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How can I help my friend?

(4 Posts)
Clairesafatgirlsname Sat 10-Jan-15 23:45:12

hi everyone. I've not posted on this board before. I'd really like some advice on how to help a close friend of mine. She is a lovely, beautiful friend, a wonderful person. She has a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old, both lovely healthy boys.
Since giving birth to her second child, she's been different, difficult to say how, but just not herself. We support each other a lot as our husbands are both military and we're often on our own with our children. She came to me shortly before Christmas and laid bare a lot of feelings that I suspected she had but waited for her to say something. I told her I thought she had PND and should see a doctor. She did and was diagnosed with PND. I'm devastated for her. She's so lovely and wants to enjoy her little boys babyhood but can't. Her husband is not being supportive, mostly through ignorance than nastiness, he isn't horrible but maybe a bit... Detached. I offer to look after the children as much as possible because she is so tired. Aside from that... I need advice. I know I can't wave a wand and make her ok, but I need to help her.

evelynj Sat 10-Jan-15 23:59:04

Just by letting her know you're there for her is support. Tell her you'd be honoured if she would ask you for help in any way if she needed you. The thought that there's someone if you need them is a great comfort.

Clairesafatgirlsname Sun 11-Jan-15 00:01:24

Thank you evelynj I hope she knows I'm there if she needs me. I just wish she was happy. I find it so hard to not be able to 'fix' it.

NanaNina Sun 11-Jan-15 13:46:07

Is your friend getting meds for her PND. It is a very common illness and there are ADs you can take even while breast feeding. I think you are doing exactly the right thing - you can't fix her but she will recover in time. I think taking the children off her hands for a while is a really helpful thing to do as when we are depressed all we usually want to do is withdraw from the world and hide under the duvet.

Shame her husband isn't more supportive. Any chance you can talk to him - or your husband maybe? Tricky I know but I think there is no way anyone can understand depression if they haven't experienced it first hand - it's a real torment.

It might be that sometimes you have to reach out to her (rather than waiting for her to ask for support) as it's so difficult because depression makes us feel worthless and even ashamed. You obviously know about depression as you knew it was PND........but you could look on the MIND website for tips on how to support your friend, but I think you're doing just fine, and I think you could tell her that she will get better but it's not really possible to believe that when we are buried in the deep gloom of depression.

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