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Telling Your Friends About Your Depression


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#1 kirkwuk

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:06 PM

Throughout my 25 years of history, I have told quite a few of my friends about my depression and anxiety disorder. When I was younger, and very shy about things, I seemed to be very open about expressing how I felt to a friend. It was an emotional release. But even today, every time I tell someone, a little part inside of me dies.

I tell people to feel that little bit of reassurance, that they may understand how I feel. It "justifies" the way I feel I may have acted around people and why I'm not smiling and having fun around others. Recently, a great friend of mine told me to stop going on anti-depressants because they "do other things to you". I couldn't get that reassurance from her, or any of the other people that know about me. And then we got to the "what do you feel depressed about?". The ignorance surrounding this illness is like a virus.

It's even worse when you return to work, and people ask you why you've been off.

How was it for you?
Beating depression since 2007

#2 claire158

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:12 PM

Hi Kirkwuk,

I haven't told many people, I have a couple of really good friends who have helped me through, but they have only ever known the "depressed" me because I've only known them a couple of years. Friends that I had throughout school etc and some people at work are slightly different. Most of them have stopped talking to me. I never tell people why I've been off work as I think it's none of their business. A lot of people are ignorant about it because they don't understand it and just assume you're having a bad day, and wait for you to snap out of it. I have definitely come to realise who my true friends are throughout this and to be honest I don't have hardly any but I would prefer that than loads of aquaintances.

Claire
" A friend is someone who reaches for your hand but touches your heart"

#3 Looking Up

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:14 PM

I never tell anyone about my suffering from depression, anxiety or BDD. I have only told close family members. I feel there is still too much of a stigma attatched to mental illness for me to tell anyone without being prejudged. Nobody at work knew, none of my friends (exept my best friend) knows. And if someone asks me whats wrong... I just grin and say, "Just not feeling well today, thats all". And let it be at that.

I say only tell those whom you are comfortable with knowing this about you.

I hope you feel better soon!

Looking Up :hearts:

#4 Sheepwoman

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:24 PM

I never broadcast my depression. Only my sis and my long term friends know. They've all been supportive when I'm down. When I took time off from work and returned, I just told them I was sick and let it go. As far as aquaintances, I just tell them I'm not feeling well without going into details.

People who've never suffered from depression don't understand what we go through.

Your friend who told you AD's "do other things to you" is not a professional and most likely has no knowledge of the working of AD's.
Sheepwoman :hearts:
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#5 Ally424

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:47 PM

The first time I tried an AD I told a few of my good friends. One or two understood, and one or two held the "just get over it and don't take uppers" attitude. Needless to say, I've kept this second time around to myself. The only person that knows is the person I trust the most besides myself, and he understands because he's been there too.

#6 Hircon

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:08 PM

Personally I'm very open about it. I had a week off work after a severe panic attack, and although I didn't broadcast it, if someone asked me I told them.

I've also let my boss know that I am bipolar, I've told my family & friends too. Mixed responses, with quite a few asking basically "What does that mean?".

Generally I've been more open about it while hypo though, so... :hearts:

I just believe that if I'm not open and honest about it, people around me will continue to think of it as a stigma. I know I've made a few people at work re-think things, and I call that a win. Some people may be predjudiced against me, but to be honest, that doesn't bother me overly much.
I know one truth.
There is always hope.

#7 fixentolive

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 05:28 AM

initially it was great, as it helped me explain off my erratic behavior to those i never knew how to explain why i was acting the way i was

but in the long term it has destroyed me. i thought that by finally "being open" and getting it "off my chest" that i would have all this weight off me and be able to relax around them again, but instead i became so ever more insecure

i can't bear to look at the same people in the eyes now

i feel i am a different person now, worse off than when i was hiding it

what is this NEED to be open about our illness? There's no shame in hiding it

I suggest people be careful about whom they disclose it to, and make sure to realize if they are in the right state of mind or not

It can do wonders if your friends are caring and understanding

My friends were caring and understanding but, my personality never was one to feel better over other people caring for me out of pity?

if anything , crazy rumors have probably now spread about me

#8 adjchange123

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 05:46 AM

Some people forget to look at the big picture. The distress. Rather, the inconvenience.

#9 sitting_in_the_dark

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 03:04 PM

Well, i was diagnosed with depression about 7 years ago. i was still a child, a really unhappy, stroppy, preteen and no one could understand 'why i was depressed'
there is never really a set reason as to why someone is feeling down, and this is something that people dont understand unless they have gone through it themselves.
as for the so called friends i have told, they couldnt get their heads around it and thought that it would just be easier if they took no notice and carried on like everything was fine, but at least it explained my quietness and sometimes short temper.
i smile very rarely, and if i ever do in front of them, the conversation goes something like this:
Friend : See, you can smile!
Me : Yeah, so?
Friend : If you know that you have smiled once then surely you can smile again? Why do you have to be so dreary all the time.
Me : Thats just who i am, im not a happy person
Friend : Well can you try to be? I mean, why are you so sad anyway... *inserts lists of things they think are good in my life even though they dont know the facts*.... seriously, can you smile more often, I mean, your depression is just making everyone feel bad so can you cheer up please and stop being such a drama queen?

