In the following article we will discuss how to cope if you are losing friends because of depression. You will also get to understand why you may be losing friends thus getting to help yourself with reconnecting and socializing.
Losing friends because of depression?
Friendships are not static associations. We all lose and make friends all through the course of our lives. If you think, you are losing friends because of your mental health. Come on! Don’t you think you made a big mistake calling them friends?
They should have been your biggest support system. They should have helped you out from your days of pain and misery. They should have taken you to a mental health professional and stood by your side instead of leaving you alone.
You may think that you are losing friends because of your mental illness. But, it may not be the truth. Maybe they were never your real friends.
When you realize that you cannot maintain friendship because of your mental health, try to focus upon the root of the problem.
If your friend is going through a tough time with clinical depression, here are some of the best gifts you can give them:
Here are some ways to cope with the problem as explained:
What to do when you cannot keep friends because of depression?
If you are unable to maintain friendships because of your mental health, do not worry.
Mental illness is not a choice nor a luxury. It is very normal for you to isolate yourself and not feel like getting exposed to society when you are suffering from depression. You might behave unpredictably with your close ones, talk rudely with them or do not talk at all. You might also feel like not attending parties,fairs, concerts,picnics or hangouts with your buddies.
To cope with problems related to maintaining a social group, it is very important to follow the 7 easy way-outs as discussed below:
- Focus on who you have and not on who you don’t
In our daily lives we all have tendencies to focus on the negatives over the positives. For example, your perception about a robber is always bad even if they are doing it for feeding their hungry family.
When your friends are becoming disgusted with your unpredictable behaviour and leaving you alone, sit back and think, they are not the only ones you got in your life. You have your parents, your cousins, your family and you yourself. Rather than focusing on who left you, spend more time and energy with those who are sticking to you and helping you in this situation of turmoil.
Talk to your parents about how your friends left you and tell them how you feel. Share your feelings and you will see how precious they are for you or maybe tell your partner a big “thankyou” for not leaving you even after dealing with your fluctuating mood on a daily basis.
- Sometimes letting go is the best solution
Not only people who suffer from depression, but also those who don’t and are perfectly mentally fine, lose friends and social support. It is a very common and natural phenomenon that people come and leave the path of your life. Nobody is permanent, nobody is static.
Do not blame yourself or your mental health for losing out on friends.At times we have to learn to let go.
The word “let go” may sound easy, but I know how difficult it is to actually move on with this pain. A few techniques to move on with friendship breakups are listed below that might help you out:
- Accept the fact everything happens for a reason – Friendship is the most pure relationship among all. True friends do not avoid and leave you when in trouble, rather they help you out from your dull world. It is very important if you accept that they left you because they were never your friends.
- Try to avoid looking at old memories with that friend/friends – The most vital thing that helps you move on is to avoid letting the memories come and hinder your consciousness.In psychology it is also known as to avoid rumination. You should not sit all day and night with chats you had with them nor stalk them on social media to know what they are doing.
- Write down all the negativities – To release your negativity you can use a piece of paper and a pen to write down all your anger,hurt and guilt.Don’t forget to dump the piece of paper out in your backyard.
- Forgive and forget – Lastly,what you can try is to forgive them and carry on with your life in the hope of getting better friends in your future.
- Practise introspection and self care
To deal with depression as well as the loss of friends, you should start with basic techniques of nurturing mental peace and tranquility.
The first thing that you can do is introspect, that is to understand the inner you. Asking questions like why and how to will make you understand a situation from a broader perspective. Introspection will also help you become much more aware thus you can take control over your actions and behaviors.
The term introspection is also used to describe a research technique that was first developed by psychologist Wilhelm Wundt(also known as experimental self-observation). According to him benefits of introspection includes:
- Gaining personal knowledge
- Being aware of you own thoughts, experiences and actions
At home you can introspect by practising mindfulness through meditation, writing or talking to yourself .
Self care is a very important aspect too. In this busy world, people believe self care is a luxury. But to take care of your own self is the most fundamental element of human needs.
Self care like doing exercise, eating healthy, going out for shopping, getting a haircut, cooking something for yourself are external sources of care. The mind should be internally taken care of too. Self care also includes taking care of yourself, internally.
Such as introspection; introspection can give you peace for a long span of time and with regular practise, you will become a better person thus getting over your illness and pain of loss of friends.
- Reframe and restructure :
In psychology, understanding and applying the concepts of theory of mind is really necessary. The theory of mind talks about the ability to take another’s perspective. When looking at a situation, if you try to comprehend other people’s perspectives, it becomes very easy for you to relate to why they behaved a certain way. If your friend didn’t text you back for a few days, do not let your mind get stuck in some conclusion that you formed just with assumptions. Try to find another perspective like, “maybe she is having a bad time” or “maybe she is sick” and something like these.
Reframing and restructuring your perceptions based on broadening of perspectives will help you gain peace with yourself.
For example, if your friend is not talking to you, don’t conclude on ideas like “ maybe she finds me boring” or “ maybe she thinks I am rude” etc. Rather, try to interpret the situation like, “maybe she is a person who talks less”, “ maybe I should talk to her to know what’s going on” and so on and so forth.
Use catharsis to soothe yourself
What is emotional catharsis?
It is a way of liberating your emotions in their raw form. Catharsis will help you get over the pain and move on easily.
The most useful way to shed your painful emotions out is to cry. Crying will help you do away with the loss you experienced.
You can channelize the negative energy through positive tasks like singing, painting,cycling,running or any task that you like doing.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Do not think you are weak
Depression is not your weakness. It is something, when fought off, would make you very powerful and provide you with great mental strength. So look forward to fighting it off rather than thinking you are weak.
Loss of friends in the course of life is natural. You lose friends and you get better ones.Try to understand why and how your friends lost interest in you. If you were at fault, make sure you address the root of the problem. If they were at fault, talk to them and make them understand what a person goes through when depressed. If they do not understand and come forward to help you, get help all by yourself. Remember, you are not weak.
Get help:Talk to someone
If you ever feel that your daily life is getting hampered in a drastic way because of your mental condition, you should take professional help as soon as possible. Do not wait for anyone to come and help you; help yourself. These are some websites and organizations who would provide you with help.
From the above article, we discussed how to cope if you are losing friends because of depression. You also got to understand why you may be losing friends thus getting to know how to help yourself with reconnecting and socializing.
FAQs: Losing friends because of depression?
What do you do if your friend is mentally unstable?
These are some ways to approach :
Tell them that you are concerned about them.
Offer support : Talk to them
Dont force : If they are not ready to open up, be patient with them.
What are the signs of a person losing their mind?
Symptoms of a nervous breakdown :
depressive symptoms, such as loss of hope and thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
anxiety with high blood pressure, tense muscles, clammy hands, dizziness, upset stomach, and trembling or shaking.
extreme mood swings or unexplained outbursts.
Can a relationship survive mental illness?
Yes absolutely. It is possible to be in a healthy, loving, and long-term relationship with someone who has mental illness. Two partners should be understanding enough to help either any one or each other with their mental condition.
What are the main warning of mental illness?
The five main warning signs of mental illness are as follows:
Excessive paranoia, worry, or anxiety.
Long-lasting sadness or irritability.
Extreme changes in moods.
Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping pattern.
What is a psychotic break?
Psychotic break is the emergence of psychotic symptoms in a person for the first time or after a period of remission. Some of the symptoms include:
sleeping too much or not enough
withdrawal from family and friends
disorganized speech, such as switching topics erratically
suicidal thoughts or actions
What are some types of mental disorders?
Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias.
Depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders.
Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.