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Question
Posted by: GG | 2004/11/10

How to help?

Dear Doc,

My friend is lonely and depressed. I told him to go for counseling, but he does not see the point of counseling. How can I help him out of this depression? I am trying to spend as much of my time as possible with him to cut down on the lonliness. He is retired and I work, so that gives us mainly week ends together. What else can I do to make him feel better about life and himself? He is very special to me, and I really would like to help him. What if I went with him to counseling?

Thanks
GG

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

What's the point of counselling ? What's the point of working with a expert on your side to understand your problems, your loneliness and your depression, and find the best way to get better ? Who would want that ? Simply sacrificing your own independence to babysit him may well not help. BY all means offer to accompany him to a counsellor, if that would help him to accept it. But there is a real limit to how much anyone else can help him with his problems, if he wont allow himself to be helped.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Explorer | 2004/11/10

I agree with Shaun, suggest things to do. Also encourage him to take up some sort of hobby, such as gardening, breeding fish, doing an art course etc. He will quickly become absorbed in these activities and the depression and lonliness will pass.

Reply to Explorer
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/11/10

Hi GG,

That's a great idea, but remember, you can't force anything upon anyone. Maybe you guys, or you, can suggest fun things to do together at first. Looking forward to doing something can do the world of good to some of us.
Counselling is always a good suggestion, but not if the person does not want it. The key word here being want.

As he is retired, he maybe just depressed coz he has all this time on his hands & nothing to do with it. Let's see what CS has to suggest.

Take care,
Shaun

Reply to Shaun

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