It helps heaps if you’ve got someone to korero to when you’re freaking out or feeling down. Many people who’ve got through depression or anxiety say that having even one person to share their thoughts with made all the difference in the world.

But you shouldn’t just go and tell anyone about how you’re feeling. You need to find someone you can trust.

  • Think about who you feel most relaxed with. Ask yourself if you’d be comfortable talking about personal things with them
  • Would that person judge you? Would they be a good listener?
  • It might help to pick someone who you’ve known for a while. They’re more likely to know what makes you tick
  • Perhaps you know somebody who’s gone through depression or anxiety. They’d probably be open to talking with you too
  • Make it clear what you want kept private, and not shared with others. And understand that a true friend will need to share with trusted others if they’re really worried about you. They’re not betraying you – they’re keeping you safe
  • If the person you pick doesn’t turn out to be right for you, don’t give up - keep looking.

If you’ve found someone you trust the next thing to think about is how to talk to them about your feelings. A bit of planning is needed to give them the best chance of helping you.

  • Pick a time that suits you both. And give yourself enough time; you don’t want them to be rushing off to catch a bus when you’re only halfway through talking.
  • Think about a good place to meet. Choose somewhere quiet where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Let them know that you trust them and ask if they’d keep this between the two of you.
  • Explain how you’re feeling and what you’re worried about.
  • Ask for their advice or support. If want them to go to the doctor, or to a counsellor with you, just ask. Often people don’t know how to help and they’re happy when you suggest something.

It may take time to find the right person to trust with personal feelings, but their support will be a huge help. Another option is check out the Lowdown forums to get support from people going through similar situations as you.

Or, if you feel more comfortable talking to someone who isn’t involved in your life, consider talking to a counsellor. If you’d prefer to speak to someone a bit more independent, find out more about the types of people you can talk to here.