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Background: 19 years old, poor college student living with my parents. For some years now I've had sort of a depressive mood on and off. I was always really reserved as a child and adolescent (INTP here) and my family is about as emotionally shy as I am, though they belong to other types. I've never once brought it up to them for fear of judgment and embarrassment.

Since just a few weeks before starting college last fall, the depressive mood has been a constant in my life. Early into it, I found out about a free counseling service offered by the university through psychology grad students required to do said counseling to earn their master's. Been going for over six months and have not improved even in the slightest.

I can't afford a therapist. I will either need my parents to pay for it or use our insurance (which they will need to sign off on). But I'll have to somehow convince them that this is something I desperately need. After years of seeming just fine, this will be really difficult to even bring up. My mom knows that I go to the counseling center, but I only mentioned that it was for my anger management issues. When I'm in a bad mood I hide away in my room and they have no idea about it.

(tl;dr) What I'm asking is for advice for how to bring this up to them.
 

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Not a Robot
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That's tough. Does your family feel that therapy is for the weak? That can be difficult to deal with. I'm in favor of laying all your cards on the table and asking flat out for help.

If that's too uncomfortable, perhaps just try to go on the authority of an expert: Tell them the school counselor is having difficulty helping you and strongly feels that you need to see a therapist. Another route is to make an appointment with a physician, since you need to have regular checkups anyway, and explain your difficulties to them. The doctor can then order therapy for you. If your parents are more likely to trust what a doctor says, maybe they'll be more willing to go with it.

Edit: Another way around it, (and I don't highly recommend it because you really need strong intervention) is to find a primary care physician that is willing to treat depression. Many doctors will only write a referral, but if you find one that is willing to start you on medication (if you don't mind that) perhaps you could use the medication in combination with meeting with the school counselor. Let them know that you are on medication but need to get actual tools to help you pinpoint and treat your depression.
 
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