How to help a depressed friend go through life?

Depression/anxiety may have touched your family, your friends, yourself; what helps you to deal with it? Sharing is caring!

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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:25 pm

How to help a depressed friend go through life?

Postby PillowGirl » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:27 pm

I have this really great friend and it pains me to see her family upset all the time. They fight over the littlest things and it makes her moody for the rest of the day. Seriously, one word is all it takes to set her off. For example, her mother showed her friends a picture of her in a dress, and she became angry because she wanted to keep it private.
Another example: We accidentally ordered black coffee, thinking it was something else, and her sister teased her for it. Not in a bullying way. Just light-hearted teasing. Her mother joined in on it too, but my friend didn't like it one bit and it made her even more angry.
The worst thing happened yesterday when their father brought home food. Her sister couldn't eat it because it wasn't vegetarian. The father became angry/sad, since he thought the food would cheer everyone up. The sister became upset because she thought he KNEW that she was vegetarian. Thus started a chain reaction that affected my friend and made the house stony silent for the rest of the night.
When she becomes angry, she doesn't smash/hit things or turn red in the face or yell at me. Instead, she becomes quiet and stews in her emotions and won't look at anyone. Or, she puts on a fake smile and acts overly happy toward me to hide her sadness. When this happens, she builds a wall around her and won't let me in.
She's not a romantic, mushy gushy kind of person. She's the independent, proud, strong-willed and edgy teen. She likes gore, horror movies, and the supernatural. Whenever I try to say, "I love you/ I'll always be there for you/ I think you're perfect," she becomes annoyed and tells me to stop. I think it's because she feels uncomfortable talking about her emotions, even though we've been best friends for 5 years. She doesn't like showing anyone her secret side, not even to her family.
The advice I've heard was to just sit and listen. But I've been doing this exact thing for 5 years. I sit and offer to listen, but as I've said before, she doesn't like voicing her feelings. She just stews her emotions in silence. When I say her name, she replies back with a "Not now."
Another advice I've heard is to take her places and do things that'll make her happy. But we DO do that on a daily basis. It's common for her family to go to malls, theaters, restaraunts, etc. but as I said before, it's hard for her family to work together and one word is all it takes to tear the happy mood apart.

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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:57 pm

Re: How to help a depressed friend go through life?

Postby Bee4Shine » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:11 pm

It sounds like you are doing all the right things. And that you are so patient with your friend. Someday she will realize that you have been the kind and compassion friend who has been there all along. It also sounds like she is unable to process feelings and emotions. I know I struggled with this a lot. I began to work on myself by having a list of feeling words infront of me and reading through them until I found the word that described my current feeling. It was so helpful - because I could then identify the word with my feeling and I learned so much about why I did what I did. Here is a website where you can download a list of these "soul words". Another thing is the movie "Inside out". I absolutely loved it and loved processing it with my friends. Maybe it might help you and your friend too. You probably do not know how impacting you are to your friend. I applaud you - keep it up!

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Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 2:11 pm

Re: How to help a depressed friend go through life?

Postby Helloraspberries1 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:52 am

Hi, sorry to hear what your going through.

I don't have much advice but maybe try and talk to her and see why whenever she gets angry that she keeps things to herself.

I don't know if you live in the UK but if you feel like she needs someone to talk to then ask her to phone the smartians. They are here 24/7 7 days a week who help people with emotional support.

Have you asked her to seek counseling? Maybe that's a good idea to. Also don't let yourself feel neglected too. Talk to someone how you feel about this too.

With her family issues it's a case of her talking to her family how she feels.

I hope that helps. Sorry for the lack of advice.

Good Luck x

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