Making the decision to tell your friends, family or work colleagues that you’re suffering from depression is a big step. Not only is it difficult to let people in during this troubling time, sadly, there are still many misconceptions about mental illness and the last thing we want is to feel stigmatised because of it.
Opening up about your illness is one of the most effective steps towards coping and recovery however so here are some great ways to help you talk about it.
Consider who to tell
It does help to talk to someone about what you’re going through but you don’t have to tell everyone. Try to reach out to someone who is a good listener, is discreet, trustworthy, reliable, non-judgemental, supportive and mentally healthy so they can offer a different perspective. It can also be very helpful to speak to somebody who has gone through something similar and come out the other side.
Try to prepare for how they might react
Whilst it’s impossible to predict exactly how your chosen person/people will react, it can help to weigh up the different possibilities so you can prepare. For example, your friend may not understand why you can’t just ‘stop feeling sad’, they might feel like it’s their responsibility to ‘fix’ you, they may not know how to cope with the news so could change the subject and avoid talking about it or they could be great in difficult scenarios and know all the right things to say and do. Remember, however they react, it’s very unlikely they’re trying to hurt or upset you - they probably just need time to get their head around what you’ve just told them.
Write down what you want to say
Taking notes can help you gather your thoughts and organise them so you can express yourself in the best possible way. If it makes you feel better you can even practice saying it out loud.
Please stay tuned for part two of how to tell your loved ones that you’re suffering from depression which is coming soon. If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with depression, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programmes page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available. You can also contact us for depression help today.