Should you date when you are depressed

How can I make friends and relatives understand how I am?

Depression is a great stress test for any friendship.

Dealing with friends is often not easy when you are depressed. If you have never had a 'real' depression, it is difficult to understand how you feel or why you sometimes act so 'moody' and 'irrational'.

Anyone who has ever been seriously depressed will know how easy it is to lose friends in this situation. You can't even say that the friends who go their own way at some point weren't really friends at all.

Because not everyone is able to deal with the suffering of others - and especially with their own helplessness. This is why many people give good advice for a while and then turn away irritated and helpless when they don't work.

But put yourself in the shoes of the others too. You will see: it is bad and irritating to want to help but not be able to help with the best will in the world.

Many people do not turn away so much because they are 'annoyed', but because it is so difficult for them not to be able to help or not even really understand what is actually "going on"! And many also succumb to the widespread misconception that depressives only have to go into therapy quickly and then they will soon feel better again.

Coexistence becomes difficult: sometimes depressed people cannot stand the presence of others and withdraw, and then again they seek their closeness so intensely that friends and relatives feel overwhelmed and overworked.

Many friends know or do not believe that people are sometimes unable to keep appointments or even talk on the phone during a depression, and that in times of crisis they absolutely need someone to keep them from going crazy, even if it is in the morning at three! And to be alternately pushed away and heavily used must be irritating in the long run.

Try to adjust to this irritation and see it as "normal". And don't try to change your friends, because that's not only very difficult, but also often not "okay" at all, because: Would you want someone to change you?

Therefore, take your friends for who they are and do not expect help from people who cannot (or will not) do it.

You have probably already noticed: Very rational people in particular are often of little help, because they believe in concrete and quick solutions and advise you to 'pull yourself together' rather than just hugging you, quietly You would be there and distract you from your problems.

If you notice that some friends cannot or do not want to support you well, please do not end your friendship with them right away - because even people who do not really understand you can be good friends and give you a lot on other levels.

Try to estimate to what extent your friend * can deal with your crises and problems.

(For the sake of simplicity, we will use the term "friend" in the following for all people close to you, be it the girlfriend, the mother, the colleague, the uncle or the baker's wife.) If you notice that your boyfriend is mainly giving you advice tries to help, who do not really help you and do you good, and then is irritated because he was just unable to help you, in your own interest try to keep discussions about your problems with him to a minimum.

For example, do not call him crying if possible and do not force him to have "crisis talks".

If you don't heed this advice, you run the risk of your friend turning away from you sooner or later. You absolutely need friends right now (therapists call this a 'stable social network')!

Better to go on dates when you're okay and talk about other things.

Do 'neutral' things together that you can then talk about - that means: Go to the cinema or the theater, swim together, go on excursions, ride a bike, etc.

What if I have to cancel appointments because I'm not okay?

Let your friend know that there are times when you meet a date that you later can't keep because you are not feeling well. Let him understand that you still appreciate him very much and attach great importance to your joint meetings, and that he should not take such (possibly spontaneous) rejections personally. If you explain the reasons for your behavior in advance, your friend is prepared and can then certainly deal better with spontaneous rejections.

Nevertheless, ask him if he will be annoyed if you cancel shortly beforehand. If so, suggest that you get in touch when you are okay so you can do something together. You have actively involved your friend in solving the problem and put the cards on the table from the start.

Be careful about who you are telling about your depression.

It can sometimes be a mistake to let others know, and it can even have unpleasant consequences for you (gossip, prejudice ...) An effective solution is to put a dash of self-irony out of the affair in meetings that you cannot keep without giving the exact reason for the rejection: "I'm just about to have a nervous breakdown, can we postpone the meeting please ?!"

Some people have a rare gift of listening to you, not giving advice that they know you will not or cannot follow anyway, and giving you as much support through understanding and humor as you need at that moment to 'get ahead'.

Such people often even manage to look ironically at the problem with you from the outside, so that at best you can laugh at the many absurdities in life. These are people who generally make things a little easier, and who can help you do the same. You can be more open to these people: you will get more help and less risk of scaring them off.

Such people are a gift and you should try very hard to 'keep' them with your friends. But of course these people don't want to be overstrained either. Indulge in their ease and laugh at yourself and the world with them!



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