When a friend is depressed, a special set of problems, arises. Generally it is not uncommon for someone to show less of her unattractive side to a friend than a relative. Similarly, friends are often less likely to confront one another with “failing” than are people who are related to one another. The reason is that friendships tend to be more fragile than blood relationships.
… The problem with relative impermanence of friendships is that friends are less willing to expose themselves. With less openness, misunderstandings are more common when a friend becomes depressed.
… The first problem with the results from an increased tendency for incorrect attributions or explanations for the trouble in the relationship.
… A second problem can develop even when the trouble is correctly recognized as depression. The question of when and how to respond, or whether to say anything at all, can be extremely difficult even if friends have arrived at the Problem-Solving stage with good information about what has been causing the trouble. Meanwhile, for the depressed person the question of whether to tell friends just how badly he is feeling can be particularly difficult.
- pg. 102, When Someone You Love Is Depressed – Laura Rosen & Xavier Amador, ISBN 978-0-684-83407-8