The Effect Depression Can Have on Friendships And Relationships
Updated: Jul 17
You need to look after yourself first
Have you ever felt like you have no energy, as though every minute task is a great battle? Maybe you had a really busy day, and you can’t be bothered to cook. Maybe you put off tasks, thinking “Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow.” Imagine feeling like that every second of your life. Having a shower is too great a challenge; texts on your phone are piling up from your friends asking you to meet up, but you don’t have the energy to even send a half-hearted reply; everywhere you look there are obstacles, and you are just too tired. The thought of having to act like you’re fine makes you feel like crying. You’re at the bottom of a hole with no way out. This is what it feels like to have depression.
How do you tell your friends that you can’t meet up? It’s easier to just leave the message for another day. It’s not that you don’t want to, or that you don’t love them, it’s just that you don’t have the energy to get out of bed, let alone act like you’re okay. All of your energy is spent doing what is necessary. The guilt of not replying creeps in and you feel stupid for not even being able to - how much effort does it really take to type out a few words? Sometimes, too much. You can't help but think: they are better off without you. Maybe one day they'll stop messaging?
This is depression. It can have a terrible effect on not only you, but your friendships and relationships. The lack of replying, the never meeting up. You think one day maybe your friends will stop bothering to reach out. Why would they, when you have been such a terrible friend? This is not and should not be the case.
I had to cancel some plans with a friend the other day – I explained how I was feeling, and I was so scared that they wouldn’t want to speak to me any more, but now I know that was just my anxiety speaking. They were actually so understanding. They told me to look after myself and put myself first; we could meet up whenever and that they were there if I needed to speak to them.
If you are struggling at the minute and have to let some things slide for the time being, let them. You are the most important thing. You need to look after yourself first, then pick up whatever you may have dropped and if you lost some people along the way, they weren’t the best for you. Those who are important will stick around and help you through. Remember to look after yourself first and the rest can wait.