Being close to someone with depression

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by lost_in_a_fairytale, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. lost_in_a_fairytale

    lost_in_a_fairytale Well-Known Member

    I've experienced depression myself on and off for years but also have a best friend who has depression.

    I just wanted to know how others cope with supporting someone you're close to who has depression?
    I've supported this person for 2 years, and other than their family, I'm the only one left who's stayed with them. Other people have given up as they just haven't got the patience to "put up" with them anymore. It is difficult especially when they lash out at you and say things like you make no difference, you can't help, you don't mean anything, they don't care about others being there for them, they wouldn't care if people they knew died, etc. I've found it very hurtful and hard to deal with myself at times. I tell myself that they don't really mean those things, they aren't intentionally being offensive or anything, it's just their depression making them like that but it's hard to always think of it like that. Honestly, as bad as it sounds, I find it exhausting. I get so upset either worrying about how they are, or feeling totally useless or hurt because I can't help them. I've spent hours and hours either through contacting or face-to-face listening to them / talking and trying to offer any help I can. This person has been on every anti-depressant drug there is and none of them have worked, neither has therapy, so they are now undergoing a stronger treatment. They said if that doesn't work they only see death in the future (in other words suicide) and that upset me immensely too. I'd be devastated without them, I care so much about them. I wouldn't be able to cope at all if something really bad happened, I already get upset enough thinking about them suffering. I've tried to encourage them to go out and stuff as I've heard sometimes getting some fresh air and getting out of the house can help relieve depression a bit, but they won't listen to anyone, so refuse to do things. Other people have told me I should've given up ages ago because it's too tiring and does no good for me getting upset so often in the process etc, but I don't want to do that. I wouldn't want someone to leave me if I was depressed, so I wouldn't want to do that to someone else. It's confusing when one minute they seem to enjoy your company and appreciate having you around to talk to, but the next minute they're acting like they couldn't care less whether you're around or not and that you're basically pointless. I'm not meaning to sound selfish through this, I do care about this person unconditionally, I just don't know how to cope better with it. I don't really talk to others about this as most people either make light of the situation (shrug it off, insult them, laugh it off) or just advise me to ditch the person, which like I said I would never do because that's horrible. I really miss them too. :( We've not seen each other for 9 months and part of their depression is not having the motivation or desire to see people / go out. They don't seem to be bothered about having visitors either. I don't want this to tear us apart. I feel so emotionally drained at times, and also find it upsetting that they don't seem to appreciate me. After going through so much with them and then to hear things like "I don't care about people being there for me" or "you don't affect how I feel" or "people make no difference to me" makes me feel so angry, hurt, and taken for granted. I feel guilty saying that because I know what's most important is how they feel, not how I feel, but I can't help feeling somewhat annoyed too.

    Has anyone else been through similar situations? How did you get through it?
    p.s. I don't mean this in a way as if it should all focus on me, I'm not saying I'm worse-off or anything, I just mean I don't think others realize how difficult it can be to support someone who's mentally ill. :(
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    I do understand how difficult it can be to support someone with mental illness be it depression or other illness it is very very difficult This is why you have to look after YOU first ok because if you go down hill there is no way you can help anyone. Take time out for YOU every day and make sure your mental health is priority.
    You are not a professional you can only be there to listen ok let your freind doctor or pdoc do the care necessary to keep your friend stable

    i cannot emphasize how impt it is you come first here i learned the hard way and i almost left them all because i was so burnt out

    It does not matter if your friend has depression no verbal abuse towards you is acceptable ok set your boundaries and make it clear that you are there to listen and that you care but that is all you can do hugs to you ok