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Help me to help my friend

(11 Posts)
Primadonnagirl Fri 18-Sep-15 20:53:01

I will try to be brief. I don't think I'm handling a situation very well so would appreciate any views.
I have a dear dear male friend who has recently been through a horrible time. He has a history of depression which I have helped him through so I recognise the signs. Anyway recently I have noticed he is withdrawing into himself and also drinking more . I have tried coaxing him out to meet but have tread carefully because I know he is still grieving ( lost his parents recently) . But every time I invite him to do something the rejects ny offer. He doesn't need to work any more due to inheritance. The crunch point came this week when I invited him for early evening drinks. Instead of just saying no he said we can only meet up on an afternoon from now on as he doesn't want to leave the house in the afraid I flipped and said that wasn't fair on me ( ie expecting me to take time off work ) and that his whole life is before him etc. he replied he knows he is becoming reclusive but that's just how it is. I don't want to lose a 20 year friendship but is there anything I can do to help him?

NerrSnerr Fri 18-Sep-15 20:55:18

On a practical note, couldn't you meet him at the weekend (or your rostered day off work) so you don't need to take leave? Do you think he's depressed or just choosing not to go out?

Primadonnagirl Fri 18-Sep-15 20:58:52

He won't do weekends either! I think his routine is a symptom of his depression if you see what I mean.? He just won't open himself up to new opportunities and I Just think if he did he would see how much life has to offer rather than focussing on what he has lost.

Primadonnagirl Fri 18-Sep-15 21:06:13

And another thing... And I know it's not all about me but part of me thinks why doesn't he care about me? Why does he think he gets to call t he shots .

NerrSnerr Fri 18-Sep-15 21:21:44

It's a tough one, but I don't think there is much you can do. Maybe just let him know you're there if he wants you and possibly keep inviting him every so often. Sounds really tough.

Primadonnagirl Fri 18-Sep-15 21:24:56

Yes I've kind of resigned myself to that but I feel so sad for him. He's such a funny charismatic bloke who really could make something of this new phase in his life but he seems determined to ruin it.Im ashamed that I feel angry with him... But I do!

mrstweefromtweesville Fri 18-Sep-15 21:27:25

OP, you've never been depressed, have you? He can't come out. The great knot of numbness in his chest won't let him think of anything other than itself. He can't 'open himself up to new opportunities'. He can't show that he cares about you, even if you mean the world to him.

You mean well, but in effect, you're asking him to 'snap out of it'. He can't. But it will pass.

For now, if you really want to support him, send him gentle reminders of your presence and care - a text message, a card, nothing that demands anything of him. Let him know you'd love to hear from him when he's ready.

Primadonnagirl Fri 18-Sep-15 21:31:01

Yes I think you are right re " snap out of it" ...although I wouldn't say that of course. But I want to coax him out of it...I'm so worried about this. His daughter goes to uni soon leaving him on his own so if he is increasingly insular I fear he will be lost altogether if that makes sense? I miss him!

Goldmandra Fri 18-Sep-15 21:32:08

Is he receiving any treatment?

Could you offer to accompany him to a GP appointment?

He's not determined to ruin his life. He's ill and he can't cope with going out. The problem is that, the longer this continues, the more reclusive he is likely to become and the harder it will become for him to make any progress.

Primadonnagirl Fri 18-Sep-15 21:36:12

I went with him to a Dr some years ago after a suicide attempt. But he won't see a Dr now because " it's not the same" ...which in a way I can agree with - he's not suicidal- but I still think he is depressed . I just think all I can do is be there for him but I'm ashamed to say his behaviour is annoying me.

mrstweefromtweesville Fri 18-Sep-15 22:13:16

Walking is really good therapy. If he does show willing to meet, go for a walk together, even if its only down to the corner shop to buy chocolate and beer. Walking is great for depression.

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