Handling depression can be very hard, especially when a loved one is going through it. It is understandable that it can be challenging to deal with and we commend you for caring for your friend. You sound like an amazing friend but we want you to know that burn out is real. Many caregivers or even professionals in the mental health field can struggle with burn out. That’s when we put the interests and feelings of everyone before our own, causing us to feel exhausted when we see that person. It sounds like you are picking up on your own feelings of burn out which is incredibly important.
As much as you are concerned about your friend’s well-being, we would highly encourage that you practice your own form of self care, whether you listen to some music, write in a journal or anything else you enjoy doing. It is beneficial to find a fine balance between being a support and being a friend. If you are comfortable enough, you could always discuss your feelings with your friend and try to compromise with each other where some days, your friend discusses their depression and some days, you guys just hang out and relax. Another option could be that you connect your friend to other supports, maybe some that are professional. Professionals are well prepared to support someone with depression and anxiety in ways that family and friends just can’t. If you don’t think your friend is open to this, it might be helpful for you to take breaks from your friendship. Sometimes we need to give ourselves healthy space in any relationship to spend time with ourselves or with people that rejuvenate us.
Please know that you do not need to save your friend from anxiety and depression. That is not your job. These are very complicated mental health issues and it’s fantastic that you want to support them but you are not responsible for making them feel better. It sounds like you don’t want to lose the friendship but you cannot keep going at this rate. Giving yourself space and creating boundaries in your relationship can be important to keeping your friendship.
If you would like to discuss this further, we’re also here for you. You don’t have to take this on all on your own. Please feel free to chat with us online at www.calgaryconnecteen.com or text us at (587) 333-2724 during our peer support hours (more information on the website). You could also call us 24/7 at (403) 264-TEEN (8336).