19 Things People Wish Their Friends Knew About Depression
“I wish my friends knew that it’s OK to talk about it."
2. "I'd most of all want my friends to know they're one of the most important parts of my healing. Every time I laugh with them it helps me feel even the slightest bit better on a bad day."
3. "That I can look happy, or sad, or whatever, but that doesn't mean that I'm not depressed. And that depression isn't just being sad and angry with the world, but a lot of times just feeling empty or numb."
5. "Just because I'm a genuinely positive person doesn't mean I don't have depression. It is so much more than being sad and negative. For me it's more about having no motivation for anything, which is frustrating because I am a very ambitious person."
Submitted by meredithm4648d6be4
6. "I wish people wouldn't feel the need to instantly 'fix' me. Sometimes it's nice to be cheered up, but there will be times when I need to just sit and think about things or simply don't want to be cheered up."
Submitted by Natalie Schaefer, Facebook
8. "I wish they knew how important their affection is to me. A spontaneous text or invitation brightens up my whole day. It reminds me that they actually do care about me even when my inner demons insist that they must hate me."
Submitted by Sarah Louis, Facebook
9. "That it's not temporary. For me depression has been and will be a lifelong mental illness. Even though I take my medication and go to counseling, it doesn't mean that my depression will ever go away."
Submitted by Amy Sonnek, Facebook
11. "I wish my friends knew that it's OK to talk about it. A lot of my friends think that if they bring up my depression it will be a trigger. If your friend has a broken leg, would you never ask them how they're dealing with it? We want you to ask."
12. "What I wish my friends understood about my depression is that every day, even on the days when I know I'm not the loveliest company, I am trying my best. When I am having a good day and the little black cloud is far away, I think I am a good friend and I believe that people can enjoy being around me. However, on the days where not only the little black cloud is here, but a full-on rainstorm has arrived, I literally lose the ability to think that I am even worthy of my friends or any kindness. That in turn makes me very poor company. Even on the bad days, I am trying my best, even if it doesn't look or sound like it."
14. "Not to take it personally when I decline an invite for a night out. It doesn't mean I don't like you, it means I'm not feeling right enough to be around people or to leave the security of my home. Depression doesn't change how I feel about my friends, it changes how I feel about myself."
Submitted by Debby Murphy-Stevens, Facebook
15. "I wish they understood that I can't help when it hits, and even if I know I should be happy because of situation and circumstance, sometimes I just can't be. And that isn't their fault, and that I still love them, depression or no depression."
17. "I wish they understood how it doesn't always look like it does in the movies, I'm not tragically and beautifully sad. I'm not always looking for a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to, most of the time I just want to be alone.
"I wish they knew how much it kills me when I want to cancel plans because I just can't do anything. I wish they knew that at times like that all I want is to sit and not talk. Taking me out somewhere could just make me feel worse because they'll have put time and thought into something I just can't force myself to do.
"I wish they knew how much that depression doesn't define who I am as a person, and how much I wish that they looked at me without that pity in their eyes when I say I'm tired."
18. "I want my friends and family to know that I understand it from their side too. I know it's hard to support someone with depression and I know you're trying your best. So thank you."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity
If you need information and practical advice on depression, you can call the Rethink advice and information service on 0300 5000 927 (10am–2pm), if you're in the UK.
You can call the Samaritans for confidential support if you're experiencing feelings of distress or despair on 08457 90 90 90 (24-hour helpline).
And you can call the Crisis Call Center at 1-800-273-8255 at any time of the day if you're based in the US.