Need to Help a Friend

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aeb25
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/11/2007 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
My best friend has all the classic symptoms of depression (constant fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, irritability, no interest in things he used to love) and seems to believe he is depressed. When we talked about it, he just told me he doesn't want to be on any medication ("i don't want anything that changes or adjusts my brain"). But I am really worried about him, he has lost a lot of his old friendships because he is hard to be around. Losing those relationships just makes him feel like no one really cares about him. When his old friends call him to see how he's doing he thinks they are just calling so they don't feel guilty. I care about him a lot and I'm hoping someone can give me some suggestions on how to encourage him to get help. Should he go to a therapist, or a family doctor, or a psychologist? Any suggestions are appreciated!

faithfully4you
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 5/11/2007 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
sad  AEB~
Welcome to our forum.  You have stumbled upon a site where you will be able to reach out to others who have experiences as you.
I know that it is extremely hard for someone to understand that they are depressed.  There are many reasons behind this, the most obvious is of course the stigma that goes along with the thought of taking meds or seeing a psychiatrist.  Usually the first thing a person thinks when you bring this to their attention is that you are insinuating that the are "crazy" and the walls instantly come up.  I am not sure of your ages but I can tell you that if your friend is young the chances of him getting help now and conquering this beast as soon as possible could make a world of difference.
The first and foremost issue is not to pressure him into seeking help, I think the fact that you took the first step is great!!   That is usually the hardest for someone that cares about another that obviously dealing with depression.  However you can tell him that it concerns you and that maybe there are medical issues behind his behavior.  He may have thyroid problems or other health related issues that could be affecting his inability to feel "normal".  That would be my first step is too insist he see his medical doctor.  The symptoms you listed could be medically related and can be ruled out by blood tests.
Insisting that he see his medical doctor may not be construed as telling him that he is "depressed" but simply showing concern for his health. 
 
If he gets to his doctor and his doctor has a chance to evaluate his health and behavior, then it is out of your hands.  A good doctor will pick up on anything not detected by tests.  I pray this happens for you and him.
 
Let us know how it goes.
 
You both will be in our prayers.
 
Teresa
Teresa
"Faith is knowing you're in control
when your life is falling apart,
Faith is in that quiet assurance
I feel deep within my heart".


faithfully4you
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 5/12/2007 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
nono  AEB~
After thinking about my post, I wanted to add something else to your thoughts.
 
If after he sees the doctor if it is not picked up by the doctor that depression should be looked into and your friend seems to be getting worse in his symptoms, although it is true that we can only help those that help themselves but here is an option.
 
This is of course something that I dearly hope that you do not have to resort to but sometimes when people become so hopeless in their depression whether or not they admit it, they can become so depressed that they either make statements to ideations of death or they start giving away things that are valuable to them.  This is a sign that they give when they are suicidal.  It is not 100% that they do this but the "stats" are adequate enough that it is a major sign.  If you see or hear anything like this, you can contact anonamously a crisis center or if you know his doctor, call the office and express your concern.  He does not know that you did this.
 
I am not saying this is the best advice but in your situation, I guess I would do the things I could do to ensure my friend's health and life.
 
Remember, if he becomes a threat to himself, YOU can take steps to do something, he may get mad at you but once people are healthy, they usually have the capacity to understand that you did it because you cared about them.
 
Good luck to you and let us know.
 
We are here for you.
Teresa
"Faith is knowing you're in control
when your life is falling apart,
Faith is in that quiet assurance
I feel deep within my heart".


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/12/2007 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi aeb25, Welcome to Healing Well forum, we are most happy to have you join us here.  You have gotten so great advice so far from our members.  I do hope you continue to post and let us know how your friend is doing.

