Nav Menu

How to Explain Therapy and Mental Health to My Parents

Today, we have many more resources on how to treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety than we did 10-15 years ago. Many people from older generations grew up in a society that did not treat topics like therapy and mental health as seriously as it is treated today. Some were taught to keep their feelings to themselves instead of reaching out for help when needed. Even today, some older individuals may not fully understand what is involved in caring for one’s mental health. 

Maybe you are a teen or young adult who wants to try therapy or seek help with your mental health. On the other hand, you could be well into adulthood and simply want to let your parents know about your journey with your mental health. However, maybe you don’t know how to start a conversation with your parents about this topic. If this is your situation, rest assured that you are not the first to be unsure of how to handle this situation. 

Our team at Sage Recovery specializes in treating mental health disorders in both adolescents and adults. We offer specialized intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). These programs can incorporate your parents and allow them to be part of your journey toward healing. 

Preparing to Talk to Your Parents About Therapy and Mental Health

Perhaps you are concerned that if you try to talk to your parents about your mental health they will brush you off or not take you seriously. Maybe you are concerned that they will try to minimize the issues that you’re struggling with and tell you that you don’t need to seek professional help. 

It can help to think about different ways that they might respond and have a plan. This can help you to feel more prepared. It may be especially helpful even if the outcome is not the one that you are hoping for. 

Ahead of this conversation, think about what you want your parents to know about your mental health. You don’t have to let them know about all the details regarding your struggle with mental health. It is up to you entirely to decide how much you choose to share. 

The main thing that they need to know is that your mental health is not where you would like it to be. Additionally, you want to seek professional help to take the steps you need to move forward in your healing.

Your parents might not respond to this conversation in the way you were hoping they would. However, this does not mean that your feelings aren’t fully valid. They might be more or less supportive than you were expecting. It is also possible that they may have some questions for you to help understand what you’re going through better. 

Tips to Remember When Talking To Your Parents About Therapy and Mental Health

It is important to choose a certain time to have this conversation with your parents instead of trying to have it in passing. You want your parents to be as receptive to this information as possible, so you want to choose a time when they won’t be distracted and will be able to fully devote their attention to what you need to tell them. Try to choose an environment that is going to be as private and with as few distractions as possible. It can also help to write down what you’re going to stay ahead of time so you can refer to this if necessary 

Another tip to remember is to be as open and honest as possible. They might not have been aware of the extent to which you were struggling with your mental health. The more they understand what you’re going through, the more they may be able to help support you.

The Next Step

Even if your parents did not provide you with the help and support that you were hoping for, you are still not alone. There are a multitude of resources out there and support available. If you are still in high school, consider reaching out to the guidance counselor at your school. They can talk to you about what your options are and help you decide what the next step might be to get the support that you need. 

If you are in college, consider utilizing the mental health resources that are available to you on campus. Most campuses do allow you a certain number of counseling sessions for free. There may also be other on-campus resources that can further help you positively manage your mental health. 

No matter how your parents might respond to this conversation about your mental health, don’t let it hold you back from getting help. Sage Recovery can help you take the first step towards mental healing today. 

It is unfortunate that many people still do not recognize mental health as being as important of an issue as it is. Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression should be taken just as seriously as other physical disorders. Just like with other health problems, you can’t simply ignore them and expect them to go away on their own. You have to reach out for professional help to get the treatment that you need. If you are struggling with your mental health you might not know the best place to turn. Our team at Sage Recovery can help you to take the first step forward beginning today. Call (512) 306-1394 to learn more.