How can friends & family support? - Mental Health Sup...

Mental Health Support

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How can friends & family support?

naturegirl100 profile image
9 Replies

Hi all, I decided to reach out and receive medical help for the first time this past month for my depression and anxiety. I admitted myself to a hospital and started antidepressants and have made extreme progress.

However, I feel a lack of support from my closest friends and family. They do not suffer from depression or anxiety or at least talk about it if they do. I’ve decided to open up about my hospitalization because I felt alone and that nobody cared about me. Thought that would be a wake up call for them but, now I just think they don’t know how to support me because they don’t go through any mental illnesses. It’s very hard for them to understand the emptiness I feel because my life seems “perfect.”

Any examples of how family and friends have supported you (especially after hospitalization)?

9 Replies
hypercat54 profile image

I wish I could but never had any support from family/friends myself. I hope you find this though. Remember it doesn't mean they don't love you but just that they don't understand your struggles.

There is lots of info online about how to explain to loved ones so maybe try that? Don't build your hopes up though. Oh and no one's life is 'perfect' as that is unattainable. x

naturegirl100 profile image
naturegirl100 in reply to hypercat54

Thank you for sharing thought I was alone in that!

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to naturegirl100

No way. Whatever happens in life, how we feel, the troubles we have has all happened before a million times. There is nothing new and we definitely aren't alone in anything. x

borderriever profile image

Support can be rare, friends and family can look on this health concern as a sign of weakness. You can make this worse by calling out how you feel and the treatment offered especially if you have had time on a Mental Health Ward

In my case I have found the only person who shows interest is my Wife however on some instances relationships can break under the strain.

There are organisations that can help you in the UK like MIND and also there are clubs and day centres where you can mix with like minded people with mental illness. Check with your Therapist or CPN they should know what services are in your area

My family in the past worked on my illness against me, that made matters worse. If you wish to talk to a friend be sure that is what you want or need. The problem is I have found in early stages was the chattering classes, who pass on your health concern to others and then again the same thing happens when they pass it done to another level of people you know i always found it was all just a hiding for nothing and it upset me even more


naturegirl100 profile image
naturegirl100 in reply to borderriever

Thank you for sharing, makes me feel not alone.

MAS_Nurse profile image

Hello naturegirl100,

Well done for making so much progress and having the strength to speak up and ask for help.

Here is the page on that gives friends and family some pointers on how they might be able to support you.

This is a very helpful community, as I am sure you have found. Keep talking to the other members as one of your channels of support.

Best wishes,

MAS Nurse and Moderator

It’s a though one this to be honest people who don’t suffer it obviously don’t get how you are feeling, my family or friends don’t speak to me about how I suffered or how I feel, maybe they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing or don’t know what to say, I don’t mind in the slightest as long as they are aware and there for me should I need anything, they all have there own families and stuff to deal with so I just deal with it all in my own way, I try to stay as strong and positive all the time putting on a brave face. Even at my worst lowest point I made myself stand tall and crack on, I never even took time off work, it’s good to keep busy and occupied. Some days I was really really bad, I suffered for years silently then finally this year I spoke to my GP, I had her up the wall but she totally understood me and the meds are kicking in and still I keep it quiet and deal with everything in my own way. You can get through this, maybe some counselling would be good, you can always use this site as a friend of support, sounds silly but I’m finding it helps me. Just take care a good luck xxx

Oh I forgot to say people friends family think I’ve a fantastic life and live to the full, I look after myself and always appear happy and jolly. If only they knew the truth, it’s all a massive front, why should I let people know, it’s my business and I wouldn’t want to burden anyone xx

borderriever profile image

That as above can be a real problem when we are ill, we try and hide what is going on, we become able to hide how we really feel and if they find out what is going on they become shocked and sometimes they can suffer many mixed feelings toward you the sufferer.

If you feel that explaining your needs are counterproductive, they will not listen, the first thing to do is talk to your GP and arrange a course of Talking Therapy, medications over time can suppress your low mood

When it comes down to explaining to families regarding how you feel, try and assess how they will take your Illness, it is always hard to suggest how to actually advise the best way forward we are only able to walk in our own footsteps, others may be more complex especially when the impression given is of a positive mood and the living of your life with positive intensity.

If you feel the need to talk many here will stand by you and try and help


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