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Forums / Depression / Unsupportive friends making me feel much worse

Topic: Unsupportive friends making me feel much worse

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. Lillianj
    Lillianj avatar
    5 posts
    23 October 2021

    Has anyone ever been extremely disappointed by lack of support from people they had considered friends?

    Realising how selfish my friends are and how unsupported I really am has left me feeling so much worse.

    On the odd occasion I work up the courage or energy to put something out there to someone I consider(ed) to have my back I get almost nothing in reply. And a very delayed reply. Like they can't be bothered. And this is someone I normally talk to every day.

    In what might be an even more disappointing revelation, a friend that in the past I have gone to great effort to support through trauma (flying out of the country, moving her into my house, organising her various therapy and medical appointments over weeks and months) told me she was there for me and then simply didn't reply again. Meanwhile I believe she is now surrounded by friends and I am here alone in what is the worst period of depression I've ever been through.

    Just putting this out there in case anyone can relate or ... anything.

    Thanks for reading

    1 person found this helpful
  2. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    14715 posts
    23 October 2021 in reply to Lillianj

    Welcome to the forum.

    I can relate to being their fir friends and bring supportive then when you need help they are silent.

    Maybe they see you as being confident or they are not sure what to say.

    It is disappointing when you need help and the people who you thought would support you don't.

    I have found sometimes people who you didn't expect to offer support.

    Thanks for your first post.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    16471 posts
    24 October 2021 in reply to Lillianj

    Hello Lillianj, and a warm welcome to the site.

    It is always so disappointing when we have helped friends whenever they have called upon us for our help, but in return, they don't return the favour, and I've found out that whatever they may say to us, hoping this would rectify any problem, doesn't actually improve the situation we're caught up in, and with any type of depression, they decide to leave us alone, simply because they're unable to help us.

    What may happen is that they want to maintain their friendship with other friends to try and help them get over this awkward moment, but instead upsets how you are feeling.

    Some of these 'friends' may decide to slowly come back to you, but your relationship has altered and may not be the same as it previously was, that's a choice whether or not you want this to happen.

    Your main decision now is to concentrate on the help that's available and would really like to hear back from you.


    1 person found this helpful
  4. Lillianj
    Lillianj avatar
    5 posts
    24 October 2021

    Thank you quirkywords and Geoff for your replies.

    Being let down by people just magnifies things. Just when you need to know you're not alone the opposite is revealed.

    My psychologist tells me how important it is to do social things but when it's superficial like that it just feels fake and a bit tormenting.

    I have been considering checking myself in to hospital at the suggestion of my psychiatrist but that's all a new prospect to me and I don't know where would be the best place to go or what to tell my boss. I don't know why I've ended up this bad after years of managing my depression reasonably well. My partner seems lost too. He asks me if I'm ok and I say no and that's kind of the end of the conversation. He doesn't even understand the purpose of going to hospital. And I am too exhausted to try and explain and organise everything by myself so I just keep hoping I'll wake up better.

    Thanks again for listening

  5. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    2137 posts
    24 October 2021 in reply to Lillianj

    Hi Lillianj,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    Sorry you are feeling this way.

    There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t jump puddles for you.

    I’m sorry you are going through depression I understand that would be difficult.

    Im sure your people are out there the ones who deserve your kindness and giving these people will give you back the same ❤️

    2 people found this helpful
  6. DRG003
    DRG003 avatar
    1 posts
    24 October 2021 in reply to Lillianj

    Hi Lillianj

    It really really sucks to hear that. I don't know what to say that will make you feel better. I know that if we were friends I'd just sit next to you and stay silent and listen.

    Im sorry to hear the people you know treated you in such a way. In my experience, most people don't know how to deal with depression. They get scared and try to change the subject or just run away.

    But what's interesting is that for years, I said to myself that people are just selfish. Or people don't care. Or people just hate me. Etc... When I finally opened up to one friend who took me seriously, she said "Okay. What can I do?". Now I think I got super lucky, but still, all it takes is one good friend to hear you out.

    AAnother thing I've learned is that feeling lonely, feeling like nobody cares is part of the disease itself. So even if the friends you have now don't care, it doesn't necessarily mean everybody doesn't. Clearly people who've suffered like you, the people on this forum, me... We genuinely care because we all know pain. And it's horrible. And we don't wish that upon anyone.

    But it is very possible that it'll take a lot of effort and searching to find good friends. And particularly ones that want to help with mental illness; it's scary for them; they don't want to peak behind the big red curtain called sanity that hides the mad reality of our world...

    AAnyway, the only comfort I can offer you is that me, a 33 years old guy, who's suffered with depression for at least 15 years, genuinely cares that you are in pain. Even though we've never met, I still feel sad and heartbroken for you. You're not alone Lillianj.

    if this will help, but here's how I've learned to deal with times when I either had no friends who are willing to help me out (which has been most of the time) :

    1. Most people, including psychologists, simply don't get depression. They either get scared and run away or they just don't know what to do.


    1 person found this helpful
  7. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2826 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to Lillianj

    Hi Lillianj

    I feel for you so deeply as you question so much, including 'Where has everyone gone when I really need them?'.

    Based on what you say, I imagine you to be a natural when it comes to raising people. Would you say there are not many who are naturals like you, when it comes to raising people? Maybe they don't know how to raise others, maybe they're a bit careless or thoughtless, maybe they're more focused on their own challenges or maybe there are other things going on. No matter what, the question remains 'Who's raising the raiser of others?' Not unusual for for a raiser of others to be left thinking 'Hang on, I'm feeling pretty ripped off here and kind of exhausted at the same time!' Can take a heck of a lot of energy to raise other people at times. This presents another revelation or question, 'Where's all my energy gone?'

