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Why do depressed people push loved ones away?

370 Answers
Last Updated: 11/10/2020 at 12:52pm
Why do depressed people push loved ones away?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Zeina Ghoul, LLPC

Pre-Licensed Professional

I help guide clients to create positive change in a non-judgmental and supportive atmosphere.

Top Rated Answers
April 25th, 2015 3:42am
Sometimes people push loved ones away because they have a fear of "overwhelming" their loved ones with their problem. Sometimes it is a fear of putting their problems onto someone else. When you are depressed you feel that your issues are bigger than the world, so we protect our family and loved ones from this bigger than the world problems. Being depressed you know the weight of your issues and you feel ashamed and saddened to put that on someone else.
December 30th, 2014 7:04am
Depressed people often feel like they don't deserve the love they get from their loved once, and thus they push them away.
November 23rd, 2017 8:13pm
I want to thank the people here that answered to the question about a similar experience I'm having at the moment, it's helping a lot. I just broke up with my boyfriend. In the last weeks he was irritable and sad, he was avoiding me and trying to break up with me. In some short frames he was still the sweet man I'm in love with. He looks like giving up on everything, nothing matters to him. He is alternating moments in which he is saying he is a lonely person and I have to live my life because it doesn't work between us, he is scared of hurting me and other moments in which he is aggressive and he is offending me saying that I don't love him and I just want to manipulate him. He was never diagnosed and he is in denial, I can't pronounce the word "doctor". When I got how big the problem was I was scared and I gave up the n-time he tried to break up with me. I saw him after 4 days (in this time he never searched for me), and he was worse, he is just working or passing his time alone in the dark, he started drinking. I realised what happened and how much I love him and I told him that I did a mistake, he is of course refusing me, but actually there is not that much difference with the behaviour he had before breaking up. When we first met he disappeared after one month, saying that he didn't feel like being with someone. At that time I kept writing him for 2 weeks some small texts until he decided to talk to me again. We were living in 2 different countries and I didn't know what was going on but I had the feeling something was wrong and the thing was outside us. After that we had amazing months together and he was always thanking me for insisting that time. I'm trying to adopt the same behaviour this time, although I start to feel like a stalker. Last thing he told me was that I do so just because I want to play with his mind not because my love is true, I asked then if he wanted me to stop and he said no but he doesn't feel like seeing me. I've being stalked more than once in my life and I always blocked the person on all the possible channels, so I guess he somehow likes to read my messages. I feel that it's not true that he is annoyed by me, if I don't push him to meet or talk about topics he doesn't want to. Although he is trying anything to discourage me from thinking about being back together. I'm very worried for him and for other self harm choices (for example about his job) that he could do in this times. I feel a bit guilty for not understanding the situation before and I don't know what I should do now. I can just hope he can find the way to put his pieces together again, I don't care if doesn't want me I just want to see him happy again.
January 30th, 2016 3:46am
Sometimes the expression "you need to love yourself before you can love others" rings true in relationships. Loving others fills a void that you feel within yourself, and sometimes it can be overwhelming for the other.
April 4th, 2016 6:53am
We don't feel connected with that person. We don't feel like talking and we don't feel that they benefit us in any way, they just make us want to be more isolated from the world.
July 26th, 2016 4:49pm
They don't do it on purpose I can promise you that love.I have my bad days and my good days.On my bad days I say harmful and do regretful things to my love ones that I don't mean to do.If you have someone with depression if your life just try your very best to understand them try to sit down and talk to them.
March 26th, 2016 3:06pm
The reason why depressed people push their loved ones away is because they are scared to be judged.
June 8th, 2016 2:46am
Sometimes people with depression just want to be alone, because they don't feel like socializing. Because of this they tend to push people away. This is unhealthy however, and can make matters worse. It is important not to give up on someone you think may be depressed, even if they seem to not want you around. Tell them how you feel, and encourage them to get help.
January 16th, 2017 3:55pm
From what some of my friends who deal with depression has told me it's a way to keep themselves for getting hurt even more. They find the less feelings and people in their life the less hurt they receive from it. The selfishness for their own mental health kind of comes into play.
June 9th, 2016 9:23am
Well, I know from experience that it's not something you can always control. Depression causes you to feel lonely and misunderstood, too different to fit in with anyone else. You start believing that no one will ever understand you or the way you think. Or you could be thinking that they're better off without you, so you pull away. Most of the time I just wasn't in the mood to talk or found the conversation trivial. I felt a little out of place, so I rather chose to be alone. Also, I often didn't have the energy to attend parties or events with friends and always made up an excuse not to go, which just made the rift even bigger.
March 29th, 2016 5:16pm
So many reasons, but they're unique to each person... fear of other's rejection, fear of not being loved, not being understood..
February 10th, 2016 12:51am
They are scared to seek help from people. Me personally I was depressed and I seek out counseling and my life is better than ever.
February 10th, 2016 11:33pm
because they are afraid that they will also leave them. Like everyone else did and it hurt so they just shut everyone out
January 24th, 2017 11:42pm
