How can I convince a friend to get treatment? What will resonate with her?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

MitzMN
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 11/17/2007 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I do not need an education about depression. I've been dealing with that -- quite successfully now, thank goodness -- for 20+ years. But I have a cousin who happens to be a very beloved friend, whose life is going into the toilet because of her absolute refusal to seek help with her depression -- if she's even going to admit that day that she has a problem during my and several other people's suggestion that she seek help.

She knows full well about my depression and how I've been successful treating it with quite prolonged therapy and with medication, but she just refuses to take medication. She is so jealous and envious of other people, upset with most everyone, and absolutely feels like life has really dealt her a horrible hand, that she's never gotten a break in her life. Hey, she did have a truly awful mom, but after seeing her (now close to 60 and having been closer to her in the past 20 years) destroy just about every relationship she's had -- be they work relationships, friendships or marriages/love relationships -- I wonder if I ever got the true story about her mother, either.

Today she told me she is ready to leave her fiance, the man she's lived with for the past ten years. I believe he loves her and has tried very hard to make it work despite her depression. I believe she really loves him, but her depression will not allow it to work. She got a new job three weeks ago, and even though she absolutely hated her former job for virtually the entire five years she worked there and would complain constantly about it, hating everyone there at one time or another, on day 2 of the new job (for which she was recruited by the owner and started at over $2 an hour more than her previous job!), she was convinced she'd made a horrible mistake and wanted her old job back. She personalizes everything. When the trainer didn't spend enough time with her (or so she thought) and had to attend to her own duties, it was because she (the trainer) wanted her to fail. The trainer said something about her friend also applying for the position, which translated into the trainer hates her and wants her friend there instead. This happens everywhere she works. She's on her sixth job over the past 20 years, and they've all ended badly with lots of burned bridges.

I have told her she can stay here with me at my home if she feels she must leave her fiance. I would not turn my back on her ever. But I recognize the repetitive nature of the machinations and circles most depressed people go through. I lived it for years. But at least I had some insight into the fact of my whacked-out thinking during the times that I managed to climb out of the abyss, and I recognized that I just simply could not go on that way. I chose to try to claw my way out of misery. I tell her that. I tell her she can have a different life. Look at me! I once locked myself away and cried all the time, too, loathed myself! Her anger is more toward other people; mine was definitely directed toward myself. She just refuses, refuses, refuses my and other people's attempts to get her help. She doesn't want to pop pills. She doesn't have insurance. There's always an excuse. Pills are okay for me, but not for her. When I offer to pay, she could never do that. There's always a reason why she can't get help. I can't drag her to the doctor. I can't drag her to therapy.

Help me, please. Help me to help her. How can I convince her that her brain chemistry has become her enemy, that there is help out there, that she doesn't have to live this way, locking herself away in the guest bedroom for weekends at a time. Isolating herself from the world, destroying the relationship with the man she love(s)(d)? It's just too painful to imagine her continuing on that way, but if she continues to refuse to get help, I just don't know what to do. Believe me, I've pleaded, begged, offered to pay. If I could, I'd do it for her. But we all know I can't do the work for her.

Help!

Mitz (Primarily found at the Ulcerative Colitis forum on Healing Well)
Sporadic proctitis since about 1985. Mother had J-pouch surgery 1983.
DX'd with clostridium difficile in 2000. Pred, two courses of Flagyl, then Vancomycin finally got rid of it. 2001 colonoscopy dx'd left-sided UC. . Treated with prednisone, Rowasa, Asacol. Asacol not working, switched to Imuran. Three small flares since in 2002, 2005, and 2007, brought under control with steroid and Rowasa enemas. Lap Chole performed October 26, 2007, after gall bladder attack in June, '07.
Daily meds: 100 mg Azathioprine and 225 mg Effexor XR (for chronic, longstanding depression), many vitamins and Primadophilus Reuteri

Post Edited (MitzMN) : 11/17/2007 5:57:28 PM (GMT-7)


Akram
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 11/17/2007 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
HI MitzMN,

yeah to convince someone to need help this usually happens. some will refuse till the day they die and my uncle's wife just could not take it anymore, she was in deppresion for over 20 years and suffered a lot, she thought that going to see a doctor that the people will say she's crazy. she also had a number of other deseases. and she continuied this denial living a misrable life, sleeping all the day, trying drugs, screaming at her family etc etc

