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How to deal with people who totally DO NOT understand depression? Watch

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    I'm having a particularly difficult time at the moment, topped off by a recent bereavement. I'm just wondering how other people have coped with friends texting things like "chin up" , "why don't you just come out?- you'll feel so much better" , "you're not helping yourself by staying in" and "you'll soon feel much better once spring's here!".

    Sorry to say, some of these kind of texts have made me furious (especially when they're from people with psychology degrees!). I've raged inside and then politely texted back wishing I could somehow get them to understand😰
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    1) Try to explain how you feel to them. That is what I have done. If this has not worked then...
    2) Cut them out.

    I don't have time to deal with people who think I'm lying or attention seeking. Especially when it comes to mental health.
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    Firstly don't direct your bad feelings towards them. Everyone deals with depression differently, some people just need leaving alone to come to terms with it, some people do need attention and support from others. So these friends are both battling not understanding depression, and also not understand what your coping mechanisms are for it.

    They can only know them if you let them know. So for both their sake and your own, remember these people clearly care and are trying their best to be there for you even if they aren't providing you with what you actually need. Getting furious with people with good intentions is neither fair on them, nor good for you once you come out of the other side of this and find you've driven everyone away.

    So if you genuinely don't want the attention or support, still thank them for offering it, and just say this is a battle I need to fight alone, talking about it or trying to distract myself from it doesn't help, tell them it's good to know they are there for you if you need them, and that you will let them know if there's anything you need.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm having a particularly difficult time at the moment, topped off by a recent bereavement. I'm just wondering how other people have coped with friends texting things like "chin up" , "why don't you just come out?- you'll feel so much better" , "you're not helping yourself by staying in" and "you'll soon feel much better once spring's here!".

    Sorry to say, some of these kind of texts have made me furious (especially when they're from people with psychology degrees!). I've raged inside and then politely texted back wishing I could somehow get them to understand😰
    Unfortunately a lot of people do not understand depression. To be fair it is pretty difficult to understand without experiencing it yourself, but it is at least possible to come close if you educate yourself. It took some of my friends a little while to understand how I was feeling, but they were still supportive. There were some who just weren't healthy for me though. They either didn't understand and weren't willing to try or were too focused on themselves to even care. Those are the types of people where you should just cut your losses and move on. It doesn't matter why they aren't healthy for you or if it's their fault- you need to look out for yourself.

    Anyway, that's just some people, so do give your friends a chance first.
    It sounds like your friends are trying to be supportive, but just don't know what to say. Mind.org has some decent info and you could also have a look for some videos on youtube that cover it well. It might also help if you open up a bit with them and give them a bit more detail to work with.
    You could also try being honest with them and telling them that what they are saying doesn't help. Sometimes it can be best to be silently supportive if you don't always know what to say.

    One thing you do need to be careful about though is not having high expectations. There's only so much friends can do. I'm not saying they shouldn't be supportive, and i'm certinally not saying that "chin up" is helpful- I know it isn't. Just make sure you're not somehow expecting them to be that TV magic friend who fixes everything. I only say it cos I think I expected a bit too much of some friends so I know it's possible.

    I hope that helps a bit. And I hope you feel better soon.
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    I've had the same thing recently.

    One of my best friends (whom I never expected this sort of thing of) has been really unsympathetic about how I'm feeling, and though I know she's trying her best isn't being helpful in the slightest. I know it's partly my fault for being a bit reserved and not talking to her much, but when I'm not interested in what she's saying about something she went to and I wasn't invited to, and I receive the blunt and uncompassionate message "are you still depressed or what", it doesn't make me want to elaborate.

    I have tried to explain it to her, and I've done so lengthily but its so painful to, and she still doesn't seem to believe me or understand anything. Her way of "comforting" and "supporting" me is telling me about how much worse her situation is and how if I can't cope with my life, then I "would die if [I] were in [her] place." What's worse is that she acts like she knows everything about it, having done a short psychology course, when she so obviously has no idea. She says she knows how I feel, and then when I explain that it's worse than she knows and that I believe I might be seriously depressed she denies this and goes on to explain how a "real" depressed person would be. She explains at me things like "lack of motivation for simple tasks", "not taking pleasure in things you once enjoyed", "self-criticism", etc. which she obviously lifted straight off of a webpage and which (get this) I am experiencing. She just hasn't believed me. When I really opened up she lectured me like a child, saying "you should see a psychiatrist," "get medication," "if you really do believe that you have the chemical inbalance in your brain that is depression" etc.