Take care


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


aeb25
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/12/2007 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, thanks so much for the support and advice, I really appreciate it. He told me he knows he has depression, but I know he is really sick of going to the doctor (he recently had a bunch of blood tests and found out he has hypoglycemia). So on top of having an illness that causes him to feel weak and dizzy all the time, he has these hopeless feelings and hates the way his life is going. He's only 20 years old, I want so badly for him to start feeling better, both mentally and physically. He does wake up early every morning, exercises and eats well (mostly for the hypoglycemia, but I'm hoping it helps his mental health, too), so I feel like he could feel so much better if he also had some medication or therapy. I'll try suggesting that he look into natural therapies or seeing a therapist next time the subject comes up. Maybe that will help him start moving in the right direction. I try not to keep pushing him, and I just emphasize that I just want him to feel better.

aeb25
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/12/2007 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
By the way, he has said things like "I might as well just **** myself" when he's complaining about his medical condition and job/living situation, but he's always saying it in a joking manner. It still worries me. He isn't always acting down though, he laughs a lot and has a good time when we're together.
Also, when I have to leave (to eat with my family or go back to school) he tends to make me feel really guilty about it, is this something that people struggling with depression tend to do? And he doesn't really care when he hurts my feelings or upsets me in any way. I'm hoping this is more his depression than his natural personality, to be honest.

Post Edited By Moderator (els) : 5/12/2007 4:56:22 PM (GMT-6)


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/12/2007 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   

I hope when he says stuff like that you dont let it go as a joke and let him know that it is never okay to joke like that.  When people say things of this nature then more times then not this is what is on their mind and they need help ASAP.

I am going to post some web sites to you so you can either forward them to him or whatever you like but this is for you both to become more informed.

http://suicidehotlines.com/

http://suicide.com/suicidecrisiscenter/

http://suicidal.com/depressionandsuicide/

http://www.psycom.net/depression.central.suicide.html

http://www.yellowribbon.org/


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


faithfully4you
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 5/12/2007 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
sad  OK this is where you step in~~~~
remember in my post that if he has any ideations of hurting himself it is not a joke!  AEB you must step in and at least let him know that it is important that no matter how he feels about getting help, even temporary, for this feeling that it is a must!!!!  Especially since he has stated it to you.  It is important to let him know that he has made you a part of it and that you are worried about the things he has said.
 
I can speak on the behave of a person making those statements and I will tell you that if it were not for the Faith that I have for the things hoped for, I cannot honestly say that I would be posting right now.  I swear!  I don't know what he feels or if he sees any substance in his future but I will tell you this, anytime that I talked about this, I was serious!!!!!  Only the thought of what I trust my Faith with is the only saving grace.  Sometimes people have none, I fortunately have some.
 
Please by all means, do your best to persuade him to seek help, immediately.
 
Teresa
"Faith is knowing you're in control
when your life is falling apart,
Faith is in that quiet assurance
I feel deep within my heart".


ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 5/13/2007 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Aeb
I also wanted to welcome you to the forum as you have already found there are alot of great people on this site.
I wanted to add that us with depression sometimes seem to take it out on the ones we love.
I have no idea why we do that but we do.
We also push away things that we used to enjoy,it is almost like we are punishing ourselves for being happy for a few moments. Hence the reason he is not dealing with his friends.
I too would bring the matter up to him and explaining to him that talking about that really scares you and it is not funny at all.
Sometimes people do that to reach out for help. Although it sounds like he is reaching out but does not want to take the proper steps to actually get it. Very stubborn.


Good luck and keep us posted.

Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Currently taking none.
www.healingwell.com/donate

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


faithfully4you
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 5/13/2007 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
sad  Shyn~
I wish I knew how to manuever the "quote" control because your last post is so powerful!!!!  When you said that we do things because it is like a punishment for the moments of happiness that we feel we don't deserve is so TRUE!!!!!  I know because I have lived my life doing this.  Actually I have done things to ensure that my possibilities of happiness are thwarted!!!  WHY?!
I have learned the hard way that when you do this, your so call self-fullfilled prophecy does come true!  And it hurts more than anything in the world!
I have made a decision to not do this anymore at a cost that I will never stop paying for.  Will it make me a better person, I KNOW so.  In my life, I have lost everything that has given me the strength to try to be this "new" person.
 