Depressed people think they don't deserve love from anyone, that they are useless and noone can love them anyways. So they push people away in order to save themselves from their future heartbreak cause according to them, people are just acting like they love you even though they know deep inside people love them but it is very hard to accept that when you have so much self-loathing. Or thats what i feel, not sure how it is for others.
March 6th, 2018 4:39am
because they want to be alone. and they even feel lonely when in a crowd. this is why they push others away. but be there for them! the truth is they really need someone to be their crying shoulder.
March 25th, 2016 2:22am
There are many feelings a person with depressions experiences. Some common characteristics are sadness, a loss of interest in regular activities, and despair. Withdrawal from loved ones often occurs as a result of feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. They may not want to burden their loved ones with their problems, and therefore withdraw emotionally from family members. Or they simply may not have the energy or capacity to explain how they are feeling or deal with others’ reactions. Being there and available to listen non-judgmentally is an essential first step in supporting a loved one who is experiencing depression.
March 25th, 2016 4:11pm
Depressed people push loved ones away because they feel ashamed and embarrassed. They feel alone when they are surrounded with people they love and even though they want to be alone they feel worse.
March 31st, 2016 11:16pm
This is how they feel like. They don't want them around, or they may have hurt them. Actually many various reasons. No need to take it personally, don't give up on your loved ones who are suffering from depression.
November 25th, 2014 12:19am
I think a depressed person does that Because they love them , and don't feel they are worthy or don't want to "drag them down too"
December 31st, 2015 4:15pm
oh, i can go all night for this. Starting with...because they don' t think they deserve anyone, when in reality the truth is that they are the one who need it the most. They push you away to save you from the trouble they think they are causing you. In most cases they do protect themselves, to protect themselves from the pain they have to endure "when" you'll leave and yes, I said when and not if, because they are very certain that you will leave and that's why they make a wall around themselves. I know, being close to them is not easy for the ones who are being pushed away..but if you understand why they are doing it and if you can assure them that it's not going to happen...well then congrats, you just earned a new friend :)
February 7th, 2016 3:26am
A lot of depressed people don't feel understood. There is a stigma on any kind of mental illness, so it's difficult to talk about being depressed. Sometimes when people are open about their depression, others don't take it seriously enough or may try to minimize the depressed person's problems. Loved ones may not intentionally do this or even realize they are doing it. Eventually, it just becomes easier for the one who is depressed to live a life of isolation. It's hard for someone who feels depressed to see others talking and laughing as they normally do, or certain subjects may trigger their depression to get worse. The people who are not depressed may feel as though they are walking on eggshells, so they pull back as well. There are many different factors to consider in this situation, and it's best to avoid thinking that it is anyone's "fault." Those who are dealing with someone who is depressed can find ways to take better care and adjust their behaviors and words/topics of conversation to better accommodate the person; the one who is depressed can learn not to take things personally and nurture themselves without having to necessarily hide away from everyone. There is a bit of balance and compromise involved in everything. Each party has to be willing to cooperate and avoid shutting down on people.
February 10th, 2016 4:37pm
because they think they can harm or hurt them or they maybe disappointing them or they think before they leave us why not leave them first or they think they dont care or cant understand them
May 20th, 2016 1:57pm
Many times when people are depressed they are churning in emotions of unworthiness and guilt. They feel that they are the blame for everything that has gone wrong in their life. So many times they feel that they are a burden and don't want to be a bother to anyone else.
June 4th, 2016 9:35am
Because the thing, they do not deserve their love. They think that thet do not real love them. The feel unuseless, unwanted. But in reality they are not. The are not alone
June 4th, 2016 7:58pm
They feel like there alone its very hard to explain they feel that they just need to be alone to figure them selfs out
June 8th, 2016 5:37am
Because they think they are the reason everyone is unhappy and is having problems and therefore feel that everyone would be better of without them.
September 18th, 2015 7:41pm
Because they don't want to or they don't want others to get hurt. They think that other people don't like them and that they only pretend to.
October 9th, 2015 2:54am
There are many reason why someone dealing with depression might push loved ones away. These include: - feeling unworthy - not wanting to be a burden - wanting to keep their depression secret - denying their depression - lacking the energy to socialise - wanting to deal with it alone - negative past experiences seeking support - not knowing how to share their experiences - feeling as if seeking support is futile - fear of in-patient treatment If your loved one is dealing with depression and pushing you away, whatever the reason, simply letting them know that you're there for them can still be a big help. Consider whether they're a risk to themselves, the nature of your relationship, and their personality, then use your own judgment to decide how you can best support them. This might mean being patient, giving them some space, and letting them come to you when they're ready, or it could mean being more direct and addressing their depression with a greater sense of urgency. However you choose to support your loved one, remember to take care of yourself along the way.
February 5th, 2016 6:11pm
It is human nature to want to be strong for those you love, when you hurt inside, you don't want those you love to feel like it is their fault, or they are to blame. It is easier, at the time, to remove people you care about
March 25th, 2016 12:15am
Because they want their personal space clear, so they can have more thinking and cooling time to themselves.