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The Effects of Ghosting on Depression

May 20, 2024 Natasha Tracy

Ghosting can affect a person's depression. And while people with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder are known to sometimes ghost others, we, ourselves, get ghosted too. So, what happens to a person's depression when they're ghosted?

A Past Ghosting and My Depression

I have had ghostings in the past. The worst was when a person I considered to be a very close, even best, friend dropped me without a word. This person I loved for years simply stopped responding to my emails and phone calls. We hadn't fought, and there was no conflict. They just ghosted me. It was awful. 

That ghosting worsened my depression. For years, in fact, it brought about great pain. I still can't think of that person without feeling terrible. 

The ghosting's effects on my depression and overall mental health included:

  • Increasing my depression
  • Creating sorrow and despair
  • Lowering my self-esteem (as I felt I had done something to deserve it)
  • Creating paranoia that it would happen again
  • Causing negative ruminations about myself and the situation

Depression After Being Ghosted

While I do not doubt that ghosting can hurt anyone, it absolutely hurts more when you're already dealing with something devastating like depression. Depression throws you into a pit. It's a pit you have to try to dig yourself out of. And when someone ghosts you when you're depressed, they just make the pit deeper. I don't know why anyone would want to do that to someone they cared about. It is, literally, beyond me.

Dealing with Depression After Ghosting

I could tell you just to ignore the ghosting because it's about the other person, not you. And while there is truth to that, I'm not sure how helpful it is. I think when you're depressed and ghosted, you need a bit more. 

Here are a few other things I try to remember:

  • Depression gets worse when bad things happen. This is normal. While it's painful, it's a part of the illness.
  • My self-worth is not dictated by others. Yes, rejection is horrible, but self-worth is born into a person and can't be taken away by the actions of others.
  • One person's actions do not indicate what others will do. Yes, it's possible someone else important to me will ghost me in the future, but I can't live my life and have productive relationships focused on that possibility.
  • Ruminations are a part of depression. In my experience, depressive ruminations will always find something on which to focus. Even if they choose to focus on my ghosting, I will get through them.

If Ghosting Is Worsening Your Depression

While I find the above points helpful to remember, they may not sufficiently quell your depression after a ghosting. Sometimes, talking with a friend or support group about your feelings can be helpful, but you may also need to reach out to a professional for further help. Dealing with the complex feelings that can arise after a ghosting may not be easy. Therapists tend to be acquainted with the issues around interpersonal rejection and ghosting. They can help you process your feelings. There is no shame in saying you need their help.

If your depression becomes severe, you may also need to talk to your psychiatrist, as a medication change may be needed. It's awful that someone else's thoughtless actions could result in a medical issue for you, but depression is awful. Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor about what's happening.

I think when you're ghosted by someone you truly care about, your depression will worsen. I feel like there's no avoiding it. That said, you can deal with it and move forward in a positive direction.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2024, May 20). The Effects of Ghosting on Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2024/5/the-effects-of-ghosting-on-depression



Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

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