What You Should Tell People About Your Depression

Depression is a complex illness and those afflicted with it can find it difficult to talk to their friends and family about their condition. Due to the stigma surrounding the depression and the awkwardness associated with making such a personal disclosure, having a conversation about a mental illness isn’t easy. However, given the seriousness of the ailment, it’s a discussion that needs to happen. Here are tips on how you should tell people about your depression.

Provide for Some Context

As the terms depression and sadness have become interchangeable in the larger culture, it’s important to make it clear to your friends and family exactly what being diagnosed with depression actually means. You should explain that depression is a chronic and debilitating illness, not a temporary condition that you can simply “get over.” You should also explain that your illness doesn’t need a significant life event, like the end of a romantic relationship, to manifest itself.

Explain What’s Changed

After being diagnosed with depression, it’s likely that your doctor will advise you to make significant life changes. These changes might include things like taking medication that will help you maintain physiological equilibrium. It’s also a good bet that you will be advised against consuming alcohol and recreational drugs. It’s important that you explain these changes in detail. Doing so will help the people in your life adjust to the changes that have occurred in your life in a way that will prevent awkward conversations about whether or not it’s okay to include a group gets together for drinks.  

Explain What Hasn’t Changed

After you’ve discussed your condition and the impact it’ll have on your life with your social circle, you should make it a point to talk about what hasn’t changed. Regardless of your condition, you are still the same person they’ve always now. In fact, now that you’ve received a diagnosis and are receiving treatment, you’ll be more stable that you’ve been in the past.

Detail What Can be Done to Help

Once you’ve explained the big news, there’s a good chance that your loved ones will want to do something to help. To address that question, you should tell your friends and family that they can help you by being there. Just by keeping the lines of communication open, they can play a big role in preventing future relapses into a depressed state by helping you become more mentally resilient. You can also ask them to let you know if they feel like you might be slipping into a depressed frame of mind. When it comes to mental health, every little bit helps.