Posted by: SM | 2009/02/17

A friend to someone that is depressed

I have a wonderful friend that is now very very depressed! He tried to commit suicide when he was younger and is now going through a very tough patch again. To make things worse he is very unhappy in his job, is in financial difficulty and his father is very ill! I really feel sorry for him! He has een seeing a shrink and has started anti-depressants about 5 weeks ago. My problem is that he has withdraw himself from everyone! He does not answer e-mails, sms or calls! I understand that this is due to him being so depressed. My questions is, how can I be a friend to him in this time! I want to help him and be there for him! Should I keep on smsing, calling and e-mailing him, or should I give him his space? Should I maybe send him flowers? I really do not know! I feel helpless and need you help! Please give me as much info as to the do' s and don' ts as possible! Thanks so much!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

The best way to be a friend is to remain friendly, and make your availability clear. Let him know that you are keen to help, but will respect his privacy. though you feel helpless and worried when he does not respond, and would appreciate even brief mesages from him to indicate that he is getting by. If after 5 weeks he isn't feeling significantly better, his shrink ought to become more active and consider revising the treatment plan, and he should be encouraged to make sure his shrink knows exactly how he feels, and has the chance to improve the treatment plan.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mandi | 2009/02/17

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click on Helping a drepressed friend of family member.

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Reply to Mandi
Posted by: Maria | 2009/02/17

You are a good friend and he is happy to have you. A friend and I once made a pact that we will always answer each other' s sms' s, so the other person doesn' t have to worry about you being suicidal or in urgent need of help. Maybe suggest that to him. It' s very difficult to know what to do when the person isn' t communicating as you don' t know what state he is in and what is going on. I suggest a daily email/sms just saying that you' re thinking of him, encouraging him to contact you or telling him that you believe things can and will get better. The AD' s should have started to help by now so maybe also encourage him to speak to his doc if he isn' t starting to feel a bit better.

You must find a balance - you don' t want to harass him but it is also very important for him not to feel that you have given up on him.

Good luck

Reply to Maria

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