how to comfort someone

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Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 8/1/2010 1:46 AM (GMT -7)   
hey everyone,
i was just wondering if anybody could give me advice on how to comfort a friend who is becoming depressed, a friend of mine her mum is dying and theres no cure or way to stop it.. her dad is horrible to her and she goes to boarding school at my school.. she doesn't really have any friends and has told me the only person thats ever stuck by her is me.. i try my best to comfort and help her and just encourage her to keep living, but its so hard to know what will make it worse or better. when she says things like i dont know what ill do when shes gone, i dont know what to say.. does anyone have any help with anything to say to comfort her even when shes just scared i just want to help her so bad i hate seeing this girl go through this.

thanks heaps
hugs and love x

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18743
   Posted 8/1/2010 4:31 AM (GMT -7)   
listening is important. ask her how you can be of help. this is a tough one because of the circumstances, this you can not control-i would suggest to her about seeing a school mentor-counsellor. being a friend really helps also. be aware of yourself too, by this i mean i do not want you getting down too. be there for her when she needs you, take care of you as well. with healing compassion, jamie.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40567
   Posted 8/1/2010 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,
 
She needs to go to couseling or grief counseling.  This will really help her.
 
Best wishes to you.  You are a good friend.  Keep posting and let usknow how things are going.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

harrington49
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 8/1/2010 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Buttercup

What a fantastic friend you are. You can't really do anything to control the situation, it is hard to know what to say or to do. I think just being there for her and just put your arms around her shoulders and tell her you are there for her. I am sure she will appreciate your friendship.

It is a good idea to see if she will go to the school counsellor or perhaps to the grief counselling when the time comes. Maybe she might want you to go with her, that way she wouldn't feel so alone in the world. Her father is obviously not coping withe situation well either but you can't help him.

I hope you will continue to stand by your friend's side as she is going to need you a lot when the time comes. Please keep posting and let us know how you both are going.
Kind Regards


Harrington 49

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Date Joined Jul 2010
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   Posted 8/2/2010 2:27 AM (GMT -7)   
hey all :)
thanks for the advice, i had another long chat with her today and im sure i will be up late on the phone to her tonight! She is very upset and scared and i don't blame her at all!! But i have spoken to my head of year who wanted to chat to me about her and she was congratulating me for standing by her. But also said that if i ever feel she is putting it on a bit for attention and not trying to cheer up that i should tell her, i think she is enjoying the attention and having someone there. but i dont wanna say anything so just gonna stick by her and she'll get through this eventually :)

Thanks for everything, i will keep you posted and let you know whats happening! And ill try get her to talk to someone.

hugs xx

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18743
   Posted 8/2/2010 3:30 AM (GMT -7)   
your a good mate to your friend, proud of what your doing, jamie. the world needs more people like u!!
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 8/2/2010 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
BC-
I agree with the others that you do seem to be a really good friend. If she is doing it for attention, try planning a positive activity with her -- something she is very good at. If you can, maybe try inviting a few other friends along & make a point to give her compliments. If she responds to that, there is a decent chance that maybe she is just pretending to be depressed for attention. It's not fool-proof, but often it can be a good indicator.

If she still seems really down the whole time, then it might be time to recommend she see a professional counselor (at your school, if you have one, or in the community). Depression is not necessarily something you can just try to get better from. Some depression is caused by underlying medical conditions -- or in very rare instances, depression is a primary condition caused by a problem in brain chemistry. In those cases, saying that she is not trying to cheer up is like saying that someone with severe allergies is not trying to keep from sneezing. It requires finding the cause of the depression & then treating that condition, usually with medication.

Other people have depression caused mostly by something that upset them (though over time that can cause a chemical imbalance in the brain). For them, it's easier to overcome the depression but sometimes they need a trained professional to recommend certain techniques for their specific situation that the person can do to help him/herself feel better. Sometimes this group of people can also benefit from anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications.

In any case, it is not your responsibility to help her overcome her depression. That is a really hard thing to do & needs to involve doctors and a trained counselor. You have done the right thing talking to your head of year. Maybe the head knows something about your friend that we can't know over the internet. If she's faking, she will be able to be cheered up. If she's just sad, she should be able to be cheered up. I only wanted to explain that people with Major Depression usually cannot cheer up because the chemicals in the brain that make all of us feel happy are in short supply in the brains of people who are really depressed. Doctors can help treat that by giving medication. Counselors can help people understand their condition & learn special ways of not feeling so low all the time. They teach people who are depressed how to function with their condition & how to help themselves feel a little bit better. Depending on the cause & how quickly the person starts treatment, sometimes the person can feel pretty happy a "normal" amount of the time; others will continue to struggle with depression for the rest of their lives, but they can learn to help themselves and behave more socially around friends.

I hope that helps. You are a really good friend. Even if you need to tell your friend that you need a break & suggest she gets help, you are still a really good friend. I know that having a friend like you really helped me with my issues. Unfortunately, I relied on that friend a bit too much & she started drinking a lot. Now I'm trying to help her. If I'd realized that would happen, I wouldn't have shared so many of my dark thoughts with her. So I agree with Jamie that if it's getting too overwhelming maybe try setting up certain dates when you will talk with your friend & stick to them. If you are always staying up late listening to her negative comments (even if she can't help them except by seeing a doctor), you are more likely to get sick or sad and then you won't be much help. So please do take care of yourself. It will still be helpful if you say you will talk to your friend each Saturday (or any other single day of the week). That will give you a chance to rest up & really listen to her. If she's feeling better & just wants to chat about school or boys or whatever, then you could talk to her more often. But do be careful about always listening to the negative things.


blessings,
frances

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Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 8/3/2010 2:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for everything! Such good advice :)

Today i saw her by herself so i got her to come up and sit with my group, the minute she saw me and i talked to her she perked up and was smiling more, then when she was with my group of about 20 people, she was laughing and really happy, do you think its put on? because as soon as shes with a group she seems fine?? or do you think she just gets depressed when shes lonely?? i dont know if i should say something to my head of year, because my friends have all told me that she adores me at the moment and if i go to her and "accuse" this girl of putting it on i don't want her to hate me and think im rude and selfish but i wanna do it just to help her? any ideas of how i could say it/should i say something?
thankyou so much everyone xx

left forum.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 8/3/2010 2:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for everything! Such good advice :)

Today i saw her by herself so i got her to come up and sit with my group, the minute she saw me and i talked to her she perked up and was smiling more, then when she was with my group of about 20 people, she was laughing and really happy, do you think its put on? because as soon as shes with a group she seems fine?? or do you think she just gets depressed when shes lonely?? i dont know if i should say something to my head of year, because my friends have all told me that she adores me at the moment and if i go to her and "accuse" this girl of putting it on i don't want her to hate me and think im rude and selfish but i wanna do it just to help her? any ideas of how i could say it/should i say something?
thankyou so much everyone xx

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40567
   Posted 8/3/2010 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Often when we are depressed we do put on a happy face to get by when we see other people.  But it sounds like she is confiding with you and showing her true feelings.  It sounds like you are her best friend.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies
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