If you have depression, you know that it probably won’t go away tomorrow. It will take time, and some people have it on and off for long periods. So, it’s important for you to find ways to deal with it so it can become just another part of your life.
Why should I tell my friends or family about my mental health issues?
You should tell family and friends what you want to tell them - it’s your decision. It can help to talk about your depression with the people to whom you are closest. If they understand what you are going through, they can help to support you.
However, you might not feel like talking to anyone about it. That might be because of who you are, but it also might be a symptom of the depression.
How do I tell people I have a mental illness?
You could explain that depression is an illness and that your symptoms are not your choice. Try practising what to say with your doctor, nurse or community worker - or with someone else you trust - first. Imagine how different people might react so you can be prepared for their response.
beyondblue has a mental health program for the workplace, with advice for employers and employees on mental health conditions.
What should I do if others react negatively?
Some people don’t understand that depression is an illness so you might face some prejudice or stigma. But if someone reacts negatively, you can just agree to disagree.
You could tell them about websites like beyondblue and the Black Dog Institute so they can read up for themselves. You might also decide that it is just easier for you if you don’t talk to them about it again.
How do I choose a doctor or mental health professional?
The best approach is to talk to people you know. Ask around - see who your friends have seen. Try to work out if they would suit you or ask your doctor if they can recommend a mental health professional.
Where can I find more information about treatments, including non-drug therapies?
Other non-drug therapies that can help include:
A number of mental health apps are also available via The Toolbox by ReachOut.com.
Why is it important to follow my treatment or mental health care plan?
The treatment of depression can take time to show results, and it is important you complete your prescribed course of treatment, even if you feel better. Your mental health care plan links you with a therapist who will provide consistency in your treatment.
Last reviewed: February 2016