It can be helpful to talk with someone about how you're feeling. They can offer a different perspective on the situation or help you look at it differently. They might also be able to help figure out the cause of your feelings.
Talking about things can be helpful in itself. Sharing can make you feel less alone and help relieve the stress of coping by yourself. The other person may be able to offer reassurance, support or information, or help you get connected with services.
Thinking about the following questions can help you with this conversation:
Who do I want to talk to?
When choosing someone to talk to, it can be helpful to look for someone who you're comfortable with, someone you trust – a person who won’t make fun of you or make light of your situation, will respect your privacy, will take you seriously, and will be understanding and accepting. If you just want to talk, a friend may be a great choice, whereas if you’re looking to find professional help, an adult, such as a parent or doctor, might be a better choice.
- Parent (for tips on talking to your parents about depression visit KidsHealth)
- Another family member (e.g., grandparent, aunt, sibling, cousin)
- Teacher/School Counsellor
- Family Doctor
- Peer support volunteers/counsellors
- Distress Line Volunteer
What kind of help do I want from them?
- Just to talk
- To find out where you can get more info
- Help finding services such as counseling
How do I want to communicate?
Starting the Conversation
- Let them know you have something you want to talk about. You might want to write down what you want to say.
- Start by explaining that you need some help with a problem. Think of some examples from your life as this may help them to better understand what’s going on.
- If you’re not sure how the person will react, one option is to test the waters. For example, you can talk about a story you read in the news and see how the person reacts. This will give you an idea of their views and whether they’re likely to be sympathetic.
- You could also start conversation more generally - talk about how you’ve not been feeling great, rather than saying you’re feeling depressed/anxious/stressed/etc.
Be prepared for a range of different reactions. Remember that someone’s initial reaction isn’t always the longer term reaction. The person may be surprised at learning this about you and it may take a little while for them to process it. Life’s full of ups and downs, and sharing our experiences with the people who care about us is natural and healthy.