I lost all my friends because of my mental health (ways to cope)

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Page last updated: 24/09/2022

I lost all my friends because of my mental health (ways to cope)

In this article, we will be discussing the statement: I lost all my friends because of my mental health. Individuals who suffer from any form of mental health condition find it difficult to socialize with people and keep their friendships steady and happy. They tend to slack off and severe ties or people close to them tend to keep their distance, owning to their condition, and disinterest in interactions.

In this article, we will be exploring how your mental health exerts an influence on your friendships and tips on how to keep your friendships intact while going through a mentally challenging phase, without affecting your friends. Finally, we will be answering some frequently asked questions about mental health and friendships. 

I lost all my friends because of my mental health

Meeting new people and developing friendships with people is one of the most valuable and important parts of our lives. It means a lot to have friends that are honest, true to themselves, and have the best intentions in their hearts for us. Friends are like the second family and they form the major crux of our interpersonal relationships. 

Friends play a crucial role in protecting your mental health. We need friends in times of difficulties and when we have nowhere else to go to talk about our problems and our concerns. They are the ones who listen to us without the barriers of judgments or unnecessary criticisms. They help us get along in life and make us believe in ourselves even when we don’t want to.  Some people often feel that no one can help them and that their lives are a mess.

However, mental health does affect friendships in a couple of ways. This is specifically applicable to those suffering from major forms of mental illness. It affects their ability to keep up with the coping demands and consequences of the illness that affects the quality of the friendship. Mental ill-health of a person affects their friendships in the following ways:

  • People with any form of severe mental illness find difficulty in socializing and keeping in touch with their friends. Hence, they have smaller social circles and networks, and their inner-most circle consists of very few supportive friends who are ready to keep up with them and understand their situation.
  • Individuals with smaller social circles end up having fewer intimate relationships and find it extremely hard to manage and blend in with social events and situations. 
  • Those who struggle with long-lasting mental health problems often develop relationships with other people who suffer from similar kinds of mental health issues and eventually, this leads to the relationship being toxic and unhealthy over time. This too, can strain friendships and cause chaos. 
  • Individuals who suffer from mental health problems constantly face the fear of rejection and anticipate the consequences of opening up to their friends about their most daunting issues and experiences. This is mainly because of the stigma associated with mental health and its relevance. In such instances, people who suffer from mental health issues avoid social situations as a form of self-stigma and self-sabotaging. 
I lost all my friends because of my mental health (ways to cope)

Transitions in friendships

Friendships are transitory and some friendships fade away faster than others. Some are short-lived deliberately and some of them last forever. It depends on the people involved and their perspectives. You are an active partner in your friendships and it is important to differentiate between good and bad friendships. You should muster the courage to end those friendships that are detrimental to your mental health and you also have the power to negotiate and bring about changes in your friendships, according to the needs.

In case one of your friends no longer responds to your calls or messages, it is normal to feel rejected and hurt. However, you have choices that can be made in such situations. You can either communicate with your friend and sort out any kind of underlying issues or you may respectfully walk away from the friendship. You will surely find people who are ready to invest their time and energy in you, as life goes on. 

If you have a friend who is struggling with their mental health, try your best to be empathetic and understand what exactly they are going through and make them behave in certain ways. Isten to them wholeheartedly and see things from their perspective before you come to conclusions or judge them harshly. 

Ways to deal with the grief of losing friends

Focus on your strengths and raise your inner voice

Speaking up boldly and advocating for your rights is very important during times of struggle. It helps for your personal recovery and to confide in yourself, every time you falter or lose support from other sources. If a friend says or does something that hurts you, speak up kindly and let them now that you are hurt and need to be validated for the same. 

Look out for closure and acceptance

Gradually and consciously learn to let go people and situations that does not serve you or understand you in any manner. Wish them well and move away from them. Find closure in anyway you can and identify the factors that were holding you back from enjoying life as it is. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the topic: i lost all my friends because of my mental health. We explored how mental health illnesses and other related issues affect one’s social life and friendships in particular, transitions in friendships, and ways to deal with ending of friendships due to your mental health. 

