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Question
Posted by: ANRE | 2012/02/17

How to support depression sufferer when they are dragging you down too?

I work with a relative that suffers from depression and suicidal tendencies.

I fetch and drop this person on a daily basis and also spend the whole day at work together. Sistimatically the the conversation got more and more depressing in the car. I''d say the majority of the conversation revolves around lies and stories about other family members that are blatantly not true.

This person also never talks about anything other than made up garbage, so I spent alot of time talking about my life etc. only to find out stories get told about me too and the truth gets twisted etc. So I''ve deciced to stop talking about anything in my personal life. The conversation has become very stiff, akward and actually just unbearable.

Anyway, this person suffers from " depression"  and had a suicidal incident again for the 2nd time and has now been booked off for a couple of weeks.

I cannot handle the negativity anymore, because the more I dislike what I hear, the more negative I become myself and the less I want to be around this person.

I will have to resume my duty as " chauffeur"  soon, but for my own sanity, I cannot do it. What if I say the wrong thing and suicide gets committed because I critisised or said the " wrong"  thing?

How do I handle this? At this point in time, I find it EXTREMELY difficult to sympathise or understand, making me look like a monster! When something bad happens to someone that you don''t like, it doesn''t automatically mean you have to now like and support them! And that is how I feel! I have very mixed emotions about this. But If I don''t " support"  this person, the whole family will frown on me!

I cannot sit in the car for 2 x 30 min trips a day and pretend " nothing is wrong" . I''ll end up like that person!!

What do I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Your relative needs, urgently, to see a psychiatrist for a full proper assessment and treatment of the depression, which may include medicines and CBT counselling. It is unacceptable for depression to go untrewated when effective treatments are available. If possible, get someone else in the family to give her the lift to work. If this isn't practical, tell her that these discussions are utterly unacceptable to you, and you will onl drive her to work if such discussions are banned. Also set a deadline for her to see a good local psychiatrist for assessment and treatment of her depressed condition. If she has made previous suicide attempts, it is utterly irresponsible if she is not seeing a competent psychiatrist I this is far beyond the capablilities of an ordinary GP ) for proper treatment. Being just booked off for a couple of weeks is useless unless this is for intensive treatment.
And tell the family to stop scapegoating you and leaving all the responsibility on your shoulders, and get busy and actively involved in getting her proper expert treatment.

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.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Obvious | 2012/02/18

put yourself first and cancel the lift club.
the family members who will judge you for doing this can take up the slack and take her to work................

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/02/18

Your relative needs, urgently, to see a psychiatrist for a full proper assessment and treatment of the depression, which may include medicines and CBT counselling. It is unacceptable for depression to go untrewated when effective treatments are available. If possible, get someone else in the family to give her the lift to work. If this isn't practical, tell her that these discussions are utterly unacceptable to you, and you will onl drive her to work if such discussions are banned. Also set a deadline for her to see a good local psychiatrist for assessment and treatment of her depressed condition. If she has made previous suicide attempts, it is utterly irresponsible if she is not seeing a competent psychiatrist I this is far beyond the capablilities of an ordinary GP ) for proper treatment. Being just booked off for a couple of weeks is useless unless this is for intensive treatment.
And tell the family to stop scapegoating you and leaving all the responsibility on your shoulders, and get busy and actively involved in getting her proper expert treatment.

Reply to cybershrink

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