I'm depressed and need my friends. How do I let them know?
January 11, 2010 5:24 PM Subscribe
I was fired last week, and I've been feeling very down since then. I need my friends to take spend some extra time with me this week. Although I wrote an email to them and explained what happened and how I needed a night out or two, none of them have responded. How do I let my friends know about my level of depression and how much I need them right now without alarming them or seeming manipulative?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I was just abruptly fired, and my boss said some pretty horrible things about my character that rocked my world. Now I'm left wondering if I'm a terrible person and if the things she said about me are true, and I spent this weekend feeling absolutely miserable because although I wrote an email to ask my friends for their time and their support this weekend, no one responded. I spent my weekend alone watching TV and absolutely loathing myself. Although I'm sure my friends are just busy or don't realize the depths of my depression right now, I'm feeling very unworthy as a person at present and in my heart wonder if the people I call my friends don't like me because I'm truly all the things my boss thinks I am.
I need some extra TLC and don't know how to ask for it. I'm very experienced with my own depression and know that these feelings of despair will go away within a week or two if I have a lot of company and activity. The last time I asked for help from my friends was four years ago, when I was deeply depressed and thinking of hurting myself, and they responded with all of the energy and commitment I could ever want. My depression isn't so severe that I want to harm myself this time, but I need kindness and time with people who love me and will be patient with me all the same. How do I explain how depressed I am to my friends and how much I need them without alarming them? Will sending them individuals emails seem manipulative? Will my friends feel as though they're being forced to spend time with me or that I'm threatening them with my depression? I would certainly feel obligated to spend time with a friend who was severely depressed even if I were very busy, and I don't want my friends to resent me for feeling that obligation. If you were a friend of mine, what sort of email would strike the right chord or the wrong one? Is there any way to do it, or is asking for help such a downer that none of my friends will want to know me anymore? Last time I didn't care because it really seemed like a matter of life or death, but this time I'm ashamed of asking for help.
For the record, I am on antidepressants and in therapy for clinical depression, but I don't think that anything works for situational depression quite like the support of friends.