However, you just don’t feel comfortable enough doing that. You might feel like it’s a little intrusive, and maybe you would feel a little uneasy entering the person’s home and life in that manner. So you wait for the person to open the door and properly invite you in, hoping that at some point that moment comes.
That awkward waiting is what talking about depression can feel like, especially when it comes to opening up about this mental illness with friends or family members who might otherwise not know if or how someone is suffering. So often since the tragic deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, people have made comments on social media and elsewhere inviting friends and family members who might be struggling with depression or anxiety to talk to them if needed.
After a suicide or major news event involving depression, a common sentiment is often shared — that those struggling with mental illness should feel comfortable opening up. This is part of society’s attempt to remove the stigma surrounding depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.
However, it’s not that simple. Depression can be crippling for people, especially in regards to their social life.
People who suffer from depression can feel like a burden to others: How will they respond to me opening up about all of these heavy issues I’m dealing with? Will they feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable talking about this? Will it not be the right time for them? Are they dealing with their own personal struggles? I know they said to come talk to them, but did they really mean it? Will all of this push them away?
These kind of questions can deter someone from reaching out to others to discuss their personal struggles. That hesitation puts the entire conversation back at square one, even if no one is at fault.
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