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Trying to help a friend

Durandal

Durandal

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Greetings,

I have a close friend who has struggled with mental illness all his life. I am here in the hopes of learning how to help him better. I have little personal experience of it myself, so have been trying to read up, the better to understand his illness, things that happen when we interact, and especially things I might be misunderstanding that lead me to behave in ways that may be hurtful rather than helpful. A friend from another forum recommended this site. It will take me some time to find my way around and figure out the best places to post and ask for advice. If I can share along the way, I am happy to do that, too.
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

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Hi Durandal welcome to the forum :welcome:

This is a very friendly and supportive forum so I'm confident you can get some good advice here.
 
L

lylies

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did he ask you for help?

real friends are important, I didn't want to pretend to be normal and happy before them. so when I shared all my ugly stuff, I didn't want help. they couldn't. I just wanted to be accepted with all my mistakes and problems instead of scaring the sh*t out of them. some ran away and some stayed...

the only thing I can say is the best way to help is listen to him, don't judge him, don't give him unwanted advice, don't repeat what you got from books, movies or others (I'm sure he has already heard all by now). don't say you understand if you don't (it's like downplaying what he feels)

just listen and accept him 'cause people with mental illness got a lot of stigma, shame and mocking.
 
Jolly

Jolly

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I agree just listen and support. Just a thought you could both do mindfulness together to help to relax. I found that helps. I wish you both peace
 
fragrant_violet

fragrant_violet

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When you say mental illness it would help if you knew exactly the diagnosis but then again your response would be the same
 
L

lylies

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When you say mental illness it would help if you knew exactly the diagnosis but then again your response would be the same
I was thinking that. it's hard to tell without knowing the mental illness. I replied thinking 'bout depression and bipolar disorder. but things like schizophrenia... I think a real doctor is needed, by that I mean they need more and different treatments?
 
Signofthetimes

Signofthetimes

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Hi Durandal and welcome to the forum 💗
 
Durandal

Durandal

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Thank you for the replies. He has a diagnosis: bipolar, C-PTSD, and ADHD, plus an abusive childhood. We got to know each other just as friends, and as we became closer he confided more about his illness to me. Unfortunately he lives in a part of the world where mental illness is still stigmatized and good treatment is hard to come by. All I really can do is listen, and just spend time with him as I would with any friend. His health has been declining over the past year. He self-harms and several times has left his house with the intent of taking his life. Thankfully something has stopped him each time, but I fear one of these days he will follow through.
 
L

lylies

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Thank you for the replies. He has a diagnosis: bipolar, C-PTSD, and ADHD, plus an abusive childhood. We got to know each other just as friends, and as we became closer he confided more about his illness to me. Unfortunately he lives in a part of the world where mental illness is still stigmatized and good treatment is hard to come by. All I really can do is listen, and just spend time with him as I would with any friend. His health has been declining over the past year. He self-harms and several times has left his house with the intent of taking his life. Thankfully something has stopped him each time, but I fear one of these days he will follow through.
isn't he taking meds or therapy?
 
Anime-Alchemy

Anime-Alchemy

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Hello Durandal, welcome to the forum.
 
fragrant_violet

fragrant_violet

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Can I ask what country hes in? If he got a diagnosis then presumably hes seeing a psychiatrist
 
Durandal

Durandal

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isn't he taking meds or therapy?
Can I ask what country hes in? If he got a diagnosis then presumably hes seeing a psychiatrist
He lives in Asia - I prefer not to be more specific. He did get treatment for awhile several years ago, at which point he received this diagnosis. He was given meds that had serious side effects. The psychiatrist weaned him off of them once that became apparent. The net result was he could no longer keep up with full time work and was no longer able to pay for treatment, which allowed his health go to into free-fall. He has subsisted on freelance work, but even that is becoming more difficult.
 
fragrant_violet

fragrant_violet

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Sounds like India

I dunno....can you buy him a plane ticket to USA?
 
Durandal

Durandal

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Sounds like India

I dunno....can you buy him a plane ticket to USA?
I am more than willing, but his family is refusing to give him the personal documents he needs to get a passport and visa. He is estranged from them due to the abuse. If only it were that simple, I would have done so long ago.
 
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