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Support, or not, from friends?

(7 Posts)
cleopatraseyebrows Sun 30-Oct-16 16:08:27

I had severe PND a few years ago now. My best friend in the world, who I've known almost all my life, disappeared off the face of the earth. She only knew I was in hospital because a family member called to tell her. Never visited, sent the obligatory text saying she hoped I was feeling better.

I was hurt that she never even called me during those awful months after I was discharged. After I'd recovered and was feeling much better I decided to leave it all in the past. I never mentioned how I felt about being effectively abandoned when the going got tough.

Fast forward to now and I'm just coming out of a horrific bout of anxiety and depression, it came out of nowhere and floored me. It's only the second time in my life this has happened.
This time around I did tell best friend straight "I'm feeling dreadful." Again, minimal contact and nothing over the last month. I'm lucky to have a very supportive husband and family and other friends have been wonderful. I'm not looking for free counselling or hours to pour my woes out, and other people have really show their good hearts. Sending texts a few times a week or calling to see how I'm doing, gently but firmly suggesting we meet for a cuppa to get me out of the house. Showing some interest in the fact that I'm not my usual self at all and need to lean on them a little which I generally don't ever do when I'm feeling "right". One colleague even took my child out for the afternoon so I could have a rest. They've been so kind and I am very appreciative.
Now I'm feeling much better, thankfully, but that hurt is back over my supposed closest friend who's gone NC again.

I know it's very hard for someone who's never suffered with their mental health to understand what it feels like. I've never suffered from cancer, thank goodness, yet I'd never disappear on a friend who was.

I'm wondering if this is a normal reaction, if anyone else has experienced being dropped like a hot potato when their mental health deteriorated? Maybe I'm taking it too personally?

I know I am so lucky to have other support but I don't think I'm able to leave this incident in the past again. sad

AnxiousCarer Sun 30-Oct-16 20:01:13

Hi cleo

Is this the same friend? Or different ones?

Unfortunately mental illness is still quite taboo in our society, and there is still a lot of stigma attatched. Some people just don't know how to deal with it or talk about it. I lost someone I thought was a good friend the first time I had depression, looking back she was having a hard time too at that time and I don't think she could cope with supporting me too. I didn't maintain the friendship afterwards though. DHs parents disowned him when he got ill, they can't cope with it at all.

cleopatraseyebrows Sun 30-Oct-16 20:49:41

It's the same friend. We've been friends since we were young, were very close.
I'm just a bit sad. I've realised that she's just not bothered when the chips are down. I'll get over it eventually.

BecauseIamaBear Sun 30-Oct-16 22:23:42

Cleo,
As Anxious says, MH is still taboo. You get more support coming out than admitting to MH problems..

It is changing little by little.. Big names like Wax and Fry admitting to depression are halping change the landscape. But there is still a long way to go.

poppetiwasbackthen Mon 31-Oct-16 17:41:25

Hello,
You have described exactly what happened to me. I was hospitalised and the people who I considered my 'best' friends at the time- known them for years and years, effectively abandoned me in my time of crisis.
I tried not to take it personally but it was hard. It really hurt. You mentioned your colleague- interestingly, it ended up being the people I hardly knew, or knew superficially who have become real friends and are still here, 7 yrs on. I passed one of my old 'friends' in the street the other day. She pretended that she hadn't seen me 🙁. I guess that says more about her than me?

Stilllivinginazoo Mon 31-Oct-16 17:45:42

Its not just the stigma,some people,no matter his well you know them,just don't know what to say or do and back off fearful of making things worse
Try not to take it personally (easier said than done)it's her inadequacy, not yours.xx

cleopatraseyebrows Mon 31-Oct-16 20:09:28

poppit I've had a similar experience, someone I'd not have known too well has been an absolute rock for me. She just "knew" when to step in. I've definitely found a new friend through this. It's not surprising perhaps that this new friend had a terrible time with anxiety in the past, long before I met her. She "gets" it. I'm very lucky to have the support I do, it does hurt that the person you really believed would be there through thick and thin ran a mile but again, I appreciate what I do have.

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