Depression and Friendships – how does it impact them?
Depression has a way of seeping into every aspect of our lives. Since the symptoms of depression include a lack of energy, a drain on your enthusiasm, there’s no wonder that depression can take quite a toll on not just us but also our relationships. In particular, depression can have a serious impact on our friendships.
1. We Blow Off Plans
We said yes to that dinner out, that BBQ, but when the big day arrived, we were in a bout of depression that made it impossible to pull ourselves together. Instead, we don’t show up, and let depression take over. We drift away from friends and connection.
2. We Snap and Say Hurtful Things
Depression often manifests by telling us cruel things about ourselves that aren’t true. It may tell us that we’re not worthwhile or that things would be easier if we just disappeared. When we are awash in these cruel thoughts, it makes sense that we would lash out at others.
The result is that we can say mean things to people we love, driving wedges in our friendships. These moments of snapping can cause hurt feelings. Even once we’re recovering, we can worry about reaching back out to these friends, not sure how to smooth things over. Isolation is not the way – connection is.
3. Depression Turns Us into a Hermit
If you’ve failed to appear to enough events, you might start feeling guilty and start turning them down, to begin with. If you find yourself RSVPing no to every Facebook invite and a wedding invitation for fear that you might be dealing with depression when the day arrives, you know how damaging depression can be to your friendships.
In some ways, we’re letting the past dictate the future. Because we’ve been depressed during previous events, we’re convinced that we will be depressed for future ones as well. The result is that we wall ourselves off from the people around us.
4. We Are Convinced People Don’t Like Us
We often focus on how depression causes us to act in ways that read as unfriendly to others, but we also must consider how depression filters other’s actions in our own minds. As this article about two friends working their way through one friend’s depression explains, depression can cause us to view the world through a distorted lens, and that extends to our friendships.
When we text someone and don’t immediately get a response, we tell ourselves that our friends must not like us—when the truth is that they were in a meeting and haven’t seen it yet. When we call and get voicemail, we tell ourselves that our friends are screening their calls and avoiding us—when the truth is that they were at work and couldn’t answer. We can convince ourselves that we don’t have friends even when we do. Depression lies to us, and those lies can leave us feeling angry, hurt, and alone.
Depression and Friendships – Find Support
Friendships are an incredibly important part of life, but depression can make them difficult to maintain and manage. You don’t have to figure out how to manage depression on your own. Real Life Counseling offers depression counseling, and we’re here for you to start managing your symptoms and re-building your friendships. Contact us today to get started.