Why do I push people away? (+5 coping tips)

This article will explain why when someone is dealing with depression they tend to push others away. Along with that, the article will show how they can prevent themselves from doing that, and what their support network can do to keep them closer.

Why does depression make me push people away? 

Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marr... x
Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

Depression affects your life in many ways. One of the biggest ways is that it causes you to withdraw from people’s contact. Although that is not always a conscious movement, people should be aware as to not alienate everyone in their surroundings.

This is a confusing time for you and your support network. They might be trying to help you, but don’t understand why it seems so hard for you to let them. These are a few reasons why this might be happening:

You think people don’t want you near 

When you are depressed you have such a negative view of yourself that it seems impossible to believe that people would want to be close to you. You feel so down, that you don’t want to be around people and put them down as well. You also tell yourself people are only asking to join them in events to be nice. 

It is hard to focus 

People with depression tend to have a hard time focusing on things. That makes it harder to follow a conversation, causing you to become anxious, and scared of looking silly or rude. For that not to happen, it can be easier to just not be part of the conversation, so you tend to shut yourself out.

You don’t have the energy 

Lack of energy is a common symptom of depression, and although people can think you are lazy, you can sometimes have trouble even getting out of bed. Because of that sometimes it might be hard to join your friends, and doing anything can be too much effort. With that, it might just seem easier to retreat to your safe space.

You get irritated easily 

People with depression have a low tolerance for things, this is because they are already so overwhelmed with depression, that there is little left to tolerate people. This causes you to lash out easily, which can also make you feel more guilty.

You feel like a burden 

Because you have such a negative view of yourself, and lack of energy and motivation to do things, you can feel like you are a burden to people. You might feel like you will drain and bring misery to people that choose to be close to you.

You don’t want to make others upset 

Similarly to not wanting to be a burden, you feel like your sadness will have the ability to reach everyone. It might also be that you are afraid of making them upset by telling them how you feel. And how you can cause them to worry and feel helpless if you share, for example, that you are thinking about suicide.

You are afraid of getting hurt 

When you are depressed there are so many negative feelings in you, that you think people will just leave you. To prevent that, you usually prefer to just isolate yourself, at least this way you can control what is going on.

It just seems easier

With all of those feelings going on inside you, sometimes it might just seem easier to isolate yourself than pretend you are okay. Or even have to face how you have changed from the person you were.

How can I care for my relationships during my depression? 

When you are depressed it might be extremely hard to deal with the isolation and to stop pushing people away. To handle your relationship with others means handling the relationship with yourself. So the first thing to do is to look for professional help.

Find a therapist you feel comfortable with, and by sharing with them you can create new ways of looking at yourself and your loved ones. It is also important to find ways to take care of yourself in your daily life. 

It can be by working out or having some time in nature, which is proven to help in your sense of well-being. And although it might seem hard, try to change your negative view to a positive one, that can help you slowly improve.

Through all that, you can feel your mental health might improve, which will allow people to get closer to you.

How can I help my depressed friend that is pushing me away?

Being part of the support network of someone that is dealing with depression can be difficult at times. It can make you feel hopeless, worried, and even frustrated. It might be hard to find ways to help, even more, when they are pushing you away.

When that is the case, the first thing to do is to not try to solve the matter from one moment to the next. When they tell you how they feel, it can make you extremely worried, but try to be by their side without giving a quick fix.

Instead, try to empathize and support them. Ask questions, try to think with them about what can be done, and also set your boundaries to protect your mental health. Aside from that, don’t let depression define your relationship.

Try to be by your friend’s side in other manners. Although it can be hard for them, sometimes just spending some time together, and having a laugh or two, can be a big relief for them, and you as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why does depression make me push people away?

How can I help my partner who is depressed? 

Sometimes it is extremely hard to think of ways of helping your partner when they are going through depression. It can be hard to find the right words to say. For that, let’s use some examples of how you can manage certain situations.

If your partner just wants to lay in bed all day, some people would be aggressive and tell them they are not getting anything done, or that you can help them with anything, as long as they get out of the house. 

But what should be done is to think of small things to ask them to help you with, and with time, you can do bigger and bigger things.

If they don’t want to talk about what is going on, don’t try to force it, it can only make them isolate themselves, and make you feel stuck in a loop. Instead try to bring up conversations about the present, try to avoid talking about the past and how your partner used to be before the depression.

And if they want to talk to you, instead of downplaying the situation, listen and be empathetic. Tell them you understand this might be hard, and allow them to open up to you.

What caused me to get depressed? 

Depression is a mental illness that can happen to everyone, at any moment in their life. But some circumstances can make it easier for a person to get depressed. Women usually have a higher chance of getting depressed when compared to men.

Not only that, a person that has a family history of depression, or has gone through a previous depressive episode can develop depression more often. Along with that, people that are experiencing traumatic situations, such as the loss of someone they love, a divorce, financial or legal problems, also have a higher chance of getting depressed.

And the last matter that can make it easier for a person to get depressed is having an imbalance in their brain chemistry.

What are the types of depression? 

Depression is divided into mild, moderate, and major depression. This division is established on the intensity and duration of the symptoms of depression. 

Mild depression is a hard one to diagnose. The symptoms are not as intense and can last a few days. This type of depression is usually treated with the change of some lifestyle habits, such as eating and sleeping better and working out.

Moderate depression is one in which the symptoms become more intense, and it becomes easier to diagnose because it affects the person’s ability to maintain their routine, bringing trouble to their work and social life. To treat, along with some changes in lifestyle, therapy and sometimes even medication might be needed.

As for major depression, this one causes a huge impact on the person’s life. Even small things, such as getting out of bed, can be hard. Along with more intense symptoms of depression, people with major depression can also have psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and be delusional. 

To treat this form of depression, medication is used most of the time, along with therapy.

What are the most common symptoms of depression?

Depression can have many symptoms, and not everyone experiences them in the same way. But for a person to be diagnosed with depression, they need to experience its symptoms intensely for more than two weeks.

Depression causes people to feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, along with lack of energy, loss of ability to focus, isolation, irritability, change in eating and sleeping patterns, excessive crying, or inability to cry when they want to. 

They also have lower self-esteem and decreased sense of self-worth. And at times they can also have thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts.

Can I become depressed by taking care of my friend who is depressed?

Yes, a person can get depressed by taking care of someone who is depressed. It might be hard to be the support network of someone with depression. And while in that role people tend to not take care of themselves, which can have negative effects on their mental health.

For that not to happen, it is important to set boundaries, meaning that you can support them, but don’t give up on doing your things. Keep working, studying, and on your exercising routine. This will be a way to focus on yourself.

If you feel like you need some time off, don’t feel guilty. Set a plan with other people that are part of the support network so you can be available to your friend, but have some time to yourself as well.

Another important way to avoid getting depressed is by having your treatment. It might be a good idea to be in therapy, so you can talk about your feelings, and how to handle them.


This article discussed how depression can cause you to push people away. It also disclosed how a person with depression can prevent from doing that, and how their support network can navigate through this situation.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.



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