How do you tell your family

How do you tell your family that you suffer from depression? My family is very religious and I’ve heard their comments when they hear that someone took their life. They can’t understand it and sometimes talk ill of the victim. I don’t say anything. I’ve had those thoughts before, and I know what those people went through. When I was a teenager it was worse. I told my brother when I was 16 and he said I was seeking attention. So I’ve never mentioned it to anyone. I’m much, much better now that I’m older, but depression is my ‘dirty little secret’. How have you guys broken the news to your loved ones?

Whatever you do, do not let family be the reason you keep your depression bottled inside. I wish I could spout some magical advice, but every bit of my family follows this same problem. They are unapproachable as a whole, which really adds to the problem.

Is it necessary to involve your family? If so, I would work toward educating them before making personal announcements or assertions. If not, don’t involve them. The negativity only makes it worse. Keep someone you trust in the loop, and talk consistently with them.

I also heartily recommend keeping a daily journal that is private to you only. I write in mine in the morning before everyone awakes. It lets me put to words the things I had trouble with the day before. It also lets me look back on previous experiences without the hazy vision of memory.

And my advice comes with this disclaimer: If it worked well enough to stop my depression, I wouldn’t lurk depression forums, so take what you like and throw out the rest.

When I was first exploring having ADD, I had friends laugh and tell me “You don’t have ADD, you need to eat better/work out/make lists/[try harder].” Friends from my church suggested I needed to pray more, and “I don’t know why anyone would take anti-depressants.” Their intentions were good - they were trying to help with the tools that they had in their bag.

Problem is, they were ignorant. I mean that factually, not pejoratively. They didn’t know about mental illness. They weren’t a trained professional. I wouldn’t depend on them for advice on cancer or diabetes, I’d seek a professional.

My guess is that your parents love you, dearly. They want what’s best for you, and they’re trying to help you with the tools they got. They want you to get better, but they are ignorant. You might have to temporarily disappoint them so that you can reach their ultimate goal - that you get healthy and happy.

After I got treatment, friends started asking me what was different, and I had the opportunity to educate them. After I got healthy, I could help the people around me and stop being a financial and emotional drain on them. I had enough emotional energy to start repairing the relationship.

As @Jim said, don’t let your family keep you from getting treatment. You’ll disappoint them either way, either by seeking help, or in small ways as your continued depression takes a toll. They want what’s best for you, they just don’t know what that is yet.