    I don't know what to do or how to tell her that the things she's saying make me feel like total ****. She's my only real friend and I don't want to lose her or drift apart because of this. I'm having a hard time at the moment and I thought at least she might offer some sympathy if I finally told her about everything (i.e. "I'm here for you" as opposed to "stop overreacting".

    Any help or support would me much appreciated
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    I'd say i've had a recent bereavement too, but it's actually been a year already.
    I've had friends text and always add 'how are you' at the end, but hell, it's too easy to lie and reply with 'i'm fine' at the end of my own texts.
    Truth is, i'm still not fine, even a year later.
    Don't let that become you, and tell people how you are feeling. Get it all out. Tell them what helps and what doesn't - they have no idea what you are feeling and we shouldn't really expect them to. Just be happy they're text it all I guess - theres many out there that are put off by the entire situation.
    Please DM if you'd like to talk
    Don't bottle it in - I know I did/have/am and it's done me no favours.

    Regarding your last message - this chick sounds like bad news. If she was truly your friend, she wouldn't be saying things like this. If it's a relationship you wish to salvage/keep going, then sit down and have a serious word with how you feel about her. How she isn't helping, how you're feeling, how what she says makes you feel.
    If your not entirely bothered as such about retaining the relationship, then get rid. She is only going to drag you down further, and it sounds as though you don't need any more of that.
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    I've suffered from depression for years and, after reaching somewhat of a breaking point, I decided to deal with my friends who were making similar comments and asking similar questions. I don't know if it will work for you, but what I did was type up letters to my closest friends (who were asking about my mood the most) explaining exactly how I felt and why their 'encouragement' didn't exactly help, although I appreciated their efforts to be supportive. I also explained what forms of support usually help when I'm at my lowest and asked for them to try and understand what I was going through. I then emailed them each those letters.

    Telling them exactly what is going on with me, while incredibly daunting at the time, sort of helped because now they understand what it means when I seem down or when I can't hang out with them and it actually cleared up a misunderstanding with one of my friends who thought I was purposefully pushing her away.

    You could try to do something similar because, sometimes, understanding EXACTLY what is going on and knowing EXACTLY what to do can help them be supportive in a more productive way.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've had the same thing recently.

    One of my best friends (whom I never expected this sort of thing of) has been really unsympathetic about how I'm feeling, and though I know she's trying her best isn't being helpful in the slightest. I know it's partly my fault for being a bit reserved and not talking to her much, but when I'm not interested in what she's saying about something she went to and I wasn't invited to, and I receive the blunt and uncompassionate message "are you still depressed or what", it doesn't make me want to elaborate.

    I have tried to explain it to her, and I've done so lengthily but its so painful to, and she still doesn't seem to believe me or understand anything. Her way of "comforting" and "supporting" me is telling me about how much worse her situation is and how if I can't cope with my life, then I "would die if [I] were in [her] place." What's worse is that she acts like she knows everything about it, having done a short psychology course, when she so obviously has no idea. She says she knows how I feel, and then when I explain that it's worse than she knows and that I believe I might be seriously depressed she denies this and goes on to explain how a "real" depressed person would be. She explains at me things like "lack of motivation for simple tasks", "not taking pleasure in things you once enjoyed", "self-criticism", etc. which she obviously lifted straight off of a webpage and which (get this) I am experiencing. She just hasn't believed me. When I really opened up she lectured me like a child, saying "you should see a psychiatrist," "get medication," "if you really do believe that you have the chemical inbalance in your brain that is depression" etc.

    I don't know what to do or how to tell her that the things she's saying make me feel like total ****. She's my only real friend and I don't want to lose her or drift apart because of this. I'm having a hard time at the moment and I thought at least she might offer some sympathy if I finally told her about everything (i.e. "I'm here for you" as opposed to "stop overreacting".

    Any help or support would me much appreciated
    She's not your friend. It's obviously really difficult to know how to support a friend with mental health problems but there's a difference between being misguided and being just plain nasty. Sounds like your friend almost resents the fact that you're ill, almost jealous of it in a weird way considering how much she's trying to turn it into a competition.

    You should see your GP and ask about counselling and meds, but you should also tell your friend that she's being unfair and that what she's saying isn't helpful.
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    Show the people sites such as mind /sane
    Other peoples insight on depression - here are support groups right for depression? If so, take them along of possible.
    Open up and talk.
    Don't expect too much from friends.
    If all else fails, it's affecting you, cut them out.
 
 
 
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