Patient Blogs | Depression
How My Connection With Positive People Helps My Depression
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Depression will tell you you’re completely alone in your struggles. It makes you want to isolate yourself from everyone in your life. It could be because of shame, not wanting to be a burden, overall lack of energy, or any other reason.

Isolating ourselves from our loved ones only makes the depression worse. I’ve found that opening up to my loved ones and telling them that I’m struggling with isolating myself helps. This brings awareness to you and your loved ones, so they can hopefully reach out to you more.

It’s also important for you to accept help from your loved ones to help pull you out of isolation. It can be hard to accept help from them, especially if you feel like you have to deal with things by yourself. It takes effort to say “yes” to social activities you don’t want to do when you’re depressed, but it’s worth it.

If your depression tells you that you’re the only one who struggles with depression, it’s not true. There are many people in this world who are also battling depression or a mental health condition. Making a connection with others who have experience in what you’re going through can help give you hope.

I have come to realize how much the people I surround myself with affect my mental health. If I surround myself with positive, uplifting people, my mental health is much better. I started distancing myself from those in my life who negatively impact my mental health.

If someone was consistently negative, put me or others down, or wasn’t kind, then I made the decision not to put as much of my time into that relationship. I chose to pour time and love into friendships that bring joy into my life.

I became more aware of how I feel when I’m with people I’m close to, and how I feel after spending time with them. Realizing there were certain people in my life that negatively impacted my mood consistently was a key step for me for fostering positive relationships in my life.

Don’t keep relationships that negatively affect you just because you’re afraid of closing the door. Ending a friendship for your own good can still be difficult. I have done it a few times, and it would have been easier to just give in and keep those people in my life. But they weren’t respecting my worth or seeing my value as a friend to them. So in the end, I had to choose myself.

You’re not selfish for choosing yourself. Keep in mind you can end a friendship in a compassionate way, where you aren’t trying to hurt the other person. As long as you’re not hurting someone, it is absolutely OK to choose yourself. It’s necessary when you’re struggling with your mental health.

When you find those people in your life who make you feel good about yourself, keep them close. It’s a wonderful thing to be surrounded by uplifting people. It makes life a little less harsh. I encourage you to pour your time and energy into those who are kind to you and others, and not those that bring you down. You’ll notice a difference in your overall well-being, especially your mental health. If you’re having trouble finding these people, they’re out there, just keep looking.



Photo Credit: stock_colors / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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Katharine Hartleb

Katharine Hartleb

Diagnosed since 2014

Katharine Hartleb was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2014, at age 16. She has a passion for helping others and plans on becoming a mental health counselor. Hartleb lives in Charleston, SC, and is a recovery coach at a substance use disorder facility. She is also a young adult presenter for NAMI, sharing her personal story. Connect with her through her personal Instagram and her kat4kindness Instagram.

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