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How can I best support my pal?

(4 Posts)
Worriedaboutapal Sun 31-Mar-13 19:35:18

She really can't be described as a close friend, we have only met up very irregularly since uni over 10 years ago, but she keeps in touch and I don't think she actually has any close friends.

She moved here from abroad as a child and hated it. She is a sensitive person but because she worked really hard at uni she landed a job in a fairly vicious/aggressive (from what i can make out) commercial arena. Ever since starting the job she has felt bullied, had time off, is now off on long term sick with depression.

Whenever I talk to her she cannot seem to focus on anything other than upcoming work/ occupational health meetings, even if they are months away. She doesn't socialize much at all, I'm not sure she ever has because she was a workaholic and had her heart broken once, no partners since then...

I feel that her odd telephone calls with me and with some other friends from way back are the extent of her social life.

She sounds very down and has done for months. I started off (having been depressed myself), about 2 years ago giving the advice that I found most helpful - take your time, don't rush yourself, depression is an illness...

She won't have counselling except in relation to the specific problems at work and not sure about medical support but I really feel now her isolated lifestyle and the focus/obsession with work problems cannot be helping, her life is just passing by as she sits at home worrying...

I have 3 kids myself and am busy so can't do very much to help, but has anyone got any ideas of how I can best support this friend?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:16

The best thing would be to get her to come on a regular walk with you. I can't emphasize the power of country walks enough. WHen it comes to depression, there's little that feels worthy of doing but if you can manage to get her out once a week, it will be the start of some kind of routine and she'll benefit enormously from the air and the beauty.

Worriedaboutapal Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:47

Sorry I should have added - I live over a hundred miles away!

Crawling Sun 31-Mar-13 22:01:15

Make a point of talking regurlarly on the phone. Just listen you dont have to solve problems. Remeber that her problems are symptoms of a illness and wont go away even if you offer a solution until her mood improves. But above all just listen.

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