FAQs: I lost all my friends because of my mental health

How do I get over losing a friend?

Losing a friend is painful and mentally challenging for the person who has to endure the loss. It is as heartbreaking as losing a romantic partner and mostly, takes more time to heal than a romantic relationship breakup. Below given are some ways you could consider coping with the loss of a friend.

The first and foremost step is acknowledgment. It is very important to completely go through the grieving period for an acknowledgment to manifest. When you go through the grieving period, without ignoring your hurt feelings, it helps you to mentally unburden your emotional baggage and move forward towards acceptance and acknowledgment of the situation.
Understand and practice the value of self-care in abundance. Give yourself enough compassion, time, and intrinsic strength to heal and learn to be there for yourself in times of crisis. Give priority to your needs and observe how you respond to situations and people. 
Try to keep away from rumination and dwelling at all costs.  Focus on the present moment and be aware of all times when you get lost in a loop of thoughts.
Exercise regularly. Start from a slow pace initially and then gradually increase the intensity and time as per your body needs and health condition.
Avoid interacting with a lot of people at the same time and try to talk about your problems with one person whom you genuinely trust and feels comfortable with. Let out your feelings and concerns to that one person.
You can try joining support groups or clubs which include people who have gone through something similar and share your experiences and thoughts with them. This will help you feel heard, accepted, and will help you in healing from your wounds, slowly.
Seek professional help from a therapist or a counselor, if required. 

Can someone affect your mental health?

Supporting or being there for someone who is going through a mentally challenging struggle, can be exhausting and will affect your mental health to an extent as well. Though you might have good intentions of caring and being there for them, it will, at times, get frustrating and upsetting to handle. Look out for the following signs, if you feel your mental health is deteriorating:

Stress and worry: you will inevitably become stressed and worried when you are involved in the process of looking after someone who’s struggling with any aspect of their health. It will tire you out and make you unwell as time lapses. 
Anxiety: anxiety is a common issue for those people who have to take care of people going through a mental struggle. They experience constant anxiety for the people they care for and over time it starts becoming overwhelming. 
No time for yourself: when you are looking out for someone else, you probably won’t find time to look after yourself and your needs. This will lead to physical and mental exhaustion over time. 
Isolation and loneliness: when you are preoccupied with other’s problems and struggles, gradually you will find it difficult to connect with people and enjoy yourself more often. You might feel as if you are not being understood and not being cared for. 
Financial worries: sometimes, depleting finance can also be problematic and can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress. 

How does it feel to lose a friend?

Losing a friend is a terrible and overwhelming situation. It causes an immense amount of hurt and in most cases, it gives rise to feelings of shock and denial, in most people.

It takes a lot of time to be processed and affects you in every way possible. It is a traumatic experience that cannot be defined by words. You miss your friend immensely and though you might try to view the situation rationally and logically, it will be difficult in the initial phase to override your emotions and think reasonably. 
There might also be emotions of guilt, anger, and a lot of questions that might emerge during this period. It takes lots of time and compassion from oneself to get through such a period and get back to the normal state. 

How can I be a better friend?

Communicate honestly with your friends. Say what you genuinely feel and express differences of opinions, if any, with compassion and kindness. Try to understand the perspective of the other person as well as be sensitive to their feelings and emotional state. Learn to trust your friends wholeheartedly. Leap of faith and set an example for others by being a  trustworthy friend. 

Show up for your good friends in times of need. Be there for them when they need you and make only those promises that you can keep. Understand that we are all humans with flaws and accept your friends for who they are without judging or intending to sideline them. Try to be as empathetic as possible and be willing to put yourself in your friend’s place and do not make attempts to force your friends to accept your viewpoints and perspectives in all matters. 

Always be there to celebrate your friend and their achievements in life as you move forward in life. Cheer for them and motivate them to pursue their goals and aspirations as much as possible. 

References

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201801/ten-ways-become-better-friend

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/f/friendship-and-mental-health