I have symptoms of depression. But my parents are not willing to accept. How can I show them reality?
Dealing with a mental illness can be a lonely road, and at times we need the care and love of those closest to us.
Depression weighs on us a like a foggy dark cloud, makes our daily functioning difficult and often sends us off on a spiral questioning the point of things. Often people struggling with depression smile and drag their feet along just to look like things are okay – but they know they are not.
Family members often struggle in accepting one’s mental illness, and this is largely because of the stigma and lack of reliable awareness on mental illness.To top this, they often associate depression with someone constantly crying or being visibly sad all the time. But you and I know that is not how depression is always experience. Depression is an invisible illness, it can happen to anyone regardless of their financial and social status. It is independent of one’s situation and is reflective of an internal struggle.
We always turn to our family for their love and support, especially when times are tough. But the reality is our family may not always be equipped to handle every situation that comes their way. Sometimes they take time and in that time we can educate them about mental health and depression. This can take the form of articles, movies, talks, or having individuals with lived experiences come share with them. You can even have them speak to your psychologist or friends (or guidance counsellor in school). Very often hearing it from a person in a position of authority helps them process it better.
But then there are times, when our families are closed down and not ready or willing to process this information. This makes the journey a little more difficult. Then maybe it’s time you focus on your chosen family. Chosen family are people who we are not biologically related to (like our parents) but are people who we feel extreme love, trust, and care for. These people often share the same feelings for us. Very often chosen families are more supportive than biological families because for them the labour of love is not labour it is a choice.
You can begin by educating your family on depression and your symptoms but if they choose not to engage, maybe it’s time you move your attention and get the desired support you seek from your chosen family