For once in my life, I feel some value in me but that doesn't take the hurt and pain that overwhelms my life on a daily basis.
 
I am probably the loneliest I have ever been in my life.  I have never been so sad and angry all at the same time.  I pray for a miracle every day and walk behind my ever enduring Faith as a guide.
 
Will I ever be able to laugh so hard that tears come to my eyes or will I ever be able to look and smell a flower that I planted and see the brillant colors and smell the scent that I can't see now because of the fog that has covered my life.
 
Today is mother's day and this is the one day (besides my children's b-days) of the year that I am grateful to be here.  I look at my life and if I ever did anything the way I should, I look at my beautiful children and find the peace that I should have every day.  The one thing I am proud of is that I made the world a better place when my children were born.
 
Thank you Shyn for actually sharing with us what some people dont understand.  For us it is a reality for others it is a beauty, a gift that is taken for granted.  Just one day I would love to feel that happiness that I havent seen for several months.
 
To all the moms, enjoy your day and when you look at your children, know that they are your miracle of a lifetime!
Teresa
"Faith is knowing you're in control
when your life is falling apart,
Faith is in that quiet assurance
I feel deep within my heart".


aeb25
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/13/2007 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I realize when he says things like that it is not a joke. But if I react really strongly and try to force him into anything when he's not willing he will shut down on me and I know I won't get anywhere with him. In fact he would probably not discuss his feelings with me anymore, and I'm the only one he honestly talks to. Shy is totally right, he is very stubborn. I always take him seriously when he says that and I try to acknowledge that I realize he really feels that bad. I'm going to continue encouraging him to get help, I sent him an article I found on depression and treatment earlier. At this point I think he really needs to decide to help himself and I'll be more insistant on him getting diagnosed and treated.

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 5/14/2007 4:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Teresa
You are very welcome,I too have alot of insight with this disease as I too have been living with it all of my life.
I don't totally understand it,but have figured a few things out about it,just like you have.

Aeb,
just remember you can not change this man,and you have got to be happy.

Please keep us posted


Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Currently taking none.
www.healingwell.com/donate

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


faithfully4you
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 5/15/2007 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
AEB~
Just wondering how things have been with you.  Let us know, we care about you and your significant other!!
Teresa
"Faith is knowing you're in control
when your life is falling apart,
Faith is in that quiet assurance
I feel deep within my heart".


aeb25
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/15/2007 7:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
Thanks for asking. i haven't had a chance to spend time with him in the last few days, I've just moved back home from school tonight. But, he was very productive today and went out with a few friends tonight to see a concert, so I think he's doing okay right now. I'll keep you updated. Please keep him in your prayers.

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 5/16/2007 5:03 AM (GMT -7)   
That is good news Aeb,hopefully he continues that way.




Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Currently taking none.
www.healingwell.com/donate

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


faithfully4you
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 5/16/2007 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
yeah  AEB~
cool!  what concert did you see?  I love concerts.  I havent been to one for so long ;)
I am glad things are ok with you, I hope that it continues that way as you probably already know one day of goodness unfortunately doesnt mean the rest will be great.  KEEP PUSHING THOUGH SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!
Teresa
"Faith is knowing you're in control
when your life is falling apart,
Faith is in that quiet assurance
I feel deep within my heart".


aeb25
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/20/2007 7:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I love concerts too :), unfortunately I couldn't go to this one. He went to a Dick Dale show, he said he really enjoyed it.
Things are really up and down lately, he is still not willing to get help.

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 5/21/2007 5:24 AM (GMT -7)   
At some point aeb all you can do is give your support. I hope he sees the light soon



Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Currently taking none.
www.healingwell.com/donate

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"

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