Most people can’t understand how do I tell my parents I think I have depression and need therapy to recover from a solid crush. If you are concerned about your mental or emotional health, you are far from alone. Millions of teens and young adults are living with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
In fact, most or half of all mental health problems begin at age 14. Unfortunately, many of these cases go undetected and untreated.
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Acknowledging there is a problem is the first step to feeling better. Asking for help is the second. That said, asking questions about therapy can feel overwhelming, but it’s also courageous.
If you’re ready to take the next step and talk to your parents about treatment, you might be wondering how to start the conversation. You may also be wondering how to prepare, what to expect, and how to handle the situation if your parents aren’t supportive.
These are all valid concerns and questions. That’s why we asked three mental health experts to share their tips and tricks for bringing your parents closer to wanting to go to therapy.
How To Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy For Depression Due To Crush
Reaching out and asking for help is never an easy thing to do. And bringing up the subject with parents who may not be supportive can add to the distress of many teens and young adults. The sound and better news are that there are ways to approach this conversation to help it flow more smoothly.
Before you sit down with your parents, it is imperative that you take the time to prepare for the conversation and clarify why you want to start therapy. “Forget your parents for a moment and check with yourself.
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Before starting this conversation with your parents, ask yourself the following questions about therapy:
- Why would this be right for me?
- Why now?
- What do I hope to get out of it?
If you are confident in your answers, you will be able to communicate in a way that inspires respect and conveys your seriousness.
Consider what kind of therapy you would like and why. “It’s much harder to argue when you’re the least informed member of the conversation. Don’t lead with what your parents did wrong. While therapy can be a place where you accept suboptimal parenting strategies or even traumatic experiences, it’s not the way to open up.
Instead, take the opportunity to share what you hope to learn about yourself rather than what you wish to know about your parents.
Steps to Preparing for a Conversation
Here are some tips for asking or telling your parents that you would like to see a therapist:
Plan the conversation
When you follow a plan, you have more control. When the best time to talk to your parents is based on when you think their stress level will be the lowest.
Write down what you are about to say. This is a time to reflect deeply on what you have struggled with in order to be transparent with your parents.
Choose how you communicate
A critical step is to decide whether you should talk to your parents in person, by text or by phone, or whether you should write a letter or email.
Practice the conversation or write content
Practice what you will say in conversation to your parents and how you think they will respond. Keep the conversation simple and not too complex. For example, “Mom/Dad, I’ve been struggling with this lately, and it’s caused me this. I think I need more help and would benefit from therapy. Can you please tell me?
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Involve them in the decision and the process
While some parents may not “believe” in therapy or even fear therapy, many parents want the best for their children.
Questions your parents might ask you
- How long have you felt this way?
- Did any situation happen to you that caused this?
- Did we do anything to make this happen?
- What can we do to help you?
As for how parents may react, adolescents and young adults can expect various responses.
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Just talk to me
Parents may worry or even take offense that you want to talk to someone else instead of confiding in them. For this reason, be prepared to respond as you would like to speak to a professional rather than a family member.
One way to handle this is to share that talking to a third party can improve your ability or willingness to share and be more open with your family.
Will you take therapy seriously?
Parents may ask you if you intend to take therapy seriously, and they will want to feel that you are committed to achieving the goals of treatment and not just hoping for a quick fix. If you are going to invest time and money in therapy, make sure you are committed.
Have reasons why you think therapy will benefit you and show your understanding of the investment and commitment required.
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What can you do if parents aren’t supportive?
Unfortunately, even after careful planning and thoughtful conversation, some parents may still be unsupportive of therapy. If so, teens and young adults can see a school counselor or doctor or go to the health center or free clinic. Often these professionals can talk to their parents or help them figure out a new strategy to get the essential support they need.
If your parents don’t agree with your desire to undergo therapy, setting aside time for the process is essential.
Parents may be from different generations, different cultures, or different mindsets that view mental health as something that can be chosen or should be kept private—time for your parents to be on board with therapy.
Sometimes parents are not supportive because they don’t understand what therapy is and how it works. If they haven’t had therapy themselves or don’t know someone who has had therapy, they can benefit from information about what to expect from therapy. Helping them understand what therapy is and what it is not can be helpful.
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If you have started therapy (despite your parents’ disapproval) and notice positive effects or insights gained from therapy, consider sharing the ways therapy has helped you or improved your ability to communicate or understand your parents. that treatment can actually improve their relationship with you, or improve your overall well-being, they may come back and begin revising their views.