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Topic: can’t explain to friends

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sulaco_86
    Sulaco_86 avatar
    1 posts
    17 June 2020

    hello... my first post - I’m looking for some help or advice... I can’t talk to my friends about my anxiety/depression because I feel that they can’t understand what I’m even talking about or going through, because on the outside I try to maintain appearing normal and “happy” so that they don’t ask me if something is wrong. but I’m not normal and happy at all - and whenever I “put myself down” in front of them they’ll shrug it off and tell me I’m being silly etc - because to them I always seem happy so they maybe think I’m joking?

    how do I tell my friends that they don’t know me at all? how do I tell them the old cliche “it’s not you it’s me”?

  2. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    120 posts
    17 June 2020 in reply to Sulaco_86

    Hi Sulaco,

    I know exactly how you feel. I’ve become so expert at hiding my feelings from people over the past few years that the word “ok” just rolls off my tongue whenever someone asks how I am.

    Opening up to people is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Even then, it’s only a very select few.

    First it was to a psychologist, then another psychologist, then a friend, then my boyfriend & then my sister.

    The thing I have found though is that some people find it very difficult to deal with & don’t know how to offer support or comfort. My closest friend was really supportive at first, but as my depression worsened & I began to self harm she pretty much just disappeared from my life. I guess for some people it’s just too confronting & they don’t know how to deal with it.

    So initially, think about which people you feel safe talking too & sharing this information with. And let them know you just need someone to listen, or someone to just offer their company or a hug when you are really down. Let them know they don’t need to fill the role of a counsellor, they just need to be a shoulder to lean on.

    For me the psychologist was the biggest help, it’s sometimes so much easier to speak of these things with someone who doesn’t know you & who will not judge you. I’m actually taking my sister with me to my appointment next week, so she can understand better what I am going through, the psychologist can help explain & my sister can ask any questions.

    Its hard, really hard. And as awful as it sounds, the people who you think will be most likely to be supportive may not be at all. But if you keep reaching out, you will be surprised how many people you find with similar issues. Some people I was never close to when I was younger have now become the best people for me to lean on now.

    Best of luck in whatever path you choose. Reach out here any time

    2 people found this helpful
  3. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    13357 posts
    18 June 2020 in reply to Sulaco_86

    Hello Sulaco, and a warm welcome.

    Our friends, family or workmates that we're close to, can notice a change in how we don't want to participate or that our mood has been continually despondent for quite a while, and may ask us 'what's wrong', but it stops there, they don't know to help us.

    Pretending to OK on the outside is something I did, but it only builds the pressure inside which needs to be released by talking with someone you are confident with and have both discussed private issues.

    To say 'it’s not you it’s me' may help, but it could only put more pressure on yourself and that's not what we want.

    Do you know about 'the mental health plan', this entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions to see a psych per year.

    Best wishes.


    3 people found this helpful
  4. SarahZ
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    SarahZ avatar
    115 posts
    18 June 2020 in reply to Sulaco_86

    Hi Sulaco,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for posting.

    I agree with @TheBigBlue in that sometimes talking to strangers about your struggles are a lot easier than those closest to you. I know I sometimes find it difficult talking to my sister about my feelings even though I'm super close with her! For me personally, it was because I feared being a burden to other people and bringing them down with my negativity. However, I realised discussing my issues with my sister piece by piece was super helpful in reducing my anxiety. She didn't find it a burden, her main focus was making sure I wasn't venting up all these emotions inside of me, which we all know is never good for our mental health.

    However, if you don't feel comfortable discussing your anxiety and depression with close friends, I'd recommend seeking professional support from someone like a counsellor or psychologist. Sometimes they can act as the mediating link between discussing more personal things with those closest to you, even though, oddly they are the people who are strangers to us.

    Wishing you all the best and sending you positive thoughts.

    Feel free to update us if you feel up to it!

    2 people found this helpful
  5. May Tee Tee
    May Tee Tee avatar
    42 posts
    18 June 2020 in reply to geoff
    Our friends, family or workmates that we're close to, can notice a change in how we don't want to participate or that our mood has been continually despondent for quite a while, and may ask us 'what's wrong',

    We often respond with I am OK.

    When we are not.

  6. Herbie H
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Herbie H avatar
    7 posts
    18 June 2020 in reply to Sulaco_86

    Hi Sulaco_86,

    I understand your feelings, have been there myself. It is exhausting getting up each day and putting on this facade of happiness when that is the furthest thing from your mind. I used to think similarly, my friends don't know the real me, but I was allowing them to see the person I thought they wanted to see. In time, working with a very good psychologist, I was able to reason away those depressive thought patterns and the real me started to come through. Then I started to hear comments like "you seem a lot happier in yourself" which was the truth.

    Please remember you are strong to endure this illness and this strength will see you get through it with the support of your friends and loved ones.

    1 person found this helpful

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