The one thing really eating me right now is how no one understands what it’s like to have major depression. I can remember how people would offer me advice of trying to think positive or to fake being happy. Those things don’t help. I can’t out think depression. They didn’t understand my brain was broken and wasn’t working right. It’s hard knowing no one really understands. You feel very alone and afraid. Afraid to trust someone again with opening up to them. Afraid they will invalidate your feelings and afraid they will decide to leave you because they can’t fix you. Afraid to trust they will understand your illness affects your behavior and distorts your perceptions. Afraid once they see how much you need them, they’ll turn and walk away. I have lost many friends because of my depression.
From what I gather, losing friends and having friends ignore you is very common for people with clinical depression. People don’t know how to handle it, but yet you don’t know how to handle it either. In fact, you have no choice in the matter but to force yourself to handle the illness and put one foot in front of the other. The thing is you learn how to handle your friend with depression one step at a time too. Just how the person with depression has to choose to handle their situation, you can choose to handle it as well.
It’s really hard when you reach out to someone when you are in need and never hear back from the person you texted, messaged, or called. The fact is ignoring someone who needs you is only making it worse. If you don’t know what to say be honest and say that, don’t just keep ignoring them. I would rather be hurt with the truth than still be reaching out and finding nothing to grasp on to.
I feel like these things happen because of the lack of education about what depression really entails. I wish there was a way to fix that. People need to have more compassion and empathy towards people with depression and try and imagine what the person’s malfunctioning brain is doing to them. They need to also just listen and not try to fix it. Having someone there to combat the lies of depression really helps. The reassurance you do care and love us helps in the midst of our blackest moments. Little gestures like making us a card, even giving us a hug, being excited to see us, and really just showing you care as we go through each day really helps.
It’s very hard when you feel like no one really understands. It makes you want to crawl into bed and bawl your eyes out. You just feel so alone, and we really appreciate it if you try to understand. If people want to understand ask us what happens in our mind and understand it’s because we are sick. Researching depression also helps a lot if someone wants to understand what depression is like. They even have site that tell you what not to say to someone with depression and what is good to say to someone with depression. Therefore, there isn’t an excuse about not knowing what to say. They also have sites that tell you how you, as a friend, can help a person with depression and how to be there for them. And, very important, being there continues even when they start counseling and being put on medication. Medication takes six weeks to find out if it is working and the person may have to try more than one.
The worst thing you can do is ignore your friend when they need you. Granted, it’s true what they say you see who your real are when things get hard. Maybe in the end, one should expect to lose good friends.