Losing friends when depressed (+5 Tips)

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This article will discuss what happens to the social relationships of a person when they are depressed. For that, it will explain what are the depression symptoms that can cause one to disconnect from their friends, and why sometimes it might be hard for friends to understand what a person with depression is going through.

Aside from that, the article will mention ways one can cope with losing friends when depressed and how to search for new connections.

What happens to my mood and actions when I’m depressed? 

When a person is depressed their mood goes through intense changes. A person that used to be cheerful and full of energy might become extremely sad, and lose all their energy and interest in doing things that they once loved.

A person with depression also tends to have a more negative outlook on life, they might also have a worse view of themselves, which can make them believe they are a load for people around them, causing them to isolate and distance themselves.

They might also not be available to focus and keep a conversation, causing them to feel guilty about not being able to be among people, as they once enjoyed. People with depression can also find it hard to stick to plans, and although they agree to do something one day when the day finally arrives, they might not feel up to it through no fault of their own.

All of that can bring enormous changes to how they will relate to the people and world around them. As it is hard for them to understand their feelings, it is also hard for their friends to understand what happened. And with time some relationships might begin to change.

Why am I losing my friends? 

Relationships are not static, throughout our life, many relationships change. Great friends become acquaintances, on the other hand, acquaintances become best friends. Family members lose touch with one another, and in the life of a person dealing with depression, the same can happen.

With all that has changed in your life, because of depression, it might be that you think some relationships around you begin to change as well. But it is important to think if they were friends if they couldn’t stick with you in those hard times.

If they couldn’t understand what you are going through, that depression is not a choice, it might be time to consider how good those relationships were, to begin with. This is not said in a way for anyone to discard a friendship, but if after some time trying to make it work, what can still be done?

Why might it be hard for people to understand what I’m going through? 

If you are still trying to maintain a friendship that seems to be fading because of how different things are, it might be helpful to know that people that haven’t dealt with depression may find it hard to understand what is going on with their friends.

For them, it might seem like you are just experiencing sadness, the way they feel sadness, and they might not know how to deal with the long-lasting feelings that come with depression. It can also be that it is extremely hard for them to see you in pain, and they might say things in a “snap out of it” way, not knowing it can’t be done.

It might be a good way to know if they are open to understanding how you feel after a long and honest conversation. Maybe if you explain what it means for you to be depressed, and they can ask about what they don’t understand, you can find a new way in this relationship. 

But if that is still not the case, and communicating seems harder and harder, and it all makes you feel even more lonely than before, it might be good to consider ways of coping with the end of this relationship.

How can I cope with losing my friends? 

If you came to a point where maintaining the relationship seems impossible, and all that was possible was done, some ways can help you cope with this. The first thing to keep in mind is to look at all your relationships and realize that, although one has ended, there are still many friends around you. 

Try to connect with people that are still there for you and understand that sometimes it is important to let go of things. Keeping a relationship that wasn’t making you feel good about yourself, that had you feeling guilty all the time can sometimes just be bad for you and your mental health. 

Sometimes it might just be better to let something go. And although it might seem easier said than done, maybe accept that you did all you could, avoid looking and going through memories, write down all the negative things about that relationship, forgive and forget.

It might also be a good idea to focus on yourself. Find things that improve your well-being, this can help, not only in dealing with that relationship but also with your depression. You can focus on your thoughts and feelings, and use that time to learn more about yourself.

Another aspect that can help you deal with the end of a friendship is to reframe and restructure your mind and feelings. That means taking another perspective of things. 

So if you start thinking your friends are avoiding you, it might be helpful to consider if, instead of thinking they are all ganging up on you, they might be busy with work, or not feeling well. This will help you to consider other possibilities, and not put too much energy into feeling unwanted or guilty.

And sometimes, if you feel alone, or without any possibilities, try to put your feelings out, maybe expressing them through writing, or to a therapist, or even other friends can help you get some perspective about what is going on.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is it normal to lose friends when depressed?

Can the loss of a friend cause trauma?

Yes, losing a friend can be a sort of trauma. Ending a friendship can be a tough experience. And although it is not talked about, because people usually just disclose the grief that comes from the end of a romantic relationship, ending a friendship can bring a person to feel intense grief as well.

You will go through the grieving, and first, feel the withdrawal of the relationship when you miss doing the things you both used to do together, and sometimes you might feel guilty for ending the friendship. Your brain can make you feel as if you are hurt, that is because the brain pathway for pain, be it emotional or physical, are the same.

You can feel like you lost complete control of your body and mind, it might prevent you from thinking critically, it can make you try to fix things, change what has happened, but try to keep in mind the whole story.

Is it normal to cry if a friendship ends?

Yes, it is normal to cry because a friendship ended. Crying is a way to let out your feelings. So don’t try to hold it back. When a person ends a relationship, any of it, even a friendship, can experience loss and grief.

And crying is a way to put that out, so don’t blame yourself, allow yourself to feel what is inside you, and when you feel calmer, you can think if the relationship can still be salvaged, and if that is the case, getting in touch with them might be a good idea.

And while dealing with the loss or reconnection of this friendship, try to not lose touch with other people in your life. Keep your other friends close, and understand that each friendship is different from the other, and so is what you can expect of each relationship.

How can I get my friend back?

If a friendship ended, but you realized that you want it back, first you should reflect on what happened. What causes you to drift apart, one could be done differently on both sides, and if you and they are open to having a conversation about it.

But before assuming they are open to talk, it might be important to ask and discuss what each of you feels about the situation. When the conversation takes place, be honest and tell them what you feel, and also listen to what they have to say.  

Be prepared to accept responsibility but also forgive them for what has happened. And if your friend needs it, give them time and space to think it over and digest what you said. For that, it might be important to be patient. And if they decide they are open to being friends again, discuss the new boundaries of the relationship and enjoy your time together.

Why are my friends leaving me?

If a person realizes all their friends are leaving them, it might be important to reflect on what, in your behavior, is causing people to push you away. There might be a pattern to it.

Reflect on your past relationships, it might help. Sometimes a person can become clingy and needy for a friendship, or any relationship, and it might be related to how they lived their childhood and earlier years.

People that experienced a lot of loneliness or abandonment in their life can have trouble being alone, or be scared that people would leave them, so they can become needy. If that is the case, therapy can help you overcome those issues so you don’t demand too much of people.

When should I stop being friends with someone?

It might be time to stop being friends with someone if you feel the relationship doesn’t make sense to you anymore, you find it hard to relate to them, and spending time together might seem harder every time.

Another reason to end a friendship is if you realize they are not putting the effort when you are the only one trying to meet, or getting in touch with them but without a solid reason as to why they are distant, it might be good to consider if that friendship still makes sense.

Conclusion

This article showed how depression affects a person’s social life, how it is usually hard for people around them to understand what they are going through, and why some friendships end.

The article also explained ways a person with depression can cope with the ending of a friendship, and how to open themselves up for new connections.

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

References

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
https://optimistminds.com/losing-friends-because-of-depression/

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