I recently moved "back home" with my folks after being on my own for many years. We have our own communication problems just due to our personal relationships (my dad and I talk sparingly and superficially 97% of the time and then have short, awesome conversations when things have been building up; my mother and I have been "best friends" since I hit puberty and often share too much information on a daily basis, other than my mental health issues).
I've always had trouble discussing or revealing my emotional responses to others, including family, but it's even harder for me to talk about the scary topics of anxiety, depression, agoraphobia and panic attacks. I don't like looking weak, or showing vulnerabilities -- and am always worrying about being judged. The more important something is to me, the harder it is to talk about it.
What I have shared with my family though, I don't think it's getting through to them. I moved home after 3 years of university; in the most recent year I've been pretty much homebound other than a monthly family gathering (a fact which my family only found out about around Christmas. This past January was when I finally sought out medical & professional help). The point is, I moved home because I was in financial crisis and a mental crisis and I knew I needed help. The deal was for me to pay my own way while living here, so I could get help and hopefully attend classes next autumn.
But lately even when I push myself to be more open and talkative about what I'm going through, I get accused of "never saying anything important" and "not showing any signs of improving". I've tried to explain that for me, being able to go to the grocery store twice without clonazepam is a massive improvement, as is being able to walk the dog around the block, or visiting a friend's apartment for the first time in 18 months. Instead I keep getting told that I'll feel better if I smile more, that I need to get out there and get a job, that I need to lose 60 lbs before my brother's wedding. I know and appreciate that my family is just trying to help, but I'm at a loss on how to let them know that they're making me feel worse. I came here -- I retreated here -- as a safe place while I receive treatment and try to work through my problems. But sometimes I feel so anxious that I start looking for affordable inpatient facilities (which don't seem to exist on student health insurance).
Would love to hear from some of you all if you have any tips on talking mental health with your own loved ones, or failed methods that I should absolutely not try -- heck, at this point I'd even love to hear from folks with similar communication problems.