Managing Friendships During A Depressive Episode
I’ve been on both sides of depression: I’ve been the one going through a depressive episode, and I’ve also been the best friend of, well, several individuals going through such episodes. So when I talk about this, I don’t come from some totally blind, naïve place. I’ve been very depressed, for months on end. I almost thought I couldn’t keep a handle on my life anymore, and just needed to move back in with my mother. I got so dark once I couldn’t remember what smiling felt like. So, yes, I do know that depression feels like it possesses you—it makes you not even recognize yourself. The other thing I will say is that, no matter how much it can feel that your friends don’t understand you or know how to help you, they do want to help you and you’ll want them there when you come out of this. It’s very difficult, but here’s how to handle friendships in the midst of a depressive episode.
They can’t always pick up
Understand that your friends cannot pick up every time you call crying, or needing to talk. Even if they had five minutes to talk, it can feel very rude putting a time crunch on someone having an emotional break down. “You can cry, but only for four minutes” doesn’t feel right to say. If your friend can’t talk now, it’s probably because she’d rather wait until a time she can give you the attention you deserve.