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My best friend is struggling with chronic depression

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clownfish73

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Boerne, TX
Hi guys, my name is Nathan!



I'm completely new to this forum and am not super well-informed about mental health, but I know enough to tell y'all a story about my friend. This post will be VERY lengthy, but I would love to get this all off my chest as it has been weighing me down for a bit now, especially recently. Thank you in advance for those who take the time to read this all the way through.



I'm a freshman at SCAD in Savannah Georgia, and ever since I got here in September of last year, I have never been happier and more content with my life. My classes have been fantastic and the people I've met so far have been extremely welcoming. I'm so grateful that I get to be here and I don't take a single day for granted. However, the story isn't exactly the same for my friend Aidan. Aidan and I have been attached at the hip ever since 4th grade. I spent most of my high school career over at his house playing video games and...well I guess just playing more video games! He was the closest friend I had; he was the brother I never had. And his parents were so accepting of who he wanted to be, and they were accepting of me as well. We understood each other and we both knew that high school was rough and being a teenager is rough. We vented to each other about almost everything you could imagine; we were basically each other's therapist. It worked for so long, and for the most part, we kept ourselves from slipping into depression or anything of the like.



Then college came around...



Aidan graduated from high school a year earlier than me, so during my senior year, he went off to NYU in New York City and started studying to be a Psychiatrist. He made some good friends there and we face-timed almost every day. Things were going well for a while. Every now and then we would call each other crying about something stupid that had happened, but it was nothing super serious. We're both very emotional people so crying wasn't the biggest deal, you know? It wasn't until this past summer (2019) that I noticed something had changed in him. We would be watching Netflix or playing a game and he would get sad all the sudden. I would always ask him about it but he would just shrug it off like it was nothing. I didn't want to pry so I would let it go in hopes that maybe later, when he felt like it, he would open up. Well one night he did. I remember it was out of absolutely nowhere. We were watching a show and he paused it and said there was something bothering him. I knew this time it was different and that it was serious.

The conversation lasted hours. There was a lot of crying and a lot of self-deprecating talk, but all I can remember from that conversation was that I kept thinking to myself, "I have never in my life heard him sound so hopeless.” I remember feeling like I had absolutely no answers for him. Every time I would try and help him, he would sound even more helpless. My heart broke because I didn't realize it was this bad and I had never heard him like this before. Usually when we would vent to each other, we resolved it by the end of the night. This night didn’t end like that. He told me that he wanted to be alone for the rest of the night which wasn’t like him at all. I drove home at 3am that night, feeling terrible. Like I didn’t help him this time. Like nothing I said to him meant anything at all. It wasn’t a good night to say the least. This same night repeated itself a couple times. It got to the point where I didn’t want to hang out with him at night anymore, because I knew it was going to take a turn and I was going to have to listen to the same hopeless spiel again. That sounds insensitive and I did want to be there for him, but it felt like we were getting nowhere and like nothing I was going to tell him was going to help. I never wanted to see him like that again.

September rolled around and we both went off to college. Things seemed like they were getting better and we talk pretty much every day on the phone. My first couple weeks at college were rough. It was a new environment and I knew absolutely no one, but he was there for me throughout those rough times. I knew he was going through a lot but college was taking over my attention and between being in the library 247, hanging with friends or trying not to disturb my roommates, finding time to talk was very difficult. I didn’t think it was a huge deal though, but it’s now that I realize that this unintentional neglect may have been part of the reason for what is happening now. When I came back for break, we met up again and everything seemed normal. We hung out all the time and had a great break. We had one night where he slipped back into one of those terribly hopeless conversations but this time, we were able to somewhat resolve it. I don’t know how I did it, but I was able to make him feel ok for that night.

Then I left for my second semester.