ITS NOT THAT EASY! its not like i have a switch that can be changed from happy to sad! And drama queen? anything but! oh and apparantly they have 'given up' on me because i am not happy enough and they cant deal with it, well screw them because there are many times when i am happy, i just dont have a meter long smile across my face, i keep it in me, maybe smile for a split second then go back to not having an emotion. I prefer 'reading' people, and looking at the emotion in their eyes, like when i am with my boyfriend, which is hardly ever in the current circumstances, we both know that the other is happy just by looking at eachother, but these friends dont understand this, i dont know if anyone here will understand it, but everyone has a different way of showing their emotion, just because they bottle up the sadness in their lives doesnt mean that we have to too!

i went a bit off base here didnt i?

well, telling my friends was no good, telling my family was worse, as now there are those awkward silences where they are thinking of something to ask you apart from ' how are you?' in any case, good luck in everything,

*SITD*

Edited by sitting_in_the_dark, 09 January 2008 - 03:05 PM.


#10 jollyrancherisyum

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 06:26 PM

I never tell anyone about my suffering from depression, anxiety or BDD. I have only told close family members. I feel there is still too much of a stigma attatched to mental illness for me to tell anyone without being prejudged. Nobody at work knew, none of my friends (exept my best friend) knows. And if someone asks me whats wrong... I just grin and say, "Just not feeling well today, thats all". And let it be at that.

I say only tell those whom you are comfortable with knowing this about you.

I hope you feel better soon!

Looking Up :hearts:


I feel the same way. I don't know if it is because of how I look... sometimes I think people look at me and they feel the need to be combative or competitive in order to prove something to me or themselves. I'm not like that, so when it comes to something personal like my... abuse... or anything else really, I don't tell anyone. Would they even understand if they were being compassionate? No they probably would not unless they have been through it themselves, and even then there are some abused people I knew in the past who could never understand me.

That is the way of the world I guess. Even so, some of you understand, even if I don't necessarily like you. That is what it comes down to in the end. Some things simply are, and some things simply aren't. That is just the way it is I think. I am still trying to figure it out, because even though I may look fierce, I'm actually still that little boy screaming in the corner. Even if I let go of my depression, that will never change for me. How could they possibly understand?

-Jolly

Edited by jollyrancherisyum, 09 January 2008 - 06:27 PM.

"It takes more courage to suffer than to die."
"The strong man is the one who is able to intercept at will the communication between the senses and the mind."
Emperor Napoleon I


#11 MissYou009

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 07:40 PM

I only have 1 person who knows everything...One of my best friends. Even my parents know less than he does. I mean, there are people who know that I'm unhappy about some stuff and whatever, but they don't know that it's depression or anything -- just that I'm busy and stressed out.
Previous Diagnoses: Adjustment disorder w/a depressed mood, GAD, OCD.
Previous meds: Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor, Lamictal, Zyprexa, Depakote, gabapentin, Geodon.

New Diagnoses: Bipolar II, OCD
New meds: Seroquel XR 200mg , Lexapro 20mg.

#12 erocks

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:06 PM

I've told only my really close friends that I have depression. One has chronic depression and one is a psychologist so it's good that they can understand and just treat me 'normally'. I can discuss thoughts and feelings with them and can even laugh about it. I told my mum, sisters and boyfriend but I can't easily talk to them about anything. I just end up having to spend ages trying to explain what it's like to them over and over again and they still don't get it.

How about this for ironic? I work in a Mental Health Centre and my boss still doesn't understand my behaviour and reasons for needing time off work.

I guess you guys are right when you say you don't know unless you've been there.

E

#13 Guest_Noca_*

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 10:07 PM

People who've never suffered from depression don't understand what we go through.

Your friend who told you AD's "do other things to you" is not a professional and most likely has no knowledge of the working of AD's.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

Ditto! Those who havent been there simply cannot understand the emotional abyss depression can be. Also, NEVER let the ignorant influence your decision to take medications or not.

#14 luluchipie123

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 04:51 PM

I once tried to tell my very good friends qnd even try to disguise a suicide attempt but she freaked out and stopped talking to me. I guess this illness is difficult for others to understand and to cope with because it could happen to anyone - being depressed.

we now dont talk anymore, i dont blame here, it makes me think that i cant really be understood and that its a long way to go till recovery.

#15 steve99

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 06:00 PM

No I don't tell anyone because I refuse to. I don't really believe it's going to do any good for me. I don't want people to change the way they treat me because of something like that. I feel like I get genuine empathy when they don't have a reason to give it.

And then I realised..!
Everyone loves themselves more than they love anyone else...
so if I want to be loved..
I have to be like them!
And it worked!





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