I was stubern about it too. I was suffering without me knowing it. I became moody and sometime don't go to work, miss-appointments, waste my time at work you name it. and would cry at silly things.

everyone was ask me to go see a dotctor for 4 months, till one day my uncle called me up we did a long call, and he totally insisted I go see the doctor at least once and then decide. so I did that, the moment I entered the room where the doctor was I felt really good. we talked about my life etc and in the end she perscribed some light medication (seroxat). I was feeling better after that, then she moved me to higher medicine like effexor. and I felt so much better when that was added.

With your cousin you need to put lots of presure on her. use these as an idea of what to say:

1) What are you doing to yourself, is not just affecting you, but all the people who know you and love you.
2) your brain need certain ballance of the chemicals and it's not your fault, and you needs the right chemical ballace.
3) you don't know how much are you suffering, you will only know when you gets better.
4) be very sure and firm when you discuss this with her. tell her don't you what to know what's your diagnosis?
5) talk about the symptoms with her and find out which ones she has, or doesn't have.

Last thing, when you talk to her, you have to understand what is she thinking. for example Denial and lousing motivation to do anything, the feeling that she can't accomplish anything without failure. keep discussing this untill you break this wall she's traped in, also tell her how much better you got when you started to heal.

hope this helps , good luck :)
                                                     To be or not to Be


djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 11/18/2007 5:05 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi there,

As im sure you already know from your own experiences, you cant help yuour cousin until she is ready to be helped and you cant force her to want help... its a decision she has to make for herself.

I want to disagree slightly with what akram has said, although I agree with the principle. In his list of statements, I would not use 1, 3 and possibly 4:

1 - What are you doing to yourself... implies a choice. It suggests that she is performing the actions out of choice and that she is in control when clearly she is not.

3 - You don't know how much you are suffering... From my experience, most people do. Telling them they dont know something and implying that you know better is a VERY forward kind of statement and is likely to put her back up.

4 - Dont you want to know your diagnosis? - Your skating on thin ice with this one because this can be taken to mean that a) She wants to be labelled and b) That the label will be the solution. Getting a diagnosis is a good idea and I agree that for some people it can help to know what they are fighting, but perhaps a better way of wording it would be: "If we (implying you are going to stick by her) can get a diagnosis for you, we can see a specialist who can help you better"

Major / Severe depression is a difficult one to work with because you have to be SO careful about what you say as it can be twisted so many different ways. Being firm is a good idea but also be sympathetic and listen to what your cousin wants. Suggest your idea and tell her why. Hopefully she will see that it is better than what she has at the moment and will seek treatment. My sister is going through the same thing at the moment but she is starting the road to recovery so I can tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It just depends on how long it takes for your cousin to seek treatment.

I hope this helps

Darren


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 


MitzMN
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 11/18/2007 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your replies. You've given me some good things to think about. I'm feeling pretty hopeless today. I'm thinking about, if she doesn't leave and stays there at least through Thanksgiving, when her son is coming down, having some kind of intervention with her fiance, her son and me, pleading with her to get some help.

I feel just powerless to do anything to help her to make her life better because of how stubborn she is and how wily this illness is. And it scares me what's ahead for her.

Mitz
Sporadic proctitis since about 1985. Mother had J-pouch surgery 1983.
DX'd with clostridium difficile in 2000. Pred, two courses of Flagyl, then Vancomycin finally got rid of it. 2001 colonoscopy dx'd left-sided UC. . Treated with prednisone, Rowasa, Asacol. Asacol not working, switched to Imuran. Three small flares since in 2002, 2005, and 2007, brought under control with steroid and Rowasa enemas. Lap Chole performed October 26, 2007, after gall bladder attack in June, '07.
Daily meds: 100 mg Azathioprine and 225 mg Effexor XR (for chronic, longstanding depression), many vitamins and Primadophilus Reuteri

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, December 05, 2016 5:39 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,732,900 posts in 301,070 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151224 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, teacher2many.
196 Guest(s), 5 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
teacher2many, Sherrine, NevadaMike, fibrocushie, Traveler


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer