There are a great many things I dislike about depression. One of the biggest? Actually, no, there are two. The first is how impossibly selfish it makes me, and the second is the very real impact it has on those around me. This is why I prefer having a therapist to talk to – how I am has no impact on them. But on my family? On my friends? It very much does.

Living with someone who is depressed is a bloody nightmare, and there’s no way to make that sound any better. Yes, we’ve all seen the quotes about how being a friend to someone who is depressed is one of the most noble things you can do etc etc etc, but the reality? Depressed people are an absolute pain in the face. We forget that other people have stuff going on. We’re scatty. We’re moody as fuck. We’re pretty much hopeless when it comes to being in any way useful or productive. We’re rubbish company. All of those reasons are why I don’t like to talk about it, or about how I’m feeling.  I can write about it, you can choose whether or not to read it and it will have little or no impact on your life. But I wouldn’t choose to spend time with me when I’m depressed because I am incredibly hard work. If there was a way I could avoid me when I get in this frame of mind, believe me, I would use it.

I realise that what I’m about to say flies in the face of pretty much everything I’ve ever written, said or done, but here’s the thing – for me, for the stage I’m at, talking doesn’t help. Maybe if I was ‘just’ depressed, it would be different. But I’m not. I’m depressed with a thorny borderline twist. I’m not allowed to talk to a professional in case I get too attached. It’s as if all the work I did with Therapist over the years has been turned on its head. I’ve always been encouraged to ask for help, to allow people to support me. But I got over reliant. It’s such a glorious irony – I feel like where I am now is proving what I’ve been thinking all along – don’t trust people. Don’t rely on them. Because I’ll get too needy, I’ll say/do the wrong thing, and they’ll go away. Case in point? Therapist.

I don’t want to keep talking to friends and family about this because to be fair, there are only so many times they want to have the same conversation, and rightly so. I’ve done everything I was supposed to do. I engaged in therapy. I take my drugs. I try to look after myself. But now, when I feel like I need help, I can’t ask for it. So instead, I’m going to have to give myself a timely root up the arse, stop feeling sorry for myself and snap out of it. Yup, I said it. Snap. Out. Of. It. 

This article has 6 Comments

  1. Truly awful for you to be told this, I find it difficult to believe that anyone could be treated in such a disgusting way. I know about depression, I am tired of it. I am weary of it, I am sick of it and I am sick because of it. There has to be a better way, maybe in spite of what you have been told we can find help, even if it means searching the not so obvious. I have trained as a therapist and have been a client mostly to no avail. I think both parties are floundering in the dark.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. It wasn’t actually someone else who told me to snap out of it though, that came from me! I get so intensely frustrated with myself sometimes, and I manage to persuade myself that if I just will it to be different, or stop believing that I have these issues, then they’ll just go away. Needless to say that has never ended well for me.
      Therapy helped a huge amount over the years, particularly when I was struggling with severe depression. Just hoping I can get into dbt soon and that that will improve things further.

  2. I can relate. I don’t think I’m selfish when I’m depressed though. It’s more that I experience irritability and anger and that makes me difficult to deal with. I feel like I’m not getting enough professional support so I’ve tended to turn to family and friends for support instead but they’re not professionals and aren’t equipped to deal with my mood swings. I think that people who know me realise that I’m not being difficult intentionally but the end result is the same really. I understand your perspective-that it feels like you can’t rely on people however I think it may be that your therapist felt overwhelmed and wondered whether she was equipped skills-wise to deal with your needs and hence referred you onto DBT. From what you’ve written, it sounds like your therapist cared about your wellbeing so it’s not like you’re back at square one. Those years in therapy will still stand to you and will help you when it comes to doing DBT. I’ve been to several therapists and I notice that therapists *are* actually affected by my rage and irritability so I try to make an effort now not to just rage at the therapist when they’re annoying me and this consideration has actually extended to my actual life but this progress took years so it’s not like anything is instant but hard work does pay off in the end. My communication skills have improved to no end and I’m currently reading a book on anger management. I didn’t want to think of myself as being an angry person because that meant that I was some kind of monster whereas now, I look it as just needing to improve my communication skills and that takes the sting out of the whole thing.

    1. Thank you, for reading and for taking the time to comment. I’m not sure she felt overwhelmed, but I do think she felt I needed more than she could offer. How ironic so that since finishing with her I’ve been left with virtually nothing! That said, you’re right, the work I did with her has stood to me, and I can almost role play in my head what she would say in response to whatever situation I find myself in. Doesn’t always help, and I’d much sooner have her support but at least I’ve something to work with.
      Glad to hear things are improving so much for you, you sound like you have a lot of self awareness. We’ll get there!

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