Depressed Friend, need some advice!

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    Nov 14, 2009 12:23 AM GMT
    I'm not sure what else I can do at this point, but my best friend is a wreck and I'm not sure how to help him anymore. For the last couple months he has been really depressed, and right now I'm trying to help him out of this slump. He has been having problems with school, a girl he was seeing dumped him, has family problems and his Grandmother is in the hospital.

    Right now he is an hour away at school, so I can only talk to him online, or through the phone. I'm going to the city where he's staying tomorrow and said I'd go pick him up and watch a movie, or go out for food, but he told me to stay away, and that he doesn't feel like talking to anybody. I've known this guy for a long time, he's my best friend, and I think that what he needs is to talk to someone right now, or just know that someone cares about him. What else can I do right now? He won't answer the phone or my texts.

    I think I'm going to go visit him tomorrow, regardless if he wants me to or not. Have any of you had friends like this, and how did you help them out of their tough times?

  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Nov 14, 2009 12:35 AM GMT
    Canadian Guy,

    I'm alarmed by what you write, especially when young guys your age start rejecting their buddies and spend too long in a slump.

    Check out a couple of websites on depression (like http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm) or speak to a counselor to help you figure out what signs to look out for when you see him and for ideas how to help.

    Best friends are precious and getting through something like this together can cement the friendship for many years to come.

    Best of luck to you and to him.
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    Nov 14, 2009 12:44 AM GMT
    it's kinda normal when someone is in a really bad spot that they start pushing people away from them.

    As much as he'll hate you doing it, go see him, rock up at his door and don't leave until you've gotten in to talk, not just about his problems, but just like mates do about anything and everything.

    Right now, it sounds like he's pretty low down, for me, my immediate instinct is to push everyone away but I did always feel a little better after someone would push them selfs on me even if the feeling was brief.

    He's your friend and a guy, he doesn't want you to see him like that, so don't expect your friend to be the guy you remember, just love him for who he is right now and make it known you care he might not like it, but if he's got even an ounce of intelligence he'll hear it.
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    Nov 14, 2009 2:31 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice guys, it's appreciated. I'm gonna go visit him tomorrow, wish me luck!
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    Nov 14, 2009 3:51 AM GMT
    Hey fellow Canadian guy,

    I have been that guy. And the more I pushed people away, the more I really wanted to someone to listen.

    When you visit your friend, don't force him to spill his guts, but be there just to listen and not fix his problems.

    Also, see if his school can provide him with a therapist or counsellor to speak with. And if you can, get him to see his family doctor. He maybe able to provide him with an anti depressant if needed.

    Believe me, I fought tooth and nail not to take an antidepressant, until I came at a stand still in therapy. I've been on it for the last 2.5 years and that dark period in my life is a million miles away.

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    Nov 14, 2009 4:00 AM GMT
    I've been down a very dark path this past year and I concur with the fellow above me about alienating people whilst in reality wanting and needing the opposite. I had a friend similar to you (the OP), my best (perhaps only) true friend and I haven't spoken with her in nine months and treated her pretty badly when I did, often telling her to leave because I didn't feel comfortable abusing around her, and at other times pretending I didn't and needing her to leave to maintain my secret. Now that I'm recovering (which is a surprise to me honestly, considering how depressed and far away from the world that I had become) I'm going to be wanting those people around who I pushed away and may have to build completely new relationships. I'm fortunate to have been stronger than I thought, because if I'd been weaker and in the situation I was in I don't know what might've happened. Short version? Don't let the guy slip away, force feed him your company if you must and ..erhm.. just don't give up.
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    Nov 14, 2009 7:31 AM GMT
    Thanks guys. icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 25, 2009 4:42 AM GMT
    Hey Cdnguy, how are things working out with your friend?
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    Nov 25, 2009 4:57 AM GMT
    wow canadian, great blokes still exist in the world. good on ya mate
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    Nov 25, 2009 1:57 PM GMT
    Hey man,

    I am in the exact same situation with my boyfriend. Recently he has been going through a lot and seems to be hitting a new bottom low every day. We are in a long distance relationship which makes it even worse because I cant hug him or show him physical compassion. I've tried to help him, give him advice, let him see where he is making mistakes and help him try to fix them. However, he tells me that I make him feel even worse. What he doesnt understand is that his depression is affecting our relationship. He doesnt talk to me because he feels disconnected, and in retrospect i'm loosing my connection with him. I'm to the point of calling it quits (even though my heart tells me I should hold on a little longer). We keep getting into fights, make up and be happy for a day or two, then fight again. The reason I havent given up on him is because I truly LOVE him! But if he doesnt change and opens up with me..... our relationship is as good as done.

