First of all, I come from India, from a place where depression is not at all recognized as a disease. I have never met or heard a person from my place even mention the word "depression"

Anyway, moving on to the matter. I really do not know if I suffer from depression or not. I took 2 or 3 online tests for depression and all the tests have come out positive. I am pretty ashamed of it and I do not know how to talk about it with my family. To top it, all entrance exams are coming up and my family and everybody else I meet just stresses on my exams. I used to do well in studies but nowadays I am like extremely poor in studies and am feeling hopeless and I feel that I won't be able to get anywhere in life.

I have read about depression on the Internet and it says that I need to see a doctor. The problem is that I don't know if we have a doctor here that looks after that sort of problems, and even if there is one, since I am still in school I can't go without anybody knowing about it.

I have tried talking to my mom :

Me : " Mom, I feel sad all the time and I feel anxious about what my life will turn out to be".

Mom: "Just don't worry sweetie, just pray to God and all your anxiety will be gone".

Me: (After a while I start crying after a lot of comforting words)

Mom: (A bit angry) "You are just overreacting and you are just wasting your time by crying. Now instead of wasting your time go and do something useful. You know very well that you have only these many days left before your exam. Just pray to God. Why don't you do that?"

Me: (in my mind ) "God, please help me deal with this.." But a voice inside my mind asks me "Do you even deserve that? You are not worth anything. You are just better off dead."

This is just an example and I would like to highlight that this is not exam stress since I have been like this for about a year now. Whatever I try to do a voice inside me just makes me feel alone. How do I deal with this?

If there isn't any way that I can solve my issue without having to consult any doctor, then how do I confront my family about these issues? I have tried but if I just tell them, they just laugh it off or maybe even ask me what that means?

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    It is not really clear to me what you are asking. The title and the body are asking completely different questions. What do you want to do, what are your goals, and where do you need help? – kscherrer Apr 12 '18 at 9:31
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    Meta discussion on this question: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2790/… – user6818 Apr 12 '18 at 10:19
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    @MSL As someone who has struggled with depression myself, but in America where it is accepted and easy to obtain medicine and therapy and other forms of treatment, I really feel for you and am sad to hear that there is such stigma about depression in India. – Andy Jul 5 '18 at 4:57
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    What do you think motivated you to start talking to your mom about your feelings? Maybe you were hoping she would comfort you and cheer you up? Or you wanted to know if you can count on her to help you if you don't do well on your entrance exams? Or maybe you wanted to talk to her about asking a doctor for treatment? – Andy Jul 5 '18 at 5:01
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    @M.S.L one option to work through this by yourself: you could try following a cognitive-behavioral therapy workbook if you are able to obtain one: amazon.com/10-Step-Depression-Relief-Workbook-Behavioral/dp/… – Andy Jul 5 '18 at 7:45

Even if those around you do not recognise the condition, it is very important that you do acknowledge it, as you clearly have. You must know and believe that the suicidal thoughts you speak of are a symptom of your condition, and you must not listen to them!

Although your parents may not understand fully, their responses show that they do care about your well-being. They want you to be alive, happy and well. Do not for a moment think that your family, your friends, or the world in general would be better without you - your family would be completely devastated, perhaps even more so for not having understood. So please, hold on.

I found this article from the Times of India in which the World Health Organisation is quoted as saying India is one of the most depressed in the world. So perhaps depression is more widely recognised than you think! I think it is true in most cultures that our beliefs about the world, and how people think in general, is shaped initially by our family, but eventually we enter the big wide world as an adult and find our family's ideas challenged, sometimes for the first time. I am not Indian and do not fully understand your culture, so I don't wish to say this for a certainty, but perhaps your belief that depression is not recognised in your country is outdated?

The advice to anyone with any illness is to seek professional help. See a doctor, and get a professional diagnosis. If you do have clinical depression then you will get help, support, perhaps medication.

As to your question of "how to let my family know that I suffer from depression".... it may be that after seeking help you are well enough not to require telling them! That might be a little over optimistic. But any conversation you have with them will be made easier if you are as well as you can be. So hold on, get the right help, and then approach your family. Likely they will be more receptive if you are able to tell them a doctors opinion. I hope this is not a bad generalisation, but I have always understood that doctors are well respected in India?

I hope this helps.

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    Well maybe people here know about it but i have never heard even a single person from my place who has been diagnosed with depression .Maybe there are many silent sufferers – M. S. L Apr 12 '18 at 13:35

There are many cultures where there is a stigma associated with mental health, and it may be very difficult for people to be taken seriously by their family and friends when they try to talk about these issues.

If your family has the wrong impressions about mental health, then it's going to be very difficult for you to talk to them and convince them otherwise.

There are numerous organisations around the world who help people with depression and mental health issues. They are often volunteer and donation run and offer you anonymity, guidance, help and advice for your specific culture and region. They'll be able to give you better advice, not just about mental health, but also help you know when is a good time to talk to your parents and what to say to them.

These options aren't just for suicide. They're for anyone who is feeling depressed, anxious or feeling like they just can't cope and need emotional support or someone to talk to. Some of them have email addresses or online chat options for people who can't afford to call or are worried about other people finding out.

The wikipedia page on suicide crisis organisations has a list of ogranisations all over the world, for anyone from any country to get help. Some of them even offer email services.

Since you're in india, here's a quote for that part of the page:

Samaritans Mumbai: (samaritansmumbai.com)
02264643267, 02265653267,02265653247
3 pm to 9 pm, all days. samaritans.helpline@gmail.com.
Helpline providing emotional support for those who are stressed, distressed, depressed, or suicidal.
AASRA (http://www.aasra.info/):
91-22-27546669 is a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week nationwide voluntary, professional and confidential services.
Sneha India:
(http://www.snehaindia.org) is available 24/7 on the phone by calling 91 44 24640050.

Some other options in India:
- Sumaitri: feelingsuicidal@sumaitri.net 011-23389090
- Lifeline Foundation: reach@lifelinekolkata.org +913324637401/7432
- Roshni: roshnihelp@gmail.com +914066202000/2001
- Maithri: maithrihelp@gmail.com 04842540530
- Sneha: help@snehaindia.com +914424640050/60

Even if you're not ready to talk to your parents about this, or are feeling alone in this, you're not alone! There are many people who feel the same way you do, in India and all over the world.

  • thank you for that ..But i do not want to contact anyone want to keep this as private as possible . I just want to know how to deal with this BY MYSELF.I don't think that my family should know about it through somebody else's mouth . I want to deal with it by myself and want to let my family know only if it is necessary . – M. S. L Apr 12 '18 at 13:56
  • @M.S.L are you trying to find ways to explain your condition to your family or to cope with your unwelness? – avazula Apr 12 '18 at 14:35
  • Kind of both...I want to cope with it by myself but i think i have to tell it to my family one day and i want to know how to do that considering the indifferent attitude of the people in my place towards depression – M. S. L Apr 12 '18 at 14:41
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    @M.S.L These options aren't just for suicide. They are for people who are stressed out and depressed too and they are anonymous if you're worried about your family finding out. I highly recommend you contact someone, even if you just want to email them to have someone to talk to about this. – user6818 Apr 12 '18 at 15:28
  • @Stacey thank you – M. S. L Apr 12 '18 at 15:31

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