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Advice on how to help my friend(11 Posts)
Will try keep this as short as possible.
I have a friend who is struggling with depression. I have been there myself so know how she is feeling it is an awful place to be which just feels like a black hole. I have been trying to give her advice/suggest things she can do to maybe help her but I feel everything I say she shuns. For example it is coming up to her birthday so I have said we should arrange to go out for a meal where I was going to try do something nice to cheer her up but she just says no it's ok. Me and my other friend offered to go pick her up one night when she was saying things like she didn't want to be here but again she just says no. I feel like she's digging herself into a deeper state of depression and I don't know what more I can do, I'm 34 weeks pregnant so I probably don't have as much patience as I normally would, please don't hate me for that I just really want to help her but feel I'm fighting a loosing battle. I reassure her all the time I'm here for her but I feel it's not enough to help her.
Could you get her an appointment with her GP? Sounds like she needs expert help.
I've asked her to go, she said she has been and also seen occupational health at work. I just really don't know what more I can do.
I'm glad you posted here. You're a good friend to care.
When she said that she didn't want to be here, was she referring to being out or was she referring to not wanting to be alive?
When people infer that they're feeling suicidal it's important to take them seriously. Listen and try not to offer solutions but encourage them to keep talking. The NHS has some good advice on how to support a person who is experiencing mental health issues or feeling suicidal. Please go to the NHS website for advice. Good luck.
She was referring to being alive
Thank you so much for replying I never thought of looking on the nhs website. I will do that now
It sounds as though you're coming from a nice place, you mean well, and you really, really want her to get better. But honestly, you have got to stop suggesting things. If she's struggling with depression, she is likely focussed on putting one foot in front of another, getting through every segment of the day. Facing constant 'suggestions' and 'why don't you do X', or 'doing Y would make you feel better' is too much. It really, really is.
I have a friend doing that to me right now. To the point that on my darkest days I refuse to answer her calls, because I actually end up feeling worse after talking to her than I do before. Please don't be that friend.
I have a friend who has been extremely depressed and it's been going on for years. I tried really hard to help her. She eventually tried to take her own life but thankfully failed. The thing that has really helped is being on antidepressants, she has tried so hard to help herself in the past in many ways but the pills are the main thing that have helped her start to dig herself out of the worst of it.
When someone is in the position my friend was there is actually little that could have been done by anyone to help her, she just couldn't see any light. Nothing I did would make her feel better for long and even the things she said might help didn't really although it's always worth trying to find out what she might be open to. For example, my friend loves the sun... a lot, so she has taken out some money from savings and prebooked a couple of holidays during the times that she predicts she may feel worse (anniversaries etc) this has helped more recently. She likes it when people just pop in for a coffee more than going to someone else's. Ultimately she has had an awful lot of trauma in her past and there is one thing after another that she has had to deal with. All that being said it can be incredibly draining trying to help someone with very bad depression, upsetting too and sometimes you have to make sure you're ok and perhaps take a break.
I would maybe contact family that could help, ask her what you can do to help as in Pip round for coffee or attend any appointments or organise anything but do ask her at all points. Mind have some helpful information (I don't know how to do links from my phone but this has some good advice
I see where you are coming from talkingabout but she contacts me to tell me certain things have happened for example her dad has fallen out with her and called her a waste of space, so I was suggesting we try find her somewhere else to live as it is adding to her problems, and she has mentioned wanting to move out before. What would you suggest I say in reply to these kind of things?
Thanks narcs, your friend sounds similar to when I was depressed I did the same like planning things to look forward to ect as I felt it helped with the dark times. Thought I could try this with my friend but it's not working out that way, I know everyone deals with it differently. I will have a look on the website you suggested thank you
Adviceplease1 - first, sympathise with her. Tell her that her dad is being a grade A prick and you hope he stops acting like that soon. Ask her how she feels. Let her cry about it. Let her rage about it if she wants. Let her feel sorry for herself. THEN ask her if she would like to do anything about it, because if she does, you are there to help her, whenever she wants/needs. And then drop it.
Eventually, she might get strong enough to make the move, and she will know that you will do everything to help her. But if all she gets from you is the suggestion to leave when she's not ready, then she'll stop crying on your shoulder.
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