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Confiding in friends and intimate partners when you're feeling depressed

Community Member

Hi everyone,

Firstly, apologies if this thread already exists. I was unable to find one that discussed this specific issue.

I wanted to get your advice on confiding in your peers when you're feeling depressed. I'm sure most would agree that it is healthy to discuss mental health issues with friends, family, and partners in most circumstances. However, I have a history of being overbearing when discussing my mental health problems with people, and I don't want to burden them with my issues. I've gotten better in recent years, but a history of poor communication tends to stop me from seeking help when I'm in a dark place. Personally, I find it more comforting to talk things out with people closest to me as opposed to a therapist because it creates a dialogue where they can share how they're feeling too and it just feels much more organic.

What are your thoughts? Should I just see a therapist instead? Tips on communicating this stuff to the people closest to you?

Keen to hear from you all.

2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome.

even if there was a similar thread, this is your story so you can start a new topic.

Regarding your question...

1. You can see a therapist if you think that would help you. This is not something that someone else can tell you what to do. I mean, if I said NO and you wanted to go? And vice versa.

These are my tips and purely subjective re communication...

2.1 It depends on how it comes up in conversation. If somebody asks how you are doing, you can reply with "depends on which answer you want?" I found that can sometimes stop a person to make them think. I found most ask for the real answer".

2.2 sometimes people can see you are down and might ask if you are ok. Take that as a opportunity to talk about it.

2.3 if you are able to talk about it, tell them if it is too hard for them to hear to let you know. For example, when I was having some nightmares my mum did not want to know the details. Very few people know about these in my circle. Sort of self censuring.

Lastly we each have our own way of talking about things. You mentioned it is easier to talk to those closest to you. I prefer the therapist because I can go all over the place and get help in the things that matter. Does not make one way right or wrong... Just is.

For myself, the one thing I can get from my psychologist vs friends are tools to help me in the future. Like reframing thoughts. Or ways of dealing with negative situations. But this is only my experience.

Hope some of this helps.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Themeda, thanks and a warm welcome to the site.

You ask a good question and yes it might be better to talk with a close friend as this may feel more comfortable but there could be several issues arising out of this, the discussion may then concentrate on trying to help the other person rather than yourself and taken out of proportion and secondly, we know and have heard many times that friends tend to disappear if they give you advice and you don't heed to what they say or disregard it, so they decide to not be available for you to contact them.

Friends don't want to hear about someone's depression or any other type of mental illness continuously, especially if they don't have any problems themselves, whereas if you talk with a therapist, that's their job to help people with these problems and will remember what has been said or even take notes.

If you have been hiding how you feel then talking with a friend won't achieve much, because all they will say is 'you seem ok to me' and won't investigate the issues you're trying to tell them.

You could write down notes and make some copies, then discuss each point with the therapist, just remember talking about one problem doesn't automatically stop that concern there could be trigger points that need to be discussed.

Take care.