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How can I stop letting my depression make me feel like a burden to others?

163 Answers
Last Updated: 01/08/2022 at 2:26pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
February 9th, 2015 2:27am
You are responsible for your own feelings, not the feelings of others. This is a difficult lesson to grasp and learn, but it's incredibly valuable. If other people are burdened by your depression, try to not blame yourself. Depression is hard enough as it is, focus on getting better and surround yourself with people who will support you in the journey to healing.
December 29th, 2016 8:07am
You can't stop it until you recognize that your feelings are not always reflective of the truth. Feeling like a burden does not make you one. Depression is the burden in this scenario, not you. You cannot give someone your feelings and depression, you can merely share them. It is their choice to help carry the load, and often, they may ask you to help carry their load. Neither of you are the burden- you are both the support.
January 27th, 2015 10:39pm
Try and find things you bring to the table in a given relationship. I'm a great baker, and so I try to make treats for others. I'm also a great listener, so here I am on this site, trying to help others, even while I fight my own battles!
April 25th, 2016 10:25pm
It can be tough, but you must realize that those others, the ones you care about, care about you too. If you are feeling down they will want to help you. You are not a burden. You are their friend.
October 20th, 2016 4:01am
Know that you are important to so many people, including myself. I want you to be safe and happy. You are worth so much more than you can even imagine. People care about you.
April 29th, 2015 5:01am
You need to understand that even though it feels like it, you are not a burden. You have a mental disorder that you are working through and you are in no way a burden because of it. Try talking to someone you trust about your concerns.
January 5th, 2017 1:15pm
You are not your illness; learn this (I'm working on learning this, too). So even if your depression's a burden on others, you certainly aren't. You can help others, you can help yourself, you can contribute to your world and to your community, friends, family, etc. even when you have a depression that might demand a lot from other people. Again, you are not your illness, so even if depression is a burden, you certainly are not. People appreciate you and benefit from your existence (if you doubt this, go ahead & do something nice today to counter that). Depression may be your burden to bear, but you will never be a burden. (Lastly, surround yourself with positive, supportive, loving people if you can, because they can remind you of how much they want to support you.) Now go prove your depression wrong -- I believe in you!
June 9th, 2018 12:02am
One of the things about depression is that, it tends to make you feel like it should be your issue and your issue alone; that's just not true, however. Often times people enjoy your company, depressed or not. I've found that there is no such things as "friends out of being morally obliged". If someone is your friend and seems to actually enjoy you being with them, then I guarantee you are no form of burden.
September 15th, 2016 2:58am
You have to show yourself some compassion and try to refrain from negative and critical self-talk. Understand that you are very much in your own feelings and projecting your feelings onto others. They most likely do not feel as if you are a burden.
January 28th, 2015 4:55pm
dont ever think your depression is a burden to others. the real burden is when someone makes you feel like it is your fault, which it isnt. asking for help or advice is the best thing you can do to help yourself feel better sometimes. sometimes the key to overcoming depression is to just talk to someone you love. if you feel you are really burdening the people around you, maybe a therapist would be beneficial to you. best of luck!
April 23rd, 2015 6:12pm
Find an activity that interests you and get active, it'll be hard, so you can try starting with something you feel comfortable in. By trying something new you'll recognise that you can enrich yourself for yourself without having to judge yourself by how much you matter to others. You'll feel pride in yourself.
August 15th, 2016 4:01am
Know that you are not a burden you are a strong person fighting a hard battle, loved ones do not understand this sometimes but you must be compassionate to them even though they do not understand and know that they still care for you
October 9th, 2016 10:01am
Stop thinking about what others think, and begin to focus on your own health. If people get tired or annoyed with you because you're struggling, they aren't people you would necessarily want in your life. You would need to reconsider what kind of people you surround yourself with. Positive people have a positive impact on you.
October 27th, 2016 1:34am
Get over with the negative thoughts. Stand by your own and prove to them that you can do what they can. Stay positive!
October 30th, 2016 2:14am
I think this is a hard one, from my own experience I always feel/felt that I was a burden to everyone, I think the best way around this is to talk to the people in question and tell them how you feel and trust in their answers to you. I often tell my trusted friends when I am "having a moment" and they ensure to keep me focused and remind me im not a burden and they are there to help.
December 4th, 2016 5:09am
Picture the situation in the reverse: If one of your good friends was depressed, would they feel like a burden to you? Of course not. Other people care about you, and you aren't being a burden. Depression distorts your own perceptions of yourself, and you are not worthy of blame.
