I need advice regarding my friend...

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averyshortgiraffe
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:59 am

I need advice regarding my friend...

Postby averyshortgiraffe » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:41 am

Hey, I am quite new here, so please, if my question is not appropriate, I apologize in advance.

So, I need an advice regarding a friend of mine... She is few years younger than me and we don't live in the same country so our source of communication is mostly through phone calls and text messages. Anyway, for as long as we are friends, she has been telling me that she has depression, but lately, I get the feeling that she might be just using it as an excuse to get attention or maybe it is some other kind of mental disorder that I am not aware of it. Here is what triggered my doubts...

More than often, we would talk on a daily basis, and it would be fun talk, you know the usual things like fashion, art, music we both like, just the regular chat, lots of laughs and good atmosphere. But, there is a pattern that I noticed happening.

If I don't answer her text messages straight away, she would text me that she is feeling depressed and that she wishes she was dead and all kinds of other very heartbreaking things (I really don't want to get into details) followed by bunch of "happy" emojis. Other things that would trigger those thoughts are usually school problems that she might have, social situations, etc..

I tried to help her countless times. When she told me that she would try to read books about depression and how to get better, I bought and sent her books, I make sure that she doesn't feel lonely and that she knows that I am there for her, but recently, as awful as it sounds it became a bit tiring for me. I just got a new job, moved to another city and I work full-time (up to 10h) and I am struggling to fit any kind of social interaction, even with my closest family members.

I never experienced any type of depression other than one that's associated with death of a close relative, but something tells me that the friend of mine is not as depressed as she implies. And I am not a mean person, but I do have a feeling that she uses depression as a way of getting attention. Or maybe there is some other disorder that is associated with both which I am unaware of?

Any help or advice would be welcomed.

Thank you.

Rachelm2535
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:24 pm

Re: I need advice regarding my friend...

Postby Rachelm2535 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:44 pm

@averyshortgiraffe - The thing with depression is you can be good one day and then the next is something different. There is no way to tell if it is true depression or not only a therapist could do that and if she isn’t getting help that is on her not you. All you can do is talk to her about your concerns and that it is a bit overwhelming or keep responding to her calls for help. As one who was depressed for years in the past I can say no one knew about it...I kept to myself because I was so ashamed. But people are different and if she is crying out for help keep pointing her to avenues of help such as a pastor, therapist or even online help lines. As her friend you can’t take on the responsibility to help her she has to want help from someone who knows how to help her. By the way you are quite a lovely friend to care so much for her. But if her problems start effecting you that is not healthy. -Rachel

averyshortgiraffe
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:59 am

Re: I need advice regarding my friend...

Postby averyshortgiraffe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:25 am

Rachelm2535 wrote:@averyshortgiraffe - The thing with depression is you can be good one day and then the next is something different. There is no way to tell if it is true depression or not only a therapist could do that and if she isn’t getting help that is on her not you. All you can do is talk to her about your concerns and that it is a bit overwhelming or keep responding to her calls for help. As one who was depressed for years in the past I can say no one knew about it...I kept to myself because I was so ashamed. But people are different and if she is crying out for help keep pointing her to avenues of help such as a pastor, therapist or even online help lines. As her friend you can’t take on the responsibility to help her she has to want help from someone who knows how to help her. By the way you are quite a lovely friend to care so much for her. But if her problems start effecting you that is not healthy. -Rachel


Thank you Rachel for your response and for the lovely words!

I have read about mood swings regarding depression, and that's actually the only thing that keeps me alerted whenever she goes into dark direction. I don't want her to do any harm to herself, so I keep trying to help her out. I know that she has visited a therapist, but she stopped after one or two sessions. I will keep trying to help her, and also subtly recommend some help, because as you wrote, that's all I can do - I am not trained to deal with depression in its core.

JackieJ
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:59 pm

Re: I need advice regarding my friend...

Postby JackieJ » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:13 pm

You sound like a very good friend. Communication is usually the best policy. You sound like you will probably be able to share your concerns and questions with your friend in a kind and caring way. Perhaps chatting by phone, instead of texts, would be best, so that your friend can hear your concern and not interpret it as judgment. She may get upset, but her response could provide valuable information about how she is functioning and what is really going on. It may be challenging and will require some thought, but I think that you can continue to support her without creating dependence by try to set loving boundaries. Let us know how it goes.

Rachelm2535
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:24 pm

Re: I need advice regarding my friend...

Postby Rachelm2535 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:55 pm

averyshortgiraffe wrote:
Rachelm2535 wrote:@averyshortgiraffe - The thing with depression is you can be good one day and then the next is something different. There is no way to tell if it is true depression or not only a therapist could do that and if she isn’t getting help that is on her not you. All you can do is talk to her about your concerns and that it is a bit overwhelming or keep responding to her calls for help. As one who was depressed for years in the past I can say no one knew about it...I kept to myself because I was so ashamed. But people are different and if she is crying out for help keep pointing her to avenues of help such as a pastor, therapist or even online help lines. As her friend you can’t take on the responsibility to help her she has to want help from someone who knows how to help her. By the way you are quite a lovely friend to care so much for her. But if her problems start effecting you that is not healthy. -Rachel


Thank you Rachel for your response and for the lovely words!

I have read about mood swings regarding depression, and that's actually the only thing that keeps me alerted whenever she goes into dark direction. I don't want her to do any harm to herself, so I keep trying to help her out. I know that she has visited a therapist, but she stopped after one or two sessions. I will keep trying to help her, and also subtly recommend some help, because as you wrote, that's all I can do - I am not trained to deal with depression in its core.



Thanks for responding. You are so right as her friend you are there to be her friend not her counselor. Enabling never helped anyone...you are a wise friend. Many blessings.

juliatom543
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:36 am
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: I need advice regarding my friend...

Postby juliatom543 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:44 am

Rachelm2535 wrote:@averyshortgiraffe - The thing with depression is you can be good one day and then the next is something different. There is no way to tell if it is true depression or not only a therapist could do that and if she isn’t getting help that is on her not you. All you can do is talk to her about your concerns and that it is a bit overwhelming or keep responding to her calls for help. As one who was depressed for years in the past I can say no one knew about it...I kept to myself because I was so ashamed. But people are different and if she is crying out for help keep pointing her to avenues of help such as a pastor, therapist or even online help lines. As her friend you can’t take on the responsibility to help her she has to want help from someone who knows how to help her. By the way you are quite a lovely friend to care so much for her. But if her problems start effecting you that is not healthy. -Rachel

Great answer


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