Why don’t people understand my depression?

This article will be discussed what depression is, how people around may perceive someone with depression, and what are the reasons behind your loved ones not understanding what you are feeling and going through.

Aside from that, the article will discuss what are ways a person can try to support themselves when dealing with depression, and what can be done to improve your communication with your loved ones when going through this.

Can’t depression impact my relationship with friends and family?

Yes, depression can have a huge impact on your relationships, that is because depression tends to cause you to isolate yourself, and it also impacts your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. 

The impact on those may affect how you relate to others. It might make you feel like you are a burden to them, that you are not important, or that you don’t want to be with anyone.

When facing depression you can also feel less energy and lose interest in things that used to do. And that can be something that distances you from people that are close to you if they also don’t try to adapt their actions and feelings to your reality.

Why do I feel like people don’t understand my depression?

Although nowadays the stigma of depression and other mental illnesses has been reduced, it is still hard for people to understand what it is, and this affects people that are close to you.

This may cause you to resent your family members and friends, and this can make things worse. It might make you feel more isolated and alone, and that can even impact your symptoms of depression.

But it is important to not mistake their lack of understanding for lack of love. You might be trying to explain how your feelings are at the moment, how depression is affecting you, but it might be that they can’t relate to what you are saying, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you.

People that haven’t gone through depression might not be able to understand the intensity of what you are feeling, although they might have experienced sadness through their lives, the way sadness and depression work is different. They might know depression from how you are dealing with it, so it is a process to wrap their head around it.

They might also feel uncomfortable talking about it. They can sometimes even try and change the subject, it is not that they don’t want to be there, it might be that they don’t know how to deal with what you are feeling and saying, and sometimes it is hard to not take it personally,  it tries to remember this has to do with the person’s inability to deal with this.

Other times it might be that they are dealing with their own set of things. Maybe a friend or a family member is also dealing with depression. And although they understand how you feel, they might be caught up in their situation to be able to understand you.

But if trying to communicate with people that don’t understand you become a difficult trigger to make your depression worse, try to protect yourself and lol for people that will be able to understand you.

What can I do to support myself through depression?

When you feel that people around you are unable to understand how you feel, it might be important to create new ways to support yourself through that. The first thing to do is to not blame yourself for being unbeatable. Don’t buy into the notion that depression is a sign of laziness or weakness.

Also, be kind to yourself. Try to say positive things about yourself and to things that make you feel good. A good idea for things that might make you feel good is taking a hot bath, reading a book you like, listening to music or maybe going on a walk. This will not only make you feel better, but it will allow you to understand how you can be responsible for yourself.

Another important thing might be to look for support in another place. It can be a support group, other family members or friends, or even a therapy session. Sometimes having people that are not close to you, but that you feel you can share with, can give you the freedom of saying anything you want without the need of being judged.

If you need some help, remember to ask for it directly. Sometimes when is person is dealing with depression, they might not want to be a burden and start throwing hints about what their needs are. But remember that not everyone will be able to understand the signs and ask directly for what you want.

It might come to a point that, after trying to work through it, you might realize that some relationships are only being negative to you, so it might come that some relationships end, and although that might be hard, try to focus on yourself and your well-being, and what you need to improve your condition.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Is it possible to try to explain to my loved ones how I feel?

It might be possible, if both of you are open to it, to explain to your loved ones how it feels to be depressed. Understand that they have a notion of depression based on how society explains it and that if they never lived through it, it might be hard for them to grasp it.

When you decide to have this talk, tell them that depression affects people in different ways, and how you feel your depression affects you. Try to explain how it feels different than the regular sadness, how it has impacted your life, things you find it hard to do, and thoughts that frequently go through your head.

With that, you are giving them concrete ways to help you. Tell them if you find it hard to do your chores in the morning, and ask them to help you with it. If you tell them you are having trouble sleeping, it can give them a chance to help with that as well.

Sometimes they might try to offer quick solutions, but you can also explain to them what types of treatment you’ve been in already and you both can think what other options are there for you to look at. Having someone that is going through the treatment with you, can be a great way to motivate you to look for health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why don’t people understand my depression?

What are the most common symptoms of depression?

Depression can take many forms, and people can act differently when depressed, but there are some symptoms and feelings that are most common. A person, when depressed, can lose hope in the future, feel empty, and have a sense of sadness that affects all aspects of their life.

Aside from that, they might experience these other symptoms:

  • Change in sleeping pattern
  • Change in eating pattern
  • Lack of ability to focus
  • Lack of ability to feel pleasure
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Excessive crying or difficulty crying even when they want to
  • Self-harm
  • Thought of death or suicide

Although people with depression will have those symptoms, the intensity and frequency can change from one person to another. But, for a person to be diagnosed as depressed, they have to present some of those symptoms intensely for at least two weeks.

How to know what type of depression I have?

To understand what type of depression you have it is important to observe your patterns of symptoms and behaviors. Understand what triggers you to feel better and worse. And to understand that, it might be a good idea to go to therapy.

In it, you will have a safe space where you can share all of your feelings and thoughts, and through that, your patterns start to become clear, giving you the possibility to create strategies to deal with your depression and its symptoms.

What are the steps to recognize I have a mental illness?

To recognize you are going through an emotional condition, the first thing one might need to do is listen to yourself and realize that they might be different than they used to be. They might not act or react the same way, and embracing this new reality is of vital importance.

Once you realize that something in you changed, it might be important to name what has changed, and with that look for help to understand why it changed. It is only by knowing something is not okay that we can start to deal with it. That is why you need to know if you have always dealt with mental illness but never realized it, or if it’s something new.

From that, you can start your treatment, and hopefully, with the professional help and the support of people close to you, it will be possible for you to feel better soon.

Why am I constantly worried?

The constant worry or the fear of impending doom can be related to an anxiety disorder. It can impact your ability to relax, enjoy a moment, or even prevent you from doing everyday activities.

When you are constantly worried, it might be good to find some meditation or breathing exercises that can help you focus on the moment and in your breathing, giving you the possibility to shut out all that is going around you, and the thoughts that are running through your head.

Exercising is also a great way to deal with this constant sense of worry. It can be a way to release all the energy out of your body, as well as focusing on the movements it is doing, instead of the thoughts in your head. Aside from that, it can give you that sense of well-being from the rush of endorphins you can get afterward.

Can a person with mental illness live alone?

Yes, it is perfectly okay for a person living with mental illness to live alone. What they might want to consider is in what moment of the illness they are in, because sometimes, they may have trouble doing everyday activities.

A person with depression, for example, when they are not well, might have trouble getting out of bed. Or if they are considering suicide, it might be important to have people around them.

But if that’s not the moment you are in, it is perfectly okay for a person with mental illness to live alone.


In this article, it was discussed how depression may impact a person’s social and family life. It also clarified why family and friends may have trouble understanding how they feel. 

Aside from that, the article showed how people with depression can support themselves, and what are ways to try and inform their loved ones how they feel.

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



Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!