Chill Chat

Let’s chat! Have a teen-related question – or just want to share some insight – about stress, anxiety or balancing life in general? If so, now’s your chance to speak up. Join Allina Health clinical psychologist, Dr. Lisa Herman, to virtually chat about different situations that may be causing you to be stressed. You’re not alone. Share your comments, ideas and stories to help others like you, stress less!

April 18, 2018

Do your friends know that you have anxiety or depression?

Anxiety and depression can still feel like the “unseen” medical diagnosis and friends may not get what it is if they don’t have it or know someone who does. Do you have anxiety or depression and feel like others just don’t get it? It’s not just the blues for a few hours or just nerves before a test. How do you handle telling someone else about your difficulties?

Your Responses

  1. Yes my friends know about about my anxiety and depression. They were really supportive though it is something they don’t completly understand. You have to be open to explaining it.

    Posted on April 23, 2018 @ 4:01 pm by Anonymous
  2. Most of my friends do not know that I have anxiety and depression. I feel that if I told one of my friends that I had this, they would not like me as much.

    Posted on April 23, 2018 @ 4:01 pm by Anonymous
  3. I let a small group of friends know my whole story and everything that’s “wrong” with me. With the other kids I don’t tell them unless I’m in a very nervous place and I need to say it to make people understand. I don’t like to flaunt it but I don’t like to hide it either.

    Posted on April 23, 2018 @ 3:58 pm by Tyler
  4. I feel like my friends have no idea that I have depression and anxiety. I would have no idea how to start or even hint that I have these issues.

    Posted on April 23, 2018 @ 3:58 pm by Anonymous
    • Dr. Herman replies...

      Thank you to all of you who gave feedback on this topic. It can be very scary to show friends the “real” you – you don’t know how they might take it. Will they be supportive? Afraid? Care? The answer is that we will never know what someone else will do with information they learn about us. What is for sure is that true friends are those who stick around even when the going gets tough. Find your closest friend and when you are hanging out, bring up a topic about someone in the news that has mental health issues. Demi Lavato recently discussed her bipolar. Mariah Carey, too. You might try something like, “Did you see in the news that Emma Stone talked about struggling with panic attacks? So many people have depression or anxiety. I don’t talk to many people about it but we are good buds and I just want you to know that I also struggle with anxiety. Do you know anyone else who does as well? I’m happy to chat about it if you want to learn more, but we don’t have to either. I just wanted you to know in case you ever see me in a cold sweat for no reason!” For more information or to show your friend what people can do to help cope with stress, anxiety or depression, check out the VIDEO page HERE.

      Posted on April 25, 2018 @ 9:53 pm

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The Change to Chill™ Chat Q&A is presented for information only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others. If you are in need of help, please contact a crisis clinic or a qualified mental health care provider.

Lisa Herman, LP, PsyD

I am a doctor of psychology and licensed psychologist, specializing in child and teen psychology, and a consultant for a grant-funded substance abuse program at the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry.

Best part of my work: The moment(s) when a patient realizes that they made progress!

Why I became a ­­­­­­psychologist: I always found myself glued to the TV when the psychologist was on a talk show. Helping others has been a passion for me since I was in high school.

What I tell my friends and family: Focus on “what is” and find the positive in any situation.

What patients say about me: I smile a lot and that people feel comfortable opening up during therapy.