February 5th, 2017 11:11am
By keeping myself busy, helping others instead of focusing with my own problems and my own self... Life is too short to just worry about just myself alone. There's a bigger world out there that would be needing my existence too.
March 8th, 2017 5:47pm
Unfortunately a symptom of depression is feeling guilty about having depression. The only thing you can do is get help for your depression which will in itself help with how you feel about your condition. Counselling may help, talking through how you feel. Also mindfulness can help with your thought process. The short meditation techniques can help ground you and stop you obsessing about things. Mental illness is like a physical illness and will need support so you shouldn't feel guilty. All you can do is make sure you are doing everything you can do to get all the help that is available to you. There is nothing more you can do.
September 5th, 2015 11:17pm
This can be a difficult feeling to go through. Often those who aren't dealing with depression don't know how we are feeling or how to help. Perhaps seeking help through counseling or therapy can help you cope with your feelings. You could maybe even try to incorporate those closest to you to help them give you a better understanding.
September 21st, 2016 9:48pm
Truth be told, it's hard, depression is not easy to rationalise with. You have to remember, though the people who you think you are burdening, the ones who are sticking around are the ones that are going to be there to help you.
October 23rd, 2016 5:34am
Your depression is telling you that you are a burden to others. If others are making you feel this way, surround yourself with people who don't make you feel this way, or find people who don't make you feel this way. If you suspect it's just your depression, it very well may be. Whenever you feel this way, try to think of a positive way others may be thinking of you instead. IE: "I bet I"m being such a burden right now" to "I know my friends know what I"m going through. I'm glad they're supporting me through this." or similar
December 2nd, 2016 6:47pm
You have to accept that it's an illness. It's OK to be a bit more dependent on others now. Be thankful for having them around :)
January 18th, 2017 6:31pm
This is a difficult one. Depression clouds everything and can make you forget that people love you as soon as they leave the room. It feels heavy and the burden isn't relieved by tricking yourself into believing it's not there. My one piece of advice would be: remember the people in your life love you. Even if they don't always know the right way to express it, your depression isn't a burden to them. Start by talking about little aspects, then gradually get deeper into the details if you feel safe and comfortable enough. The feeling that your depression is a burden won't necessarily go away but by communicating with others it may be chipped away, gradually, over time.
October 1st, 2017 8:34pm
It is so important to realize that your feelings are valid, and also that depression is an actual illness. It makes us feel horrible and yes it makes us feel like a burden to others. That’s what it does, it is an illness that tries to trick our mind. The first step to beat it, is to accept, that it’s a real issue, don’t ever feel like your feelings aren’t valid. They are, just like anybody else’s feelings. The most important thing is: Learn and know, that whatever your illness is telling you is not true.
November 6th, 2020 12:34pm
Hello! Depression sometimes become a trick to our mind. They speak the wrong language, try to manipulate our thinking, try to worsen the situation, try to show to us if there's nothing we could do to make our life better, and the last is trying to make us feel like we are such a waste of space. But back again to what I said earlier, they speak fool language, nothing's right is out of the depressed thoughts. Maybe little step you can take is trying to have a small conversation to someone you really close, someone you can trust, or someone who always have your back. You may ask them, like, do I disturb you with our small talk? and they will answer if you are not (of course, you aren't, and we love you!) The more you listen to these feedback, it will help your brain to sense the caring from people, and eventually, little by little, the feeling like you're a burden to someone will vanish. I used to do this, asking whether they hate me for always constantly rambling my thought to them and they love how open I can be to them, not the opposite. Hope this will resonate to you, darling. I hope whoever read this have a better day! :)
September 11th, 2016 3:08am
Depression is never a burden to others! Often, people will be happy to listen to you and help you with your feelings. One of my friends, who has diagnosed depression, knows not to be ashamed to seek help. Letting people know of your issues is the best way to cope with it, because they will want to help you.
September 29th, 2016 4:48pm
I think something that can be really helpful is to talk to the people you feel you are a burden to. Often, they will not consider you to be a burden at all and it can for them to reassure of that fact.
September 30th, 2016 3:48am
Put as much effort as you can into finding yourself help, professional or if you just need stress relief and some rest. Tell the right people what you are feeling.
October 5th, 2016 4:38am
I have found that our loved ones want what is best for us. They understand that depression happens and are more than happy to sit and talk about what is bothering you.
October 30th, 2016 8:17pm
Remember having depression is not something you asked for. It is not your fault. And it is okay to ask for help sometimes. You don't have to be strong 24/7. You are human.