Helping a friend with depression

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grigor1860

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
17
Location
England
#1
Hello,

I’m a new member, and this is my first post :) Sorry but this might go on for a bit.

My friend is depressed. She has been for as long I’ve known her (about a year and a half). I won’t go into too much detail about her as it would feel like a bit of a betrayal of trust. But she does suffer from depression, and anxiety as well. Although undiagnosed, I too have been feeling depressed for the best part of 2 1/2 years, and both of my parents have a history of diagnosed depression.

Anyway.

Me and my friend have always been close. We share a lot of things with each other - a lot of things neither of us share with anyone else. There’s always been a foundation of trust, and when one is down the other will try their hardest to comfort and help them. A lot of the time when she is down I am down also, but I devote my energies to taking care of her. We usually speak daily, from early evening till she goes to sleep.

I should also add that I am now at university while she is at college (I’m just short of 2 years older than her). Text is our chosen medium of communication - neither of us like calling and we’ve never called each other. We can only really see each other when I’m home from university, which is about every 3 or 4 months for 3 or so weeks. She usually starts our conversations, as her life is far more interesting than mine generally.

Recently, she’s been more distant. We spoke sporadically last week, which was a change as the week before she’d seemed really happy and was sharing things with me as usual. I asked her on Friday if I’d done something to upset her or damage her trust and she assured me that I hadn’t. She said she hadn’t been feeling good, and I gently asked her what exactly was wrong, and she basically said that she was feeling overwhelmed. Seeing as this isn’t really something which I can counsel her on (e.g. if she was having friend troubles I could give her advice, console her etc) I said that she always got through stuff and I’d be around if she needed me. She thanked me, but we haven’t spoken since.

As a habitual over-thinker, I have thought this to death. She says that she feels bad. I’ve offered her my support. Should I be pressing her to make sure she’s okay? I know when I feel really bad I just want to be alone, so I’m acting on that supposition. I’m torn in my duty as a friend between letting her be and wanting to support her. On two occasions I pledged my support for her when she seemed distant, but her response was relatively mute. I don’t want her to feel like I’m pestering her. Maybe she’s grown tired of me? Maybe she’s found other people to talk to? She hasn’t posted anything to Snapchat however, which is unlike her.

I really don’t know what to think or what to do. My hopeful thinking is that she’s going through some stuff and wants some alone time to process it all, and will come back eventually when she feels better. I suppose I just want to know if I’m neglecting her or acting accordingly on what little she’s told me.

I guess in summary I’m a) worrying that she’s in pain and suffering b) worrying that I’m not doing enough to help her and c) that our friendship has disintegrated. Our friendship is really important to me too, as I don’t particularly enjoy university, and having her to speak to does cheer me up no end.

Thanks,

Grig
 
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grigor1860

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
17
Location
England
#2
Day 2: I still haven’t heard from her and I’m feeling worse. I want to speak to her but I don’t know if she doesn’t want to hear from me or if she just needs to be alone :(
 
Valka

Valka

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Feb 12, 2019
Messages
255
Location
England (NW)
#3
Hi Grigor,

While I'm not sure what the deal is exactly. The best advice I could offer is to just be there for her when she does decide to contact you again.
Maybe in the next few days if you don't hear from her maybe just a quick message saying you're thinking about her and care, that you'll be waiting for when she wants to talk again.

I hope she replies to you soon as I know being ignored can really hurt. But her just knowing you'll be there will help her. All the best with it!
 
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grigor1860

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Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
17
Location
England
#4
Hi Valka,

That is my plan but it’s good to hear it from someone else too! I fear it will come across as irritating as I’ve already said a similar sort of thing twice (the day before we last spoke and that day itself).

Thanks for your kind words and taking the time to reply to me :)
 
Valka

Valka

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Feb 12, 2019
Messages
255
Location
England (NW)
#5
Yeah don't worry I can understand how you feel completely.
Too often I feel like I irritate people myself when I'm trying to be friendly or talk. I tend to take short replies or no replies at all as a hint they're not interested.

I know just from my own experience. When I'm really down and isolate myself, even a simple hello message or something can really help out.
I'm sure your friend appreciates it deep down though especially as you've known her for a while. Having someone who actually cares is rare these days and I'm sure she realises that too.
You're a good friend.
 
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grigor1860

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Feb 19, 2019
Messages
17
Location
England
#6
That really makes me feel better! Thanks. I know the reverse is true for me too; when I want to be alone I don’t really want to be too alone i.e. it’s nice to know that someone’s thinking of me. I do worry that maybe she’s just not talking because she’s bored of me, but I always have creeping insecurities like that.
 
Hopefuloldie

Hopefuloldie

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Nov 30, 2018
Messages
95
Location
UK
#7
I agree with Valka. The only thing I would add is that maybe as well as periodic texts to say you are still thinking of her, you could consider a small gesture - perhaps get some flowers delivered to her house? It's just a token to show that you care - even if she feels unable to talk at the moment, I'm sure she will appreciate your concern and friendship x
 
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grigor1860

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Feb 19, 2019
Messages
17
Location
England
#8
I can’t recall her address exactly :low: and as I’m at university 100 miles away it just makes things more difficult. But I’ll be sure to text her soon as you both advise! Thanks for your advice too :) x
 
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grigor1860

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Feb 19, 2019
Messages
17
Location
England
#9
I texted her a song I’d just discovered and she replied :) we’re talking again and sure enough she was just feeling down. Thanks for all your advice! I’m so happy she’s okay.
 
Hopefuloldie

Hopefuloldie

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#10
So happy for you! You sound like a wonderful friend - I'm sure she values this x
 
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grigor1860

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Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
17
Location
England
#11
Thanks! We just played a group game of Uno for the first time in ages so she’s evidently feeling better :) thanks for all your help.