This is where everything seemed to fall apart. The first week back was absolutely hectic. I was in full panic mode trying to get things done, that I’m pretty sure we didn’t talk for a whole week. That weekend, I realized I hadn’t talked to him in a while, so I gave him a call. The last time I saw or heard from him, he seemed perfectly normal. But when he answered the phone, he wasn’t crying, he wasn’t angry, he didn’t even sound sad. I wish I could have recorded the way his voice sounded, because I can’t describe it. It sounded like he had been lying in bed for that entire week I didn’t talk to him. There was absolutely no emotion in his voice. It was monotone and lifeless. He could barely get full sentences out, because I could tell he didn’t have the energy or will to even tell me what was going on. He didn’t care anymore, about anything. That was when I realized just how bad this was. I asked if he was on medication and he told me that he never wants to be on medication. I asked him if he had talked to his parents about it multiple times, and every time he would say yes. I know his parents. They would absolutely never let him get to this stage. I remember distinctly that he said, “I’m just afraid that this is really bad. Like it’s chronic.” I asked him if he was seeing a therapist and he said that every time he talks to a therapist, he feels even worse than before he walked in. I told him that I was worried about him and he just kept reassuring me. And then he said something that has been haunting me for the past couple days. He said he wanted to tell me something and that I couldn’t tell anyone if he did. I promised and that’s when he told me that he was having frequent suicidal thoughts. I told him again that he was scaring me and that I was worried and he kept saying, “Just promise me that you won’t tell my parents or anyone else.” The way he said it, it made me think that he would never forgive me if I did. Like that he would do something to himself if I were to reach out to someone. That call ended on a terrible note. I was in tears telling him that I loved him and that I cared so much about him, but it didn’t seem to faze him at all. Like I was just another person who didn’t actually care. Instantly after that call, I set a reminder on my phone to call him every day. It’s been a week since then, and he barely even answers my calls, and when he does, he’s always in tears. He doesn’t get out of bed all that much anymore and when he does, he says it makes him feel even worse.

I am in constant worry 247. Every time he doesn’t answer a call, I get extremely worried. Recently, I’ve been wondering what I would do if something were to happen to him, and honestly, I have no idea. He’s my best friend, I love him like my own brother. If something were to happen to him, I feel like my entire life would go on hold. This worrying is affecting my work and my mental health and I need some help. I don’t know what to do anymore. I miss hearing him laugh. It feels like he has already died, as dramatic as it sounds. But I’m scared I’m going to lose him for real. If you read this this entire post, I would greatly appreciate it if you would give me some advice. Anything helps honestly. 50% of the reason why I’m posting here is just to get it off my chest, so if anyone can relate, let me know. I would rather not bother my friends here with this stuff, as they have their own problems they need to deal with. It would feel good to know I’m not the only one. Thanks for reading, for those who did.
 
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Ekoocizus

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Brighton, England
You must seek help. You can’t take this on alone. I know the distance doesn’t help but you wouldn’t be telling on your friend you’d be reaching out for him.
when I get so low it feels like even the caring person who’s just there is so far away and out of my sphere. I’m incapable of making my first moves even if I somehow want to when everything is pushing against me.
your best friend is still there. It may take a while to get him back but don’t loose hope. Black dog tribe is a useful online place. But for me getting outside is the only cure. I joined a community garden project. It helps perspective.
good luck
 
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Jay1976

Active member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
26
Location
Delhi
Leave him be. Tell him there are more like him , There is no point in pursuing this. I have had chronic depression , we just pretend to laugh and be in the moment ; really we are never really there and there is no point continuing with a life where you can't be happy ,isn't life all about the pursuit of happiness well, we can't have it. Today you are interested once you have a family of your own and job and places to be , you will shut him out which will be worse for him. If he doesn't make it, he doesn't. There is no solution to this. People who are depressed need to accept that they will probably never feel happy and might have to fake it forever and take a call if they want to do this"act of living ". All i can say is if he isnt gonna kill himself moping about how empty and sad he is will only waste his valuable time and cause more sadness as he will realise how far behind he is to his counterparts so, really it's only that and nothing more. It's a cycle , one I haven't been able to break in 26 years since I have been chronically depressed.
 
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