I get depressed whenever anyone I care about is too busy to be with me. What do I do?

My last relationships have ended horribly. They just up and abandoned me. One of them I have never gotten closure with over it, leaving me emotionally wrecked. I know something's wrong with me but I don't know how to even start trying to better myself.

I get into these depressed like states whenever anyone I care about is too busy to be with me. I know that I shouldn't act like that because people are genuinely busy, but I feel like they're doing it just because they don't want to be around me.

Jessica Dobbs
Jessica Dobbs
Therapist

Frequently when working with clients, I utilize the A-B-C model developed by Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Theory. The theory basically states that you can not control an event but you can control your reaction to the emotions associated with said event. For instance here is an example:

  • A (Action or Event): You need to talk to someone and that person is not calling you back.
  • B (Behavior or Response): You begin to tell yourself that this person is too busy for me or I am not important to this person.
  • C (Consequence): You feel depressed.

If you look at the model, B has a direct effect on C. The thought is if you change your reaction to A, then C will have a better consequence, such as:

  • A: stays the same.
  • B (this is what you change): This person must be busy, they will call me back when they get a chance or I can call someone else to lean on for support until this person is available.
  • C: Decreased feelings of depression & overall functioning improves.

This is just an example but if you actively work to replace the negative thought patterns that effect your behavior, studies show that your overall outlook and mood will improve. If this model resonates with you, I recommend "Feeling better, getting better, staying better" by Alber Ellis. In addition, looking for support groups in your area are a great source of support when you are feeling abandoned or alone.

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