First, it's strange and sometimes annoying when people from your past treat you like the person they used to know (especially if you were less mature back then). I like to be flip and ridiculous for fun and that can be misinterpreted as immaturity.
Second, sometimes a bad situation seems much worse to an observer than the person going through it. For example, the postdoc in one of my former labs had a climbing accident in Yosemite. He broke his jaw, leg, wrist and suffered a concussion. I remember when he showed up lab with a wired jaw and a horrible wire sticking out of his arm. Apparently, the postdoc still wants to go back to climbing someday, but his roommate was so traumatized that he will probably never climb again. I went through some tough times in the last few years and I had difficulty convincing one of my friends that everything was OK now. He still remembers my desperate emails and phone calls vividly; to me, they're just a distant memory.