    As I say, you could be a natural. Would you say you're naturally an open minded compassionate person who really feels for others? I'll elaborate. If you're open minded and compassionate, what may come to your open mind is 'You can't let this person suffer. You need to take them in so as to support and guide them through these challenges they face'. So, once that pops in, there's your plan - you take them in, support them and guide them. If you feel for others, you'll get a feel for where they're at. If they're really down, you'll feel it. If they're confused or lost, you'll feel it. If they're highly stressed, you may feel their stress. While there's an up side to having an open mind and an ability to feel or sense so much (being super sensitive), there's also a challenging side. If you open your mind to wondering where everyone's gone in your life, being led to question what's questionable, you may feel a sense of desertion.

    If you feel the need to put it out there, in some form, 'Why do you all appear to be so careless?!' perhaps the question is...should you stop yourself from openly asking or should you just go ahead and ask, waking people up to how much you need them?

    If you're a highly sensitive person, you'll be able to sense yourself in a potentially depressing challenge. The question is 'What's the challenge?'. Could it involve waking up to people or not letting others drain you so much? Could it even involve speaking up or letting go of something? Are you getting a sense of waking up to the deep need to make some mind altering life changing progress?

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Lillianj
    Lillianj avatar
    5 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to DRG003

    Hi DRG003

    Thank you so much for your post. It's comforting to know there are people like you out there that are kind enough to take the time to write and that know how it feels. I think part of your post was cut off?

  9. Lillianj
    Lillianj avatar
    5 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to therising

    @therising thank you for such a thoughtful response and taking the time to write.

    I've not considered whether or not I'm a natural at raising as you put it. I know that when others are in mental pain I will automatically try to help. I wonder if I'm any good at it... there's another question. But empathy I do have.

    As for making changes, well I have already moved further away from those who aren't really there or I can't connect with anymore and sadly this has lead to fewer friends. Some people are surrounded by lifelong friends (thank you social media) and realising I'm not one of those people is sad.

    What I find more and more is that the people looking out for me are male friends and my girlfriends are really absent. I've been trying to figure out why this is; do I not have much in common with other women anymore, perhaps. Again, not very uplifting thoughts but ... reality. I feel like I don't know who I am or who I am to others. I have a partner and I'm not sure who I am to him even. I'll probably never know as communication isn't really a strong point.

    I used to identify strongly with my work but now I can't concentrate and I'm looking at extended leave to go to hospital for the first time. I'm worried I'll end up with no job and no identity, might even end up single... who knows. :/

    1 person found this helpful
  10. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2826 posts
    26 October 2021 in reply to Lillianj

    Hi Lillianj

    I've found, over the years, when a solid sense of identity falls away it can be like some sort of quest begins, to 'find your self'. Being a 51yo gal, I suppose I've had time to find a handful of people who continue to help me through significant questions that can come with such a mind altering quest. I spent the end of my teens through to my mind 30s in depression, trying to find a lot of the answers or a sense of identity largely on my own. With many of the wrong answers, found through the perspective of depression and a lack of guidance, it kind of felt like a lonely journey through hell at times.

    I believe, finding the right people is key. They're kind of like the people who hold the light for you when you feel lost, the people who offer enlightenment/revelations which offers you insight into who you truly are, the kind of people who may have the ability to feel as deeply as you feel (the sensitive ones). It doesn't matter what gender, how old they are, what form they come in. Whether they come in the form of a child, with sage-like qualities, or they come in the form of a friend, a counselor or even a stranger, what makes a difference is the ability to recognise them. If someone had said to me 20 years ago 'One of the people who'll make the greatest difference to you in life is a highly intuitive sensitive man who's more a soulful guide than anything else', I would have told them they're crazy. I could never imagine such a thing but eventually we crossed paths and he remains one of my most significant 'go to' people to this day.

    Discovering who you are not is just as important as discovering who you are. To a degree, I know who I am not. I'm wondering if you can relate to any of the following. I am not someone who can do the hard yards in life without constructive mind altering guidance. I'm not someone who chooses friends and guides based on gender or appearance. I'm not someone who can do COVID lockdowns easily (here in Melbourne). I'm not one who can ignore or suppress my feelings, for I am someone who looks to analyse them and gain a better sense of self and direction through them. I'm not someone who can simply ignore the grief that can come about through having to let go of things that no longer serve me. I feel it in the process of letting go. In some cases, I am not what I've been led to believe, that sense of self created through the beliefs and opinions of others. I am not a lot of things which, in turn, points to who I am :)

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Lost in space.
    Lost in space. avatar
    3 posts
    29 October 2021

    Hi. I am not qualified to tell you about your friends / friendships but can tell you about mine.
    Since young i never made friends easily. Always the odd one out. So as i grew up I learnt that the best friend in the world was me. If i could not rely on myself it is a bit hard for someone else to rely on me.
    Letting oneself down is surely normal?Overcoming life's problems a challenge for all.
    So once i found myself i had a profile to offer. I sought people with qualities and values which I myself stood for. So over the years built up a handful of solid friends.
    I am quite happy alone. To many friends? Yes, i prefer quality over quantity.

    So when meeting people look for those that complement your values. See if you can build from there. Best wishes.

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