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Friend Needs Help

Friendship Having issues with a friend? Get it off your chest!

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Old 30th January 2002, 2:19 AM   #1
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Friend Needs Help

It's been nearly a year now since my best friend tried killing herself. She was in a very bad relationship with this guy of 4 years who treated her like crap, but yet she felt the need to stay with him.

Well she became very depressed and took some pills trying to kill herself, fortunately one of her friends found her and took her to the hospital where she got much needed help.

She went to a Psychologist and was put on medication for her depression. She broke it off with her boyfriend, this time for good, and became a much more happier person. Her attitude changed and everyone took notice.

She was back to her old self, she was happy, cheerful, and no longer depressed. She met a nice guy a few months later and they eventually started going out. He's made her happy for the most part, yet they do have the normal arguments every now and then.

Back in October she stopped taking her medication on doctors request and for a while she was great. However recently, talking like within the last month or so, she has once again fell into depression.

She becomes emotional over nothing, cries, wants nothing to do with people. She doesn't go out, she hardly eats, she's just depressed. She doesn't know why. She's going to the doctor on Friday to get back on her medication.

I as a friend feel I should do something, however I do not know what to do or what to say. I'm there for her, she knows it. But I asked her what triggers her depression and she says she has no clue. I don't know if perhaps it's the stress she has. But it has made me interested in what causes something like that.

What can I do, as a friend, or say to perhaps help her through these times?
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Old 30th January 2002, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: Friend Needs Help

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. It is very thoughtful of you to try to help. Encourage her to talk to someone. Advise your friend to visit a psychiatrist again for treatment so that she can obtain the proper therapy and/or medication.

There are also hotlines and toll-free numbers to call. Look in the phone book under your City/County's Mental Health services, and give those phone numbers to your friend. You may even want to call them yourself for more information.

Whatever you do, do urge her to get some professional treatment. Other than that, you as a friend are already doing a great job.
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Old 30th January 2002, 10:38 AM   #3
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Re: Friend Needs Help

Anybody who stays in a relationship where they are abused has many underlying psychological issues.

I'm sure one of them is chemical depression. If that's the case, she may have to be on antidepressants for the rest of her life. Chemical depression differs from reactive depression in that it can bring you down for no reason at all. Reactive depression is caused by real life events, such as a break up, death or financial problems and goes when healing takes place or conditions get better.

There is nothing you can do except be her friend and make sure she resumes her medication. There are lots of side effects to anti-depressants and if there's any way her brain chemistry can restore itself through exercise, good diet, etc., she ought to try to work toward that goal. But if she goes off the medication again and gets depressed once again, she'll have to go back on it. She should never adjust or eliminate her medication without her doctor's knowledge.

A great possible cure for depression in anybody is aerobic exercise, that is, running, walking at a fast pace, walking fast on a treadmill or doing other exercise that gets your heart rate up. This sustained movement causes endorphins to be released in the brain that are mood elevating. That's why runners and other sports enthusiasts get addicted to their's actually an addiction to the endorphins their own body releases into the brain...and that's great.

Your friend ought to work hard on mastering her life skills so she doesn't create so many problems that will cause reactive depression in her life.

Don't patronize her either. Just treat her normally. Never treat someone special just because they have some malady which is treatable. Doing this gives positive reinforcement to stay in that condition if they are enjoying the attention.

Just be her friend and don't overdo it.
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