What to do when you feel like nobody cares

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One of the common laments of someone who suffers from depression is, “Nobody cares.” When someone says these words it is often very hard to assess the reality of the situation. Let's explore the many meanings of the phrase, “Nobody cares” and challenge our assumptions in the process.

Uttering the phrase “nobody cares” is a way of denouncing their own self worth

How to challenge this belief: Know that you are worthy of both love and care. Suffering from depression doesn’t make you any less worthy.

It can also be an angry statement said to provoke a response in others

How to challenge this belief: You can’t force people to care in the ways you expect by using guilt. Rousing anger or guilt in others won’t make them care for you more or get your needs met. Being direct about what you need gives you more of a chance of actually being listened to and receiving a positive response.

It may also be said as a dare

How to challenge this belief:  Life is seldom all or nothing. The all or nothing thinking can be a way for you to maintain control. It is a way to validate the way you see the world with depression goggles on. Take a risk to realize that people do care. They just might not always meet your expectations. Forgive others for not being perfect. Let go of your need to be right in your view of the world as an uncaring place.

It can mean “I currently have no emotional support”

How to challenge this belief: It may very well be true that you are lacking in supports right now. Sometimes we have to create our own “family” as in developing a family of friends. It may seem daunting, but reaching out to others who are going through a similar battle with depression and joining a support group can be a good first step.

It can also mean “I don’t feel that anyone understands me”

How to challenge this belief: You can make attempts to explain how this feels and what depression does to you. Some people may be experienced with battling depression but they may lack the skills to articulate their empathy. There will, however, be people who do get it and can express their care to you in a way that makes you feel accepted. It may take some time to find these people but they do exist.

Some feel it because they are frustrated with the mental health care system

How to challenge this belief: The system is imperfect but this doesn’t mean that every professional that you come across is uncaring. They may simply be limited in what they can offer you. You may have to make a hundred calls before getting the person who can actually do something concrete to help you. Don’t give up. Be persistent. Your mental health is too important.