It is a big step to tell someone you’re depressed. Although a lot of improvement has been made over the years, there is still a lot of misunderstanding around depression and mental illness. This can sometimes make it difficult or discourage you from coming out and talking about it with someone.
The first stage in recovering from depression is to start with telling someone you’re depressed. It is hard to improve your condition if you keep it to yourself and don’t let anyone know about it. So although it can be a difficult thing to do, it is imperative you make that tough decision and talk to someone.
Who Should I Talk To?
I think it is best to start with someone you trust who you know is going to be supportive. Someone who is a good listener and will not judge you, just support you. Feeling supported the first time you speak to someone will help to make it easier to tell other people. It is also good to have the support of this person as they can assist you with speaking to a medical professional to begin your treatment options and start the healing process.
Make A Plan Of What To Say
It is potentially going to be an emotional conversation, so sometimes it is hard to remember everything that you wanted to say. Writing things down beforehand is a great strategy to use. Take your time and spend a few days writing it down and planning it out so that you can say everything that you want to say when the moment comes. You can even use your notes to practice saying it out loud on your own so that you will be even more prepared when you have the conversation for the first time.
Plan For All Reactions
Although it is nice to know how someone is going to react before telling them you are depressed, people can be unpredictable and so can their reactions. Try not to take anything personally, as they are trying to process things on the spot and may sometimes say the wrong thing. A good friend will want to know what they can do to help you and how they can be supportive of you, so it is a good idea as part of your preparation to be ready to answer this question. You may only need a hug from that person, you may need them to be a good listener for you, or you may need their assistance to take the next step of talking to a medical professional about your depression.
You Don’t Have To Share Everything
When you make a plan of what to say, you do not need to include everything. You only need to tell them what you are comfortable with telling them. They may have questions for you after you tell them, but remember it is up to you how much or how little you share with them. It is a very personal thing that you are sharing so only share as much as you are comfortable with sharing.
Telling The Difficult People
As much as we wish it weren’t the case, not everybody is going to be understanding when you tell them that you have depression. It can be difficult to understand for someone who has never experienced it before. Often these people will say the wrong thing or try to fix you with their bad advice. Don’t take what they say personally, you know how you feel and you know that it is a real condition, wherever that person stands on the matter. You should also keep in mind that you don’t have to tell them anything if you are not ready to or if you think the conversation will be a difficult one. It is completely up to you who you tell and how much you tell, and you are under no obligation to anyone but yourself.
After You Tell Someone About Your Depression
The next step after telling someone about your depression is to use that to empower you to tell the next person. An ideal next person to tell should be your doctor. Having been able to open up to your friend or family member, it is good to next open up to a medical professional. This will be the point of where your healing will begin, as they will be able to make a diagnosis, run tests to ensure there is no underlying condition contributing to your depression, and also advise you on what you should do next to start your treatment plan. They may also prescribe you medication, or refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for further help.
From my 10+ years of fighting depression and anxiety, I can tell you that you are making a great decision to tell someone about how you have been feeling. Start off slowly and tell the person who you think will be the most understanding of your situation and offer you the most support. You want to feel like telling someone was a beneficial thing for you. I think someone that should be high on your list (not necessarily the first person though) of people to talk to should be your doctor. I know when I finally went and saw someone about my depression I felt so much better about it and I felt as though what I was battling was something that is real. I also felt like there was hope for me, after feeling down for so long and thinking it was never going to change. As time went on I felt more comfortable opening up to my doctor which had the added benefit of making me more comfortable with opening up to my friends and family about my condition. Not all of the reactions were ideal, but I felt better for having just put it out there and ignoring the less than ideal reactions.
If you are looking for a treatment for your depression, something that has worked really well for me has been the Destroy Depression system. I liked that it didn’t require medication (I haven’t had a good run with medications) and it gave me strategies I could put into place straight away, which I still use every day to keep my depression under control. I have done a full product review on it which you can read all about here.