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So, with my friend who is depressed, do I just have to accept how she is and not try to help?

(2 Posts)
Moomin Wed 28-Feb-07 21:18:11

I have a friend who I met through dd's nursery and school, so I've only known her 18m but we get on well. She's a really lovely girl who will do anything for anyone but is feeling very very low. Since having kids (ds5, dd nearly 3) she's lost all her confidence, her dh is as much use as chocolate teapot - nice enough bloke but hopeless, she thinks she's not in love with him anymore, her ds is having lots of problems with behaviour and she's been on ADs since last year.

Me and another mum spend time with her maybe once a week other than the school gate; we play a sport together and occasionally go out. She talks a lot about her problems but doesn't seem willing or able to do anything to make her situation more tolerable. I'm a bit of a bloke - in that I see a problem and I want to sort it out physically and look for a solution when maybe I should just be listening and sympathising but that seems very 'passive' and doesn't actually help her to help herself, iyswim. I can't pretend to know what depression must be like but I realise that it becomes a vicious circle in that it wears your confidence down so you can't make decisions and then you get depressed because things get no better etc.

I know it's not my place either but I would really like to see her happy or at least happier. But there's also a part of me (which is probably completely unreasonable and shows how little I understand the situation) that thinks she won't do anything because life is 'easier' when you accept that you're a victim and you let things happen rather than make things ahppen or change things.

Is there anything I can do to help her or do I just have to listen to the problems and nod my head and say 'oh dear'?

mamama Thu 01-Mar-07 00:59:56

I think you should do both - she obviously needs someone to listen to her and it sounds as though you are being a wonderful friend.

Maybe she does need advice too - I wouldn't bombard her with "Well, have you tried this..." or "Why don't you do that..." but I think it may be helpful to make a few suggestions. Maybe, "I wonder if .... would help" or "If it were me, I think I might ..."

Without knowing her, it's hard to know what would be best. Sometimes when you're depressed, you know what you need to do but it is almost impossible to actually do it. Other times, you just can't see any solutions.

I am sure a bit of moral support is a big help to her. It is lovely that you are concerned enough to ask about this.

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