Script & Storyboard
If you are suffering from depression or anxiety it can feel like you are all alone with no one to turn to for help. [1] Telling someone how you feel can be difficult and scary[2], and talking to your parents can be especially hard[3] if you're worried how they'll react or if they believe what you are saying. [4]
It can be difficult, but telling your parents about your depression or anxiety is a very important step in recovering from your illness.[1] Your parents can show you the love and support you need to feel better[2] and help you get access to professional help[3], so finding the courage to tell them is always the right thing to do. [4]
Before you[1.1] start the conversation[1.2], try to work out exactly what you will say[2.2] and write it down on a piece of paper.[2.3] Think of specific examples of times you have felt sad or anxious[3], or when your mood has affected your ability to do well in school[4.3] or with other areas of life.[4] Having a good idea of what you are going to say will help you stay calm and get your point across even if you get nervous. [5]
You might be worried your parents will get angry or upset when you tell them about your illness. [1] You may even imagine the conversation going terrible and ending in an argument. [2] These predictions and expectations are all part of your illness because depression and anxiety cause you to see the world in a negative way making you imagine the worst possible situations. [3] Try not to listen to your worries. The truth is, your parents care about you and want you to be happy. [4]
When you are ready to speak to your parents, make sure you pick a good time[1]. You want them to be in the right mood to listen. [pause] If they are stressed out, too tired or sleepy, then wait[2.2] until tomorrow. [2.3] You should get straight to the point and say, “I need to talk to you”[3] Explain that you have been feeling sad or anxious for a long time and you are worried that there might be something wrong with you. [4]
Try to give them as much information as possible. [1] Tell them what you have been feeling[2.3], and for[2.4] how long. [2.5] Don’t worry about explaining everything perfectly, or if you can’t find the right words[3] - your parents don’t need to understand exactly what you are going through[4]. They just need to hear and know that you want help. [5] If you've been having suicidal thoughts or considered ending your life, you need to tell your parents. [6]
If you think your parents won't understand what “depression” or “anxiety” are then start by[1] explaining that you feel very sad or anxious all the time and you think it isn’t normal. [2] To help them understand, you could show them descriptions of your illness from trusted sources like the APA, NHS or whatever is available for the country you live in. [3] Try to help them understand that depression and anxiety are more than just being in a bad mood or feeling down [4]. They are real illnesses caused by changes in the brain that you can’t fix simply by “getting over it”.[5]
Once you explain what you are going through, your parents will probably be very concerned and will want to know what they can do to help. [1] Explain that just having their support will mean a lot to you[2], but you would also like to go to a doctor and get professional help. [3]
Your parents will probably believe what you are telling them and they'll want to help you[1.1], but it’s also possible they'll need some convincing. [1.2] They may try to tell you that you shouldn’t be feeling these things[2.1]. That you’re just a kid[2.2] and you should stop over-reacting. [2.3] Your reply should be “I KNOW I shouldn’t be feeling like this.[3.1] It isn’t normal[3.2] to be feeling this way all the time.[3.3] That’s how I know I need help.” [3.4]
If they don't believe how you are feeling and see it as normal part of puberty[1], try explaining that you feel sad or worried ALL THE TIME. [2] While your friends and other people your age have ups and downs[3], you only have downs. [4]
Sometimes, it can take a while for what you are saying[1.1] to really get through[1.2] to your parents. [1.3] They really care about you[2] but it's easier to think that you're just going through a bad phase[3] than to admit you need professional help. [4] Don't be discouraged[5.1]. Your feelings are important[5.2] even if your parents don’t understand them right away. [Pause]
If starting a conversation is too difficult[1] or if you can’t find the right words to say[2], writing a letter, email or message to your parents[3 - Only outlines are drawn] [4] is a great way to get the conversation started. [5, #3 is colored]
If speaking to your parents is difficult, you could try talking to another adult who could help you. [1] A school teacher, counselor, religious leader, youth worker or close adult could offer you valuable advice[2], put you in touch with a doctor[3.1] and even speak to your parents for you. [3] If you are really having trouble[4.1] you could wait until your next regular doctor's visit[4.2] or when you're ill with a cold[4.3], and then talk to them about your depression or anxiety while you are there. [4.4]
Keep talking to your parents and try getting them to understand what you are experiencing. [1] Your feelings and well-being are important![2] So don’t give up until you make progress.[3] If you feel afraid or discouraged by what they say, try to focus on how much better life will be when they finally understand and are able to help you. [4] Telling your parents about your mental health issues is always scary, but in the end, it will be worth it. [5]
We've put links to great resources for mental health in the description[1] so please check that out[pause]. We also have professional psychologists answering in the comments[2], so please leave a comment if you have any questions at all[3] or if you have advice for other's who struggle with this issue.[pause] If you liked this video, please click that like button below and don't forget to subscribe to our channel for more helpful explainers. Thank you for watching! :) [4]