How do I tell my mother that I have depression?

Dear Auntie, how do I tell my mother that I have depression?

Hey there! I’m so glad you wrote in. I’m proud of you for knowing yourself well enough to know that something is off and it’s time to do something about it.

Likely, your mom may have noticed that things may be a little off with you, but might not have known how to talk to you about it, or may have been in denial that anything is wrong. So kudos to you for being mature enough to want to talk to your mom.

Talk to Your Mom

  • Think About What You Want To Tell Your Mom. Sometimes writing down what you want to say beforehand can help when you actually have the talk. Think about what is important for your mom to know, like;
    • How long you have been feeling this way and how often?
    • Are other things being affected like your grades or your interests?
    • Physically have you noticed changes, like your appetite or sleep?
    • Mentally have you had reoccurring thoughts or difficulty concentrating? Have you thought about harming yourself or others?
  • Find A Quiet Place – to talk. Someplace you won’t be distracted or interrupted.
  • Talk To Your Mom. You can say something like, “Mom I’ve been feeling (insert) for a while and I think it’s time I do something about it. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I’ve noticed that it’s has been affecting my life by (insert). Can you help me get in touch with a mental health professional?”

Keep in mind that everyone reacts to things differently regardless of their age or experience. Sometimes people react to things positively, saying things like, “I’m so glad you told me!”, while others might react negatively, saying things like, “Urgh. What do you expect me to do about it?” However, your mom reacts, it’s good to know that there is help out there for you whether your mom is on board or not.

How YOU Can Get HELP!

The only way to truly know what’s going on is by talking with a health care provider.

The next step is to find a counselor, you can check with:

  • Tribal Clinic – do an internet search for their phone number.
  • School or University – check with student services.
  • Mental Health America has a zip code locator to help you find clinics near you with low-cost or sliding scale services. They also have a Crisis hotline you can call: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Text START to 741-741, call 800-273-8255 anytime, day or night, or chat with a real person by going to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website.

Again, schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. If your mom is on board, ask her to help finding someone and setting up an appointment.

I am giving you a big pat on the back for taking your health into your own hands. That’s no small feat. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Take care,
Auntie Manda

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