44 Votes
Do you feel like you are struggling with your relationship with your parents?
Does it feel like a toxic encounter and draining every time you interact?
It is very possible to have emotionally abusive parents? But how can you tell if your parents have mentally abused you?
Its difficult to identify emotionally abusive parents. But at its core, emotional and psychological abuse diminishes a childs sense of self-worth or identity.
Because we naturally look to our parents for love and support, it can be hard to look deeper into this reality.
So Ive put together the key signs to understand if your parents push past your boundaries of comfort and wellbeing, and are indeed bordering the line of being emotionally abusive. Lets jump right in.
How To Talk To Your Parents About Difficult Things
Have you ever wanted to talk to your parents about something really hard but didnt know how? We dont blame youit can be awkward AF. Maybe your mom believes shes not like a regular mom, shes a cool mom but that still doesnt mean youre running to tell her about a bad grade, the state of your mental health or any details about dating or like, your sex life. *cringes into the next lifetime*
Maybe talking to your parents about difficult stuff gives you major anxiety. Maybe youre worried youll upset them. Maybe youre afraid they wont look at you the same way. You wanna keep that image of a perfect lil angel in their minds whenever they think of you! But hey, you dont have it all figured out just yet. There are times when you could really use some help from your parents .
Opening up this communication with your parents is super important! They wanna be there for you and guide you through life, even through all the scary stuff. If you dont feel safe talking to a parent, talk to a trusted aunt or a friends parent.
Here are some things to help you talk to your parents about those uncomfy things that you would much rather not talk about, at all.
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If Talking To Your Parents About Mental Health Is Too Scary Consider Writing A Letter Or An Email
If a conversation would be hard for you for any reason, thatâs totally okay. Remember your freewriting? That exercise was just for you, but it will be a great resource if writing a letter or email to your parents is a better option for you.
Approach it the same way you would a conversation. If itâs an email, try to send it at a time that might be good for them. Of course, they might not open it as soon as you send it, but if you send it at one oâclock in the morning on a Sunday night, thereâs a good chance they might see it on Monday morning and not have the time or energy to give it the care and attention it deserves.
Write an introduction the same way you would open up the conversation, giving them a little background and explaining that you want to be open with them and that youâre struggling. Read your letter out loud to yourself to see how it sounds to your reader and notice if there is anything you want to clarify or add.
The Best Ways To Tell Parents Seriously That You Have Depression
For most teenagers and young adults, the cycle goes like this: after you discover that you have all of the signs of depression, you start wondering how to tell your parents you have depression.
If this is your current situation, you are not alone. You also need to tell your parents so that they can get you some professional help.
Below are a few notes and ideas for how to tell your parents you have depression.
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Take Concrete Steps Toward Preventing Catastrophes
It can really help to know youre doing something. Once you acknowledge these deep fears you have about your children, make a list of things that could actually prevent them.
For instance, if your neighbors pool is stressing you out due to it being a safety risk, what steps can you take?
You could talk to the neighbor about fencing in the pool , or about purchasing a lock for their gate.
You may want to invest in swimming lessons so you know your kiddo will be safer if they find themselves in the water.
What You Can Do If Parents Are Not Supportive
Unfortunately, even after adequate planning and thoughtful conversations, some parents may still not support therapy. If this is the case, Berman says teens and young adults can seek out a school counselor, a doctor, or go to the health center or free clinic. Often, these professionals can talk to their parents with them or help them lay out a new strategy to get the proper help and support they need, she explains.
If your parents disagree with your desire to seek therapy, Behr says its essential to give the process time.
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Tip #: Think About What To Say
A great way to deal with any anxiety related to performance or confrontation is to plan what you will say ahead of time. This gives you time to think about what it is you really want to say and to practice expressing yourself. The more performers rehearse for a performance, the less stage fright they experienceand the same is true for having difficult conversations. If you still find it difficult to express yourself, you can always jot down notes or send your family member an email.
Another Option Is To Find An Excuse To See Your Pediatrician So They Can Have The Conversation With Your Parents Instead
A school counselor is preferable since they’re more equipped to follow up, but in case you don’t have that resource, this is another option. You might have to come up with another excuse to go if you really don’t want to tell your parents what’s going on. Either way, tell your doctor about the symptoms you’re having they’ll be able to relay the message to your parents and give recommendations for local providers. “Sometimes parents will listen more seriously to a person in a position of authority,” says Howard.
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Make Dialogue A Regular Thing
Unfortunately, as it often is with the big things in life, this isnt likely to be a one-time conversation. Regularly checking in with kids about how theyre feeling can be a healthy model for when theyre trying to manage other big things in life.
Check in with your kids, even if they have not expressed any negative thoughts and feelings.
Drugs, sex, peer pressure, academic stress, social issues you want your child to feel comfortable talking to you about all of it, so start a pattern of open communication early.
Help Us Build A Healthy Parent
Be someone we can trust. Be a good listener. Become a safe space so that your child can rely on you. Try to understand them and their way of thinking. Be friendly with them so that they can open up and share their problems with you.
Notice us. Try to understand if we are going through any mental health problems. If you suspect so, ask us about it in a gentle and caring way. Check if we need help.
Ask us how we are doing and make sure we realize you really mean it. Such as, “How are you today? Is everything alright?
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Make Your Feelings Known
If it feels like your anxiety levels are through the damn roof right about now, its probably because youre worried how theyre gonna react. So let them in on how youre feeling right now about the thing that you wanna tell them. Itll give them the heads up that a) youre obviously nervous as heck to bring this up and b) they should try to go easy on you and consider your feelings before they respond.
I wanna talk to you about something but its kind of embarrassing.
Theres something I need to tell you but Im worried youll be disappointed in me.
Im scared of upsetting you, but we really need to talk about this.
If You Need To Try Again
It isnt always a good time for parents to talk, says clinical psychologist Rachel Busman, PhD. If you feel like your parents brushed you off before, try asking them again. Sometimes it takes parents a little time to get the message. But Dr. Busman recommends this time setting aside time to talk. Say, Theres something that I want to talk to you about, and its important. When are you going to be free to talk?
Dr. Busman says going to another adult you trust can be helpful, too. An aunt or an uncle can help you talk to your parents about how youre feeling. A trusted adult at school, like a teacher or a school psychologist, is also a good option. Even if youre having problems at school, someone there will want to help you, says Dr. Busman. Its their job to help you feel successful.
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Identifying And Treating Anxiety In Children
Childhood anxiety can sometimes be missed because it often appears as difficult or bizarre behaviors that some may believe will simply be ‘outgrown.’ However, if any of these symptoms or behaviors persist, consult with a Psychologist who uses a Cognitive Behavioral approach in treating anxiety. As childhood anxiety can also be exhausting for you, the parent, be certain to gain support for yourself through a parent support group for children who suffer from anxiety. You could also consider psychological support to offer support and guidance as you work with your child towards decreased anxiety.
Tip #: Choose A Time Thats Convenient For Them Too
If someone approaches us for help when our own needs are not fully met, we may not have the emotional strength to give them what they are asking for. Remember that your family member has their own responsibilities and needs to attend to as well. It is best, if you can, to approach them when they are calm and collected, not stressed out after work or coping with a crisis of their own. However, keep in mind, too, that no time is going to be the perfect timeyour needs are as important as anyone elses. Its important to recognize the difference between being considerate and simply procrastinating to avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation. Give them space and time for now if they need it, but make sure not to put off your conversation indefinitely.
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