    But onto your situation.... a person that is depressed just want someone to be there for them. I hate bitten my toungue many times when I could of told my boyfried how to fix something and instead just listen. There is not much you can do..... your friendship connection will show with your level of toleration and just being there for your friend when he needs you. If you feel like he is not changing, refer him to a psychologist otherwise he will wear your life down as well and affect you in ways you couldnt even imagine. Hope things go well with you and your friend. Good Luck!
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    Nov 25, 2009 7:31 PM GMT
    Well, I went and saw him that weekend and he said he was glad I came, so we got out of the house for a bit and talked. He was doing a lot better, and we laughed quite a bit which was great. His grandmother unfortunately passed away last Thursday, so he was home a lot the last little bit so we could hang out. Went to the wake and funeral and he seemed to be doing pretty good. I am starting to see some great changes, he hasn't been so withdrawn and we talk more regularly again. I'm so happy he's starting to come back, I missed him.

    Thanks guys, you definitely helped me out! icon_wink.gif

    And Sinful_guy, sorry to hear about your boyfriend, that is definitely a tough position for you to be in. Maybe try to have less fights, sometimes biting your tongue is the best thing to do. I hope things work out for you.
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    Nov 25, 2009 7:53 PM GMT
    lilTanker saidit's kinda normal when someone is in a really bad spot that they start pushing people away from them.

    As much as he'll hate you doing it, go see him, rock up at his door and don't leave until you've gotten in to talk, not just about his problems, but just like mates do about anything and everything.

    Right now, it sounds like he's pretty low down, for me, my immediate instinct is to push everyone away but I did always feel a little better after someone would push them selfs on me even if the feeling was brief.

    He's your friend and a guy, he doesn't want you to see him like that, so don't expect your friend to be the guy you remember, just love him for who he is right now and make it known you care he might not like it, but if he's got even an ounce of intelligence he'll hear it.


    He knows the truth, as much as i try to ignore the big galoot! Even in Sydney he manages to pick me up out of myself
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    Nov 25, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    cdnguy35 saidI'm not sure what else I can do at this point, but my best friend is a wreck and I'm not sure how to help him anymore. For the last couple months he has been really depressed, and right now I'm trying to help him out of this slump. He has been having problems with school, a girl he was seeing dumped him, has family problems and his Grandmother is in the hospital.

    Right now he is an hour away at school, so I can only talk to him online, or through the phone. I'm going to the city where he's staying tomorrow and said I'd go pick him up and watch a movie, or go out for food, but he told me to stay away, and that he doesn't feel like talking to anybody. I've known this guy for a long time, he's my best friend, and I think that what he needs is to talk to someone right now, or just know that someone cares about him. What else can I do right now? He won't answer the phone or my texts.

    I think I'm going to go visit him tomorrow, regardless if he wants me to or not. Have any of you had friends like this, and how did you help them out of their tough times?



    You should make he aware you're there for him. You may ask him to talk about it, but, if he doesn't want to, you may want to suggest seeing a professional. Depression / introversion / isolation can be a grind.
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    Nov 25, 2009 9:17 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]lilTanker said
    As much as he'll hate you doing it, go see him, rock up at his door and don't leave until you've gotten in to talk, not just about his problems, but just like mates do about anything and everything.
    Right now, it sounds like he's pretty low down, for me, my immediate instinct is to push everyone away but I did always feel a little better after someone would push them selfs on me even if the feeling was brief.[/quote]


    Yeah.....go see him. Let him do all the talking or crying. Don't expect yourself to have all the answers. In fact, just listen and be eager to talk about other things....like movies or sports, or some juicy gossip about someone. The point is to get him to lighten up and crack a smile over something silly and fun.

    Go for drive and talk about anything you guys see. Get his mind off of the serious stuff.

    I don't want to be disrespectful of his situation, but remember the scene in "Steel Magnolias" at the funeral when Sally Fields was freaking out and Olympia Dukakis shoves Shirley Maclane into her face and says.."HIT HER". It worked.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Nov 27, 2009 5:53 AM GMT
    "I've known this guy for a long time, he's my best friend, and I think that what he needs is to talk to someone right now, or just know that someone cares about him."
    ______________________________________________
    I think that what you said above is what you need to tell him, whether in an email or in person. And, tell him that you're worried about him.

    Maybe just showing up is the right thing to do.
    But, maybe you'll get the door slammed in your face.
    I don't know.

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    Nov 27, 2009 6:10 AM GMT
    The state your friend is in is not a rational reasonable one and often when people are depressed in this way, they isolate and alienate the people in their lives.

    You must decide for yourself what you need and do take the actions that are aligned with your needs.

    There is not much you can do for your friend at this point except be there. He must make a choice about his own life and what he needs. He is obviously overwhelmed with a number of very serious stressors and would benefit from some professional help.

    Go see him and do what you feel you need to do in order to feel good about who you are.

    Best of luck to you,
    Dr. Eric