Advanced search

How can I help my friend?

(16 Posts)
hoppershopper Mon 22-Nov-10 19:43:39

I know this isnt the best section for posting,I have posted in the MH section, but there doesn't seem to be many people reading at the moment, im hoping that on this site there may be more people who can help.

I will keep this brief as I know my friend would be upset if she were to come across this, but I need some help in helping my friend.
Friend has been ill recently and in hospital, and althought she isn't completely better, she is at least home.
She was in hospital for well over a week and at home was her DH and 2 DCs.
Her DH told me a few days ago that her bad asthma attacks had been triggered by panic attacks. She was very ill with the asthma, she nearly died during these attacks.

Today I visited my friend and she has completley broken down. My friend by her own admission doesnt do emotions, so i know it took a lot for her to tell me how she was feeling.
She is the sole bread winner in the house, manages the house, works ridiculously long hours and cares for the children and all their needs. Her husband really doesnt do much at all to say he is at home. And he isnt particularly supportive to her either. I know she was stressed when in hospital about her DCs being looked after.

The thing is my friend is on the outside so strong and jolly. Shes a boss at work and the the organiser etc at home and now everything has got on top of her and shes in such a dark place now, I dont think she can pull herself out of it.
Clearly being ill has made her evaulate her life and she thinks shes failed, she doesnt provide enough in terms of material things for her DCs, that she isn't a nice person. none of this is true and she is a lovely person. But she doesnt see any of that.

She had a pretty crap childhood, and I think much of her feelings at the moment may also be down to her childhood experiences with her own parents which she isnt able to bottle up any longer.

I dont know how to support her, I dont want to be patronising but I have no real experience of how she feels. I talked with her about getting some help from the docter and such.

I know she needs professional help but I guess what I am asking is, what could one of your friends have done or do for you to help?

hoppershopper Mon 22-Nov-10 19:45:03

Just want to add that, i dont want to be just calling/texting her every day asking how she is, because im sure that is going to get on her nerves pretty quick.
Thanks for reading.

fireblademum Mon 22-Nov-10 20:16:57

not sure on the best course of action, but i'm sure someone will be along soon
you sound a lovely friend

girliefriend Mon 22-Nov-10 20:24:15

Do you think she would benefit from some counselling? Could you find out some local numbers for counsellors and just say 'look I wondered if this might help, Im worried about you'

Charliebrown1 Mon 22-Nov-10 20:35:36

I don't think ur friend would be angry with u if she saw this, u are just trying to help her. If it were me I would visit her often but don't make it seem as though u are checking up on her, maybe have a girlie day out? I think she has been massivly over stretching herself and now it has all finally come to a head! Could she talk to her husband, maybe he would be more helpful if he understood how bad she was feeling? Could u talk to her about maybe cutting down on her work hours, could they cope with a little less money coming in? I would see if u could gently persuade her to have some private counceling just so that she can talk freely about how she is feeling.

PhishFoodAddiction Mon 22-Nov-10 20:43:37

Hi, you sound like a very good friend.

Seems to me like your friend needs some extra support right now before things escalate into a full on breakdown.

Do you think you could mention counselling to her as an option? It's really helpful if you've had problems in your childhood. Would she go to the doctors for advice or is she scared to be seen as 'not coping'? Private counselling would be better if she can afford it-waiting lists tend to be 4-6 months on NHS which IMO might be too long for your friend to wait.

There are lots of self-help type books out there which are insightful and offer tips on coping with stress/depression etc. Maybe you could look at a few for her and see if anything fits her problems?

Also just let her know that you'll listen if she needs to talk.

hoppershopper Mon 22-Nov-10 20:54:08

Thank you for your replies.
My friend is still quite poorly with her asthma so a day out isnt going to be on the cards for a while.
We do spend a lot of time together when we are off work together and ive always known that like most people she has had crap going on with life, as most people do, but now she just doesnt seem to have the fight in her to hide her pain now.

Her husband i dont think (i hope im wrong) isnt going to be of much use to her either. She feels like shes failed him as a bad wife as he feels he hasnt amounted to anything. His words. Yet shes done nothing but give and give to him in so many ways. He really just isnt there for her.

