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Princessrolo

Old Friend, New Attitude.

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I have been friends with this guy since we were 19, so 11 years now. He is an on-line friend. We have never met, but we use to speak almost everyday so we were close and I knew him so well, or I thought I did.

I spent many an evening over the last few years talking to him about my depression, during bouts and afterwards and he always seemed understanding. I never felt like I went on about it too much, just in context to how I was at the time.

Anyway about 4 months ago I told him I was sick again and he got angry at me and said ' I just do not understand it. You are so pretty, you have a great BF, great friends, great family, you are well educated....WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO BE DEPRESSED ABOUT???'

His wife was pregnant at the time and I said well anyone can get depressed, and mentioned Postnatal depression as an example. He said to that, ' I have already told my wife I will **** her if she ever even thinks about harming our baby'

I just felt like he had never listened to me, all those times I told him about bad things from my past and how depression effects people, not just myself. I thought he knew that depression is an illness, irrespective of what you have or have not got.

I did not contact him again, and he had not contacted me either (His wife had the baby recently) To be honest I felt so upset about what he said that I had decided to let him go. I just felt that after 11 years it seemed he did not understand or know me at all, despite the hours we had talked to each other.

He emailed me about two weeks ago, apologising for not being in touch. Asking generally if I and my BF are well. Nothing about what was said previously. I have not replied yet. I am not sure I will. I am just so sick of peoples ignorance sometimes, especially those I expect more from!

Edited by Princessrolo

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Hi Princessrolo

I am sorry that after all these years your friend said those things to you. It seems such a change, as he listened to you and supported you so much. I wonder if it was not just the pressure of his wife being pregnant, although there is no excuse for him to say those ignorant things to you.

I think that it is good for your well being that you let him go.

Trace

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Hi Princessrolo,

I'm sorry that he hurt you. It is obvious now that he really didn't understand the depth of what you were sharing with him about your depression. Depression touches people from all walks of life regardless of the economic status. Well, you eyes were open and you saw the true him. Perhaps you should just go your own way. However it turns out make the best decision for you.

Lindahurt

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Thanks Trace & Lindahurt. I think I will write him an email back. I think we have been friends too long to let it slide without saying at least something about it. So I am going to explain how I think it was out of line what he said. If he apologises and we talk about it, fine. If not, that is fine also. I have had enough experience with people like that and I will not tolerate it. A true friend is someone who accepts you warts and all, luckily I do have a few of those. smile.gif

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I have heard that line so often from so many people who should know better. 'What have you got to be depressed about'

I hate that line with avengence.

It strikes the fear of God into me. I know in an instant that people I thought understood me, dont.

That line explains that people dont understand that depression is something very different to being very sad about something that has happened.

The problem is that so many people use the word 'depression' when they are simply feeling sad. They may feel the saddest they have ever felt, or they think could ever be possible, yet it still is not depression. But because people use it to mean that, people find it even harder to understand people who are actually depressed and not sad.

:sadwalk::censored:

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I hate that there is even a need for a category for Mental Illness and Stigma.

It is truly an illness. It's not just being sad because I got a flat tire today. Or because my girlfriend and I had a fight. Or because the *insert sports team name here*'s lost.

It's a pervasive illness coloring everything in our lives. It's brain chemistry gone haywire for whatever reason.

I try to make everyone I discuss this with understand those points. We can't just "look on the bright side"... sorry, it's all grey skies and dead trees, and it can't be helped. It's treatable in a lot of cases for those of us lucky enough to latch onto a good therapist and to find the right meds. But there are no ON/OFF switches or fuzzy puppies or trips to church that will "snap" us out of it. (Although fuzzy puppies are kinda fun... )

Fortunately, my employer gets it - he doesn't fully understand, but understands enough that I need help or time off sometimes. That trips to the shrink or therapist are key. And my boss is a pretty good friend... he has a stigma of his own, and I can easily see past it.

Best wishes, princess - megahugs. Keep battering away and that wall just might come down!

:console:

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What have I got to be depressed about....hmm

The fact that my Brain likes to send my emoitions on wild roller coaster rides at the worst possible moment?

The fact that I have an illness and need support, but know that because of ignorant people who refuse to understand this illness, I have to be quiet about it?

And the big one...that sometimes my head wants me to lay down and never get back up...

yeah, right, nothing to be depressed about

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What have I got to be depressed about....hmm

The fact that my Brain likes to send my emoitions on wild roller coaster rides at the worst possible moment?

The fact that I have an illness and need support, but know that because of ignorant people who refuse to understand this illness, I have to be quiet about it?

And the big one...that sometimes my head wants me to lay down and never get back up...

yeah, right, nothing to be depressed about

Depression is an illness that has to be treated like everything else, be it physical or mental. Its unfortunate that some people choose to remain ignorant instead of embracing it as a disease and supporting those who suffer. It is also unfortunate that you have to use discretion and silence because of this stigma. We at DF understand your struggles and are here to support you.

Lindahurt

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I'm going to go in the opposite direction and say it's not people's fault that they don't understand depression. If you don't have depression it's impossible to know what it's like. It's like explaining sight to the blind. No matter how hard someone tries, if they haven't been through it, then there's no way they can know what it's like.

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At the same time, if you tell someone you have arhritis, or cancer they never look at you the way people will when they hear depression!!

And they havn't had cancer, arthritis, they simply accept that it's something they CANT DO ANYTHING ABOUT!! even though all the evidence says they probably can!

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