I’m not sure if I’m really in the right place but thought I’d see if anyone had any advice.
I’m friends with a girl who has depression. We’re fairly new friends so I don’t know much of her history but I do know she’s suffered with it before, had an eating disorder too (which may be coming back but I’m unsure) and is still on medication for depression now (don’t know the type and dose). Since I’ve known her she’s always been very bubbly and hyperactive. She’s also blurting out inappropriate things and seems to yoyo a bit, putting on a front for most but actually quite depressed and upset inside. Looking into depression a bit I think these are signs of manic (correct me if I’m wrong). Although I haven’t known her long she seems to feel ok confiding some things in me, she’s recently told me that she’s feeling suicidal but can’t tell her family because they’ll worry. She really loves her job (working with kids) and is afraid that if she tells the doctor she’s feeling this way she’ll end up losing her job, and so lose her flat and ‘any reason to keep going on’ (her words).
I’m really worried about her but not sure how I can help. I’ve been telling her to talk with her family because they’re probably worried about her anyway (she lives away from them but recently had a sister come to visit who noticed she was acting a little strange). I’ve also offered to be there for her and listen but because I don’t know much about depression I’m not sure I’m able to help her in the best way. I wondered if anyone can tell me whether I’m doing the right thing or if there’s any other way I can help her, especially if she’s not willing to tell the doctor how bad she’s feeling.
She was with some sort of initial prevention group but has since lost touch with them. I don’t think she sees a psychiatrist or counsellor. She’s also drinking a bit, which I don’t know is so uncommon for her but I can’t help but feel that drinking isn’t really helping and I don’t know how to approach that with her (because I don’t know how much she drinks normally and because I’m relatively new to her life).
A little background to how we became friends, we met through the internet on a dating site. Since I’ve known her I’ve fallen for her a little bit and she’s not sure how she feels about me. I know that with this depression going on getting into a relationship is the last thing she needs, so I’m happy not to push it but I still want to be there for her if only as a friend because I’m not sure who else she’s confiding in (if anyone).
Sorry for the long and winding post! But if anyone has any suggestions of things I can do to help or support her, I’d be really grateful. If this isn’t appropriate for here and there’s another board somewhere please let me know.