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Talking about depression

It can be difficult to express how depression feels. It can also be scary to share something so personal with someone else — even someone you’re close to. But talking about how you feel with someone you trust is the first step toward feeling better.

Who to talk to

Talking to friends and family about your depression can be a very positive experience. Ideally, they’ll respond with encouragement and support. Think about people in your life who are thoughtful and caring — the good listeners, the people you feel close to, comfortable with, and know you can trust.

If you’re not sure about talking to friends or family, start with your doctor or a trusted counselor, teacher, or spiritual advisor. The important thing is to talk to someone about how you feel — just saying it out loud might give you some relief.

If you don’t feel you have someone in your life you can safely talk to or you’d prefer to be anonymous, there are many helplines available with people ready to talk or text. Many helplines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Find more information in our Support Center.

How to tell someone you’re depressed

Depression is different for everyone, and you know yourself best. There’s no script to follow, and you don’t have to share everything — only what feels right for you. Having an idea of what you want to say can make it easier. Here are some words to help start the conversation:

What to say

  • “I think something’s wrong because I feel _____. I’m worried that I may be depressed. Can we talk?”
  • “I want to talk to you about something that’s hard for me to put into words. I feel _____, and it’s been going on for a while now.”
  • “I think I should see a therapist, but I’m scared. Can you help me find one and make sure I keep the appointment?”
  • “I want to let you know that I’m living with depression. I may need extra support while I’m dealing with this.”
  • “Even though I may seem fine on the outside, I feel _____ on the inside.”
  • “You can support me by _____. That would be really helpful to me.”

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