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Question
Posted by: Vee | 2012/05/08

At a loss

My friend''s baby died a few months ago (when she was only 5 months old - cot death) . Needless to say my friend has taken it very badly. Thing is, I have no idea of how to help her. She has lost interest in everything, she doesn''t really want to talk about it. I make sure that I go see her at least once a week, and I know that she is very sad / angry - a whole range of raging emotions and to top it all of she feels guilty. She is withdrawing from everything and everyone, has resigned from her job with no backup plan, won''t see her psychologist anymore, and has already attempted suicide. I don''t know what to do, or say to her that can be of any help - any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

All grief is hard work, but some situations, like cot death, can be especially difficult for anyone to handle. Your friend is showing significant and worrying signs of an excessive, complicated and risky level of grief, however, and really does need and deserve proper expert help.
I'm worried when youj say she "won't see her psychologist any more", as this implies whe had previous problems and was seeing a psychologist, but has now stopped doing so and is reluctant to do so.
There will be a genuine risk of suicide, so do, with the help of her husband and family, work towards gently but firmly urging her to see her psychologist again, or a different psychologist, but someone familiar with the difficulties of grief.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Vee | 2012/05/08

Thanks Cybershrink, I will try to encourage her to see someone. I''m not aware of any previous problems she may have had, she started seeing a psychologist shortly after the death of her baby, at her mom''s insistence, but doesn''t want to do so anymore - she says she sees no point. She is unmarried (very young) and still lives with her mom.

Lolly, I" m so sorry your baby died too, and I''m so sorry you were alone - it must have been the hardest, darkest time of your life! My friend feels an immense amount of guilt. She lives in the South of JHB. Thanks for your message and I hope your path gets a bit easier every day and is filled with a little more light

Reply to Vee
Posted by: Lolly | 2012/05/08

i am sorry to hear that your friend lost her baby. I lost my baby last year and I can tell you grief really is hard work. She is lucky to have your support. I was very much alone, with family and friends far away and those that were close, became distant, not knowing what to say or how to be supportive.

You are filled with so much guilt, so much pain, that you feel you can''t get through this. It really takes time.

Your friend is really taking it badly and her grief is rather excessive. She very likely feels responsible for her little one''s death, which is why she is behaving like this.

May I ask which city she lives in?

Reply to Lolly
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/08

All grief is hard work, but some situations, like cot death, can be especially difficult for anyone to handle. Your friend is showing significant and worrying signs of an excessive, complicated and risky level of grief, however, and really does need and deserve proper expert help.
I'm worried when youj say she "won't see her psychologist any more", as this implies whe had previous problems and was seeing a psychologist, but has now stopped doing so and is reluctant to do so.
There will be a genuine risk of suicide, so do, with the help of her husband and family, work towards gently but firmly urging her to see her psychologist again, or a different psychologist, but someone familiar with the difficulties of grief.

Reply to cybershrink

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