The Value of Friendship

Friendship is a strange and mysterious mutual feeling of trust, support and affection between two people, you cannot see it; yet you can perceive it, you cannot touch it; yet you can feel it, you cannot hear it; yet you can sense it.  It is as essential to our wellbeing as breathing; it is a natural selective bond which forms and grows with some of the people we meet, but by no means all.  It is certainly as strong as love and is very often stronger.  It is a gift which cannot be valued too highly.

Depression, the clinical kind, is a mental disorder which affects many millions of people of every race, class and religion; no one is immune from it.  For those affected, depression has an absolutely devastating effect, on not only their lives but on the lives of their families and loved ones.  It is also life threatening and the feeling of failure after an unsuccessful suicide attempt is inexpressible

Like many life changing events depression acts as a ‘filter of friends’, it is only when you are really ill or in need that you find out who your true friends are; if indeed any!  It will be found that many people regarded as friends slowly drift away until they are seen no more, this has much to do with the stigma associated with mental illness, and the stereotypical image of mental illness.  In the end there are few very good friends left and because of the depression, and the fact that they are good friends, you deliberately see them less and less trying not to be a burden on them, eventually they feel shunned and drift away.

As stated earlier on, friendship is essential to our being, so even though depressed new friendships begin to form, many of them are with others who have or have had mental health problems.  These are not temporary friendships or friendships of convenience, they are deep meaningful friendships which will last a lifetime, no matter what happens.  These are friendships born out of shared experience and a mutual willingness to help one another get through the bad times, no matter how hard things may be.

This gift of friendship is an essential ingredient in the treatment of all kinds of mental disorder, not only depression.  Although I am not a believer in the current buzz-word ‘recovery’ when applied to depression, I do believe that friendship gives the ability and will to lead a more open and balanced life.  And if, as is often the case, you slide back into another episode of depression, you know that your new found friends are there and that they will do all they can to help you.

Photographs and Picture by Microsoft and iStockPhoto.


About wurzelmeone

I'm a mental health advocate, sometime writer, dreamer and according to some friends a part-time alchemist!
Aside | This entry was posted in Depression, Disablement, Discrimination, Fatigue, Favours, Living, Mental Health, mental illness, Prejudice, Stigma, The bright side, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Value of Friendship

  1. Louise Berry says:

    A very intelligent and thoughtful blog Chris. You have such a great amount of insight and way with words. You are, yourself, someone who’s friendship is deeply valued.

    • wurzelmeone says:

      Thank you Louise, I know from my own experiences of depression how important friendship can be when times are bad. And afterall one of the most important parts of a friendship is knowing we can help one another, without needing to be asked.

  2. keatsbabe says:

    Lovely post Chris. It is so true that it is possible to cut off even the closest of understanding friends just because you don’t want to burden them, or seem like a drain on their energy. It’s great to have you around to express the feeling so well and to be a terrific friend.

    • wurzelmeone says:

      Thank you Suzie and thank you for giving me the oomph to publish it. What you say about cutting off close friends is very true and the sad thing is that you don’t even realise you are doing it. I have now learned to always listen to my friends no matter how I am feeling.

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  4. ” This quote is so cute, and so true, good friends can make you realize that you don t need to dwell on the past, and the bad things that have happened, because everything will get better.

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