You’ve been diagnosed with depression, or maybe you suspect that you have it. Either way, you wonder if this is something you need to keep to yourself or if talking about it with the people you love might be a good idea.
So, should you tell your friends about your depression? It’s never an easy answer.
Opening Up Can Help
Sometimes it can be relieving to get things off your chest. Perhaps for you, that might be revealing to your friends that you struggle from depression. After all, you kept it from them for so long, and now that secret feels like a heavy brick that you need to release.
And who knows, maybe one of your friends has dealt with it too, making you feel not so alone. Even if none of them have dealt with it, sometimes advice or a little pep talk from the people we’re close to can mean a whole lot.
Being Honest May Foster Your Friendships
There may come a point in your friendships with others where your depression actually hinders things. For instance, if you frequently cancel outings with friends due to your depression or act less enthusiastic at times, your friends may jump to conclusions about how you really feel about them.
This is when opening up about your depression to friends can be a beneficial thing. They deserve to know to clear up any misunderstandings.
It’s little things like saying, “Hey, I can’t hang out. I need to take a mental health day” that can be perceived easier and with more understanding than, “I can’t hang out anymore.”
Things to Keep in Mind Before Telling Your Friends
Before deciding to open up to your friends about your struggles with depression, it’s critical to keep a few things in mind.
For one, not everyone, even your closest friends, may understand depression. Some might be sympathetic but not “get it” as they never struggled with it before. Others may even think depression is “fake” or just an “excuse.”
Remember: even if a friend has a bad reaction, know that your depression is real and something to take seriously, and they are a poor friend if they cannot accept you for you. Setting boundaries or closing off friendships may be necessary.
While most people react well when being told their friend has depression, hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect nothing.
Before disclosing depression with someone, ask yourself: is this person deserving to know? How close are you to this friend? Is this a person you can trust? Are they generally a blabber mouth who will likely go around telling everyone? Are they a mental health advocate or someone who always makes rude comments regarding mental health in general?
Telling a Mental Health Professional
While it’s not the same thing as opening up to your friends, speaking with a mental health expert about your depression can be an important next step. Professional depression treatment can offer different levels of assistance and insight for those struggling from such.
Deciding whether or not to inform your friends about your struggle with depression isn’t easy. On one hand, you want them to know, so they can look out for you. On the other hand, you don’t want them to pity you or change the way they feel about you. In the end, opening up to friends is often the better option but not always successful. Either way, professional treatment is essential.