Explaining my depression to other people

I try so hard to explain my depression to my family but no one understands. My mom says she understands but then she just gets mad whenever I get so bad that little things like cleaning up after myself just seem pointless. My siblings and my dad don’t even believe my depression is really that bad they say that I’m just overreacting about it all. Idk it just all makes me feel so alone and unloved and it just makes my depression worse. I really don’t know how to get them to understand I’m trying but I’m not perfect.

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It’s good that your mom is listening to you and trying to understand. Opening up is great, whether or not you think they understand. You’re talking and trying and that’s better than a lot of people. Maybe your mom is just frustrated, it’s hard being an adult and it’s overwhelming when people around you are having a hard time. I grew up with both parents having mental illnesses and I think I was more mad as a kid than anything else. I was mad that I had to grow up fast, mad that I had to cook dinner for my siblings, mad that I was in such a crappy situation. You’re doing great and I encourage you to try a little here and there when you’re feeling down. If you don’t feel like getting up and you have 10 things to do, try doing just one, and seeing how it makes you feel. Even if it’s putting socks away or rinsing a dish. I found that when I was feeling frustrated if I did one thing, it made me happy to see one thing accomplished, and I’d do another and eventually things would be complete.


Hey friend,

I am so sorry you have to deal with this. One of my best friends from high school has had pretty bad depression and anxiety his entire life and his parents both seemed incapable of understanding it or dealing with it well. He found understanding and support mainly through his friends, acquaintances, and his therapist. I strongly encourage you to try to find a way to see a therapist to talk through these things with. It is their job to understand what you’re going through. It might be difficult to figure out a way to pay for therapy with a family that doesn’t understand, but I strongly encourage you to try.

If that doesn’t work, or even if it does, I would try finding a school counselor if you’re in school (there should be someone available to help whether you’re in high school or college).

The most important thing to realize is that you are NOT alone. Even if your parents are having a hard time understanding, I promise you there are many, many people who will understand and support you fully – especially in this community. You are not alone and you are never a burden to us here. You are loved.

This is all you need to do. This exact same statement is everything I would hope for you to do in this situation – 1) To be trying, and 2) to realize that you are not perfect because nobody is perfect. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I know this must be difficult. Not being understood, especially by family, is very difficult. Please, please keep trying. Please keep hope.

Hold fast. You are never alone and we love you.


Hi @Br0315,

Thank you for sharing. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open with others is difficult, and I’m proud of you for putting yourself out there.

I want you to know that you are not alone. I also deal with depression, and learned that sometimes it takes some time and a lot of communication for loved ones to be ready and willing to understand.

My mom was shocked when she found out that I started on antidepressants a few years back. She just kept asking, “What do you need that for?” She would tell me, “You don’t need those, you can do it on your own,” or “There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re just a little sad sometimes.” She was wrong. I couldn’t do it on my own. I started journaling, which helped. I worked with my medical provider to find the right medication for me. A few months after starting these things, I started to function better - I was cleaning my home, paying my bills on time, and socializing a little again. I kept doing what I needed to, and kept mentioning bits and pieces of it to my mom when she would ask how I was doing. Eventually, she came around, and now asks how I’m doing AND how things are going for me.

I talked with my mom about all of this recently, and she said that she didn’t want to face the fact that one of her own children could be dealing with feelings of depression. I think it also scared her, because her father committed suicide just a couple of years before I started on medication for my own depression.

The point I’m trying to make here is, they may not understand because the aren’t ready to, or they are scared to. It sucks, I know. Keep doing your best, and try to be open with them and communicate. Turn to friends you trust, if you can. Of course, you are always welcome here. And, like zleif mentioned, a counselor might be a good option. Like crystalkirby mentioned, taking challenging things in small pieces might be a good option.

You are not alone, friend. You are loved, and your feelings are valid ones. Keep trying. Sending love.

<3 AnitaBandaid


@Br0315 hi friend. I’m glad that you can talk to your mother whether you feel she understands or not. I think maybe it could be an idea to speak to her about those thoughts. Have you heard of Dwarf Planet? That could be something useful to you as it will help you explore your depression and understand it. You could even work through some of it with your mum and help her to understand better. You can do this.

Hold fast


Hey @Br0315,

One of my pet-peeves is when someone undermines the severity of (clinical) depression (and/or people who lack a sense of sympathy/empathy). Unfortunately unless someone has personally gone through the ringer with depression, they won’t really know what it feels like. They can read about it all day, but unless they experience it, they won’t be able to completely understand you. Similarly to snowboarding - You can read about it all day, but you won’t know how it feels until you actually get on the board (and it’s a lot harder learning than reading about it). I appreciate your mom for at least trying to understand, but I’m frustrated to hear that the rest of your family is doubting your symptoms.

In the meantime, remember that you’re not alone. Find good friends to hang out with. In the meantime, you have us! Thank you for reaching out. Please keep us updated!


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