Concerned about latching on to friends too hard
I am a 25 y/o female and was diagnosed with depression two days ago by my GP, though I suspect I've had it for a very long time now. So far my mother and my best girl friend have been supportive; Mum checks in regularly to see how I'm doing and to make sure I'm taking my meds, which I'm sure will get annoying after a while but for now it's appreciated, and my friend (we'll call her 'Beth') has been around to listen to me try to sort out my feelings about other things for the past few weeks (including the below). I also have a guy friend (I'll call him 'Drew') who has been good about spending time with me and distracting me when I need it.
My issue right now is this: I'm concerned that I may come to latch on to these two friends and depend too much on them. This is not without precedent. Though Beth doesn't actually know them, Drew knows my other friends. It was through him that I made friends with 'Jack' and 'Josh' a few years back.
Josh quickly became my best friend. We were incredibly close. So naturally, when things got hard, I turned to him. Quite unfairly, I put a lot of burdens on him. I wasn't even aware that I was doing it for a long time, just venting away my anxiety and general displeasure with my life.
Then he started to avoid me. At first he took his time responding when I would message him, or had excuses as to why he couldn't hang out 'right now', and it progressed to him flat-out not acknowledging me when we're in the same place, or even when participating in the same conversation! I realised what was going on and sort of sat on my displeasure for a few months, hoping that I was mistaken and he really was that busy, before an incident where he literally looked me in the face and turned his back had me exploding at our other friend Jack in a moment of frustration. Afterwards, I was ashamed of myself, apologised as best as I could, and finally just asked Josh point blank why he was avoiding me. Turns out I was simply too negative for him to be around.
I would be lying if I said I'm not still hurt over it. I was inconsolable for that night and the next day. Two days after the conversation, I managed to make my way to my GP. Two. Days.
So, here I am, best-friend-less, and afraid that the same thing will happen again with my other friends. I keep apologising for complaining at them, but I literally cannot process what's going on unless I talk to someone about it, and my first appointment with a psychologist isn't until next week.
Welcome to Beyond Blue forums. It's great to have you here as part of the community.
It sounds like a very upsetting time you've had with friends and balancing their help with friendship and keeping things relatively positive.
As you have said in your post, that really upset you to the point of being inconsolable for 2 days. Ouch 😞 I'm sorry that hurt so much.
Treating depression requires multiple angles of attack and also an outlet for you to talk about it, so it's fantastic you have an appointment with a psychologist and also realise that having people to talk to as being key to getting well too.
It can be really difficult with friends, as you've described. We really want them to be there and listen but it can also become a burden managing the friendships when they can't fulfil all the roles that you need to get well. So... Welcome to Beyond Blue. A place you can tell us how you're feeling and most of us will have had similar experiences or at least be able to relate to the struggle.
Perhaps until you see the psychologist you'd like to use the forums here to express some emotions and remove the burden from friends who most likely love you to bits but simply can't understand. It's really difficult to understand depression unless you've felt what it's like. "Feeling sad" just doesn't describe it very well.
Please, again, feel free to tell us more about yourself and how you're feeling, maybe introduce yourself in the welcome forum, stop by the BB Cafe for a chat about anything you like or ask questions.
We're all here to help and seek help and we all have diverse but similar stories.
Take care KellyB, hope to chat soon.
So sad to read how unhappy you have been. Depression is a beast that has this dreadful affect on us. The Black Dog. So welcome to Beyond Blue where you can talk about anything you like.
I understand about not wanting to burden your friends with your depression. Most of us feel the same and stop talking to anyone, which is just as bad. We all need to talk about the things that bother us and generally our friends understand. But as Paul has said, unless you have had depression it is difficult to fully understand what it is and how it affects you.
So, to start with I suggest you rummage around this site and read the information available on depression. Go to the top of the page and explore the first three tabs. Get Support, The Facts, Who Does It Affect. You will find heaps of stuff. Get some of it sent to you or download it to your computer. There is information for families and friends which can be sent to you and given to various family member and friends to help them understand depression and how best to help you.
Be upfront with your friends about your need to talk. Ask if it is OK to to talk about your depression. Give them some information to read if they would like this. Tell them how you feel, briefly, and ask them to let you know when they want to change the topic. If you give them permission to tell you they need a rest and you respect that, then I believe you will all get on OK. It really is hard to listen to someone saying how unhappy they are, especially when you care for that person. So be aware of how much you say and be ready to pick up on the signals that mean they are getting tired.
You will be seeing your psychologist soon and that will be a great help. It will take a couple of sessions to become comfortable with this person, to get get to know him/her. Be guided by the psych in talking.
It's great that your mom is able to check in or up on you. You will both relax a little in a while. Taking your medication is important but I'm sure your GP has told you that. Having your mom as backup will be a big support for you.
You said "I'm concerned that I may come to latch on to these two friends and depend too much on them." I used to worry about this also. And I stopped talking to many people because of this. Keep talking, just be aware. Also think about their needs. Ask about them in the way you would normally. Discuss your GF latest date if that's what you would do. It is as good for you to talk about other topics as to talk about your depression. Keep a balance.
Write in often.