I doubt she will be able to slacken off on the work front, i know shed like to but she feels that there isnt enough cash to go around as it is.

She has made an appointment with the docs for her asthma this week and i did talk to her about telling the doc her feelings, but i just wish i could help her more. sad

PhishFoodAddiction Mon 22-Nov-10 21:05:32

I'm sure you're doing all you can hoppershopper, it's not an easy thing to help someone through. You sem so caring.

Could you maybe make her up a little gift basket with a few little treats in it to cheer her up a bit? Or offer to take her DC out to give her a break? Go round and make her a meal or something? Obviously this won't cure her but she might like the gesture.

It is so hard, but if your friend doesn't ease off a bit the panic attacks could worsen and maybe lead to nervous breakdown in the end.

So sad that her husband isn't any help to her either.

Vanillacandle Mon 22-Nov-10 21:08:07

Hi again!

Just noticed you've switched threads - I've just posted again on the MH one.

To add to what I've just written on the other thread:
at least she felt able to talk to you about it, which shows she thinks of you as a true friend. The more she can talk about it the better - the pain will ease gradually if she can bring it out in the open and deal with it rather than bottling it up and ignoring it and trying to pretend it will go away. I agree with others that a counsellor might be the best bet if she feels able to seek professional help.

Is there any reason her DH doesn't work? Maybe it's time they re-organised and both went part time? Maybe if each did three or four days a week, they could have different days off so that they wouldn't have to pay for a whole week's childcare, and it would make him feel better about himself as well as taking the pressure off her?
Do you know him well enough to talk to him about how he feels and whether he wants to help her? Maybe he does but just doesn't know what to do? After all, he doesn't have us here to tell him!!

MumNWLondon Mon 22-Nov-10 21:23:57

I think it sounds like she need marriage counselling - in some ways she is being a martyr if she is working long hours & dealing with children and their needs and DH not really supporting.

Fine to have a full on job and a SAHD but unless he is dealing with the children and all their needs and the house it will not work.

In the meantime you can arrange a meal rota - ask her for a list of her friends and ask them to bring round a meal each evening, but ultimately her domestic situation needs to change for her to get better.

hoppershopper Mon 22-Nov-10 21:28:52

Thanks Vanilla and Phish, i have left the MH one now as it really isnt busy at all, but thanks again.

I think i might try and catch her DH and speak to him, i dont really want him to know that she spoke to me as it might break her confidence.
I could maybe suggest a few ways in which he can be supportive for her in general.

Vanillacandle Mon 22-Nov-10 21:40:12

Good plan. You could try the angle of offering him some help with meals etc as you are sure he will need the time to help his wife etc - make him feel you're on his side too. Suggest some things he doesn't do at the moment that he could take on - after all, we have to assume that he does actually want to help her....
I agree with Phish that treats etc will make her feel loved, if not better. If she's still at home, you've got plenty of excuses to go and see her - take her chocs, magazines, any other treats you know she likes, but one at a time.
Do you think she would appreciate some moral support at the doctors? Maybe if you went with her but stayed in the waiting room?
I appreciate that not all of this may be appropriate, but I'm just throwing out some ideas as they come into my head!

hoppershopper Mon 22-Nov-10 21:53:43

yes i can do that, have taken her a book and a mag today so will try have a chat with him tomorrow.

Vanillacandle Mon 22-Nov-10 21:57:52

Good luck - hope he's positive and responsive.
I'm sure just seeing you and knowing you still think she's great despite her problems will be good for her self-esteem.
Let us know how you get on tomorrow - I'm signing off shortly (got the pack-ups to do and I'm at work tomorrow).
Keep in touch!
Night night...

anotherbrickinthewall Mon 22-Nov-10 22:07:07

being so poorly and/or the sort of steroid medication that's used for severe asthma could be affecting her mood as well as the domestic drudgery. could you offer to take her kids out one afternoon maybe?

Vanillacandle Tue 23-Nov-10 17:47:07

Hi Hoppershopper

Just signing in to catch up on how things are. Did you manage to talk to your friend's DH today? How did it go?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: