A Letter to the Friends Who Don’t Understand Mental Illness

Dear Friends with a Depressed Friend,

We know that being friends with your depressed friend can be difficult. You don’t always see them, they cancel plans at the last minute, one minute they’re chatty and the next they’re blocking you out and you just never know if your friend is there from one day to the next. They are there, trust us, and it’s okay to feel this way.


Sometimes you might even feel selfish as you want to talk about yourself and you feel like you can’t, that their problems are so much worse than yours. But don’t ever feel like you can’t talk to them about what’s going on in your life. Your friend wants to hear how you are, what’s going on and how they can help you. Just because they’re feeling low, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there for you or don’t want to listen.

We promise you they aren’t being selfish, or self absorbed, or playing the victim or being a bad friend. They just aren’t well. Cut them some slack for awhile, they’ll come back eventually.

We know you want to help but don’t know how. You never feel like you’re saying the right thing because it doesn’t seem to make any difference. But trust us, it does. You question yourself, are you meant to give advice? Ask what’s wrong? Or just walk away like they ask you to do? You feel so helpless. If it helps, they’re feeling that way too and they don’t know the answers either.

The best way to help them is just let them know you’re there, for whenever and whatever they need you for. Drop them a text to say hello, make them feel like they’re more than their depression and tell them you’ll always care about them. Help them to see how brightly their light shines. It sounds so simple, right? Don’t underestimate those acts of kindness, they can make a huge difference.



We know you’re feeling confused, let down and although you try not to be, you’ve even felt angry and emotionally drained by it all.  Sometimes you’ve even contemplated walking away because your friend seems to want that anyway.

But please, we beg you, please don’t give up on your friend. You know how confused and hurt you’re feeling? Your friend is feeling it too. In fact they’re probably feeling it ten times worse as we guarantee that right at this very moment they’re feeling bad about either pushing you away or feeling terrible for telling you how they’re feeling in detail. And although they’re convincing themselves you’re better off without them, they need your help and support right now.

Remember your friend is not their mental state. Your friend is your friend, and they’re still there underneath the sadness. You might not seem their face as much, or get their texts as quickly, but they’re still the same person you love, the same person who you have wonderful memories with and the same person who loves you back. And they need you in their lives just like you need them. So go on, drop them a text, tell them you love them, it will make a difference.

The Blurt Team

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