Being vulnerable with others is so hard. We fear judgment, dissenting opinions, and being exposed. We feel more comfortable behind our defenses and we withhold. But when you are going through something difficult or painful, social isolation is the worst thing you can do for yourself.
Depression makes you feel so alone in a room full of people. It makes it near impossible to let others in because it lies to you and tells you things like, "No one wants to listen." This is why social isolation is the number one predictor to completed suicides. As soon as you let someone else in, the pain lessens, depression loses it's grip on you, and recovery can begin. But OMG, vulnerability is hard!
In order to be vulnerable with someone, you need to have trust. That takes time. You need to have a person who will not share your secrets or judge you for whatever pain you are experiencing. If you struggle with depression, I know you're already extremely efficient at self-criticism and self-shaming. The last thing you need is for someone to invalidate you.
Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, is an expert in teaching people the importance of vulnerability in relationships. I often recommend her book Braving The Wilderness to my clients and have seen a huge increase in improved relationships as a result. Check it out!