Coming Out of Hiding: Telling People About Your Depression
Every journey is different. Mine was a more than year-long journey attending weekly therapy sessions and group counseling. I was a freshman in college. I knew I needed the help but was not ready to let anyone else know I was actually getting help. Ultimately, apart from a few close friends, I never truly came out of hiding my depression until a few weeks before my college graduation. I did it in one Facebook post. But is it truly a story you need to tell?
Telling Your Friends You’re Depressed
The decision is yours to make. For me though, it was extremely necessary. Hiding something from those close to you can create distance. I wanted to be honest with my friends. While I enjoyed my college experience, I always look back at it with some feelings of regret. I made great friends during that time. I also lost a lot of friends during the times I was never being my true self around them. It is a hard thing to tell. All it takes though is opening up the door to having the conversation. It goes back to honesty. How can they be there for you if you are not being honest with them?
How People React When You Tell Them You Are Depressed
You may not receive fully positive or supportive reactions from everyone you share your story with. That does not necessarily have anything to do with that person though. With the stereotype around mental health being understood more than the actual reality of it, sometimes your friends or family are not going to understand how you can be going through depression because they do not believe it exists, believe it is something only ‘’crazy’’ people go through, or believe it is the same thing as being suicidal and so and so on.
The Upside in Telling People About Your Depression
Sharing your depression journey can educate your friends and family. What matters in this world is that as much as your depression may make you feel so alone, you never have to be. I learned that the hard way and now am on the mission to share my journey so no one will have to go through what I had to. I hope you will too.
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Thinkstock photo by Antonio Guillem