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Help with friend with depression.

I really need help with a friend of mine who's depressed. If anyone has any advice, I'd be very appreciative. Here's the story below. Thank you so much.
-Daniel

A friend of mine who I've known for ten years is battling depression. Early last year, her husband cheated on her twice and got abusive with her on at least one occasion that I know of. I've tried asking her about it, but every time I do, she gets angry at me and tells me that she doesn't want to talk about it.

Her husband's in the marines and in Iraq right now. She's having problems with the military telling her that she can only see her counselor more than six times, and that she now has to go to someone else. This counselor has been with her through the marriage counseling and the first six sessions, so she doesn't want to start with a new counselor and have to explain everything all over again.

Her husband is stationed in South Carolina, and after the events that happened, she moved back to Northern Virginia (NOVA) to stay with her mom while he's in Iraq. We grew up together in NOVA, but I moved to Texas about a month ago. Last week, she moved back to SC into a new apartment and is waiting for his deployment to end.

She calls me two to four times a day, and we talk about how the kids are and how she's doing. She told me that's she had suicidal thoughts, and that she's called me when it's gotten bad, and I've made her feel better. She's started feeling really bad, so flew there last week to help her out for five days. While I was there, she slowly began getting more and more agitated with me for reasons I can't figure out.

She was having problems with the military transferring her records back to SC from NOVA, and got really worried that she didn't have enough anti-depression medication to make it through the weekend. Fortunately, it worked out okay, and she was able to get her medicine the same day and all was well.

While I was there, I was sleeping in the living room and noticed that, two days before I left, she was heading into her bedroom and didn't take her medicine before bed. I asked, "Hey, did you remember to take your medicine?" She said, "No, thanks mom." I ignored it because I knew she was stressed and wasn't getting much sleep.

The next night, the night before I left, I fell asleep and woke up right before she headed off to bed. I asked her again if she remembered. Because of the way she responded the night before, I figured maybe I had come across the wrong way, and tried to ask her in the nicest tone I could think of. Again, she said angrily, "Yes, mom." I was upset at this point, so I said, "Whatever (name)." She didn't hear me, so I said, "I'm just worried about you, and I wanted to make sure you're okay." She asked me how I'd feel if somebody was telling her when to take my meds. Then she said that if she forgot, she'll just take it in the morning. I was stressed, and said something I probably shouldn't have, and said, "Maybe we're growing apart and should give up on our friendship." She told me to stop being over-dramatic. I gave up at this point and said, "Whatever," and went to sleep. I wasn't trying to hound her, I was just scared and wanted to make sure she was okay.

The next day, today, we got up, got the kids dressed, and she drove me to the airport. We didn't say one word to each other the whole morning. I was going to give her a hug when I got out at the terminal and tell her I hope she feels better, but her husband called from overseas, so I just said bye to the kids and said to her, "Thanks." She said "Bye," and went on talking with her husband.

I got off my flight back in Texas and sent her a text message that said, "Hey, I made it back safe." She didn't respond, so a few hours later, I sent her another message that said, "I don't know what's bothering you, but I'm sorry if I did something over the last week to upset you. And whether you like it or not, I'm going to worry about you 'cause that's what friends do."

She sent me back a message that said, "I don't need to be worried about. I'm not that way." I sent back one that said, "That's not like you. It's like I don't even know who you are anymore." She sent one back that said, "You are being so f*ing ridiculous." So, I sent a last one that said, "I'm gonna stop texting you 'cause I know you have to pay for these. But whatever is happening, I hope you feel better soon. I hate seeing you like this." She sent a last one back saying, "Omg, you are unbelievable. Nothing is wrong with me and other than the fact that you are driving me crazy, I'm fine. You don't know me as well as you think."

I left it at that. This isn't like her at all. Normally, she's a very caring and sweet girl. In the past, whenever I would tell ask her how she was, she would tell me how nice it was to have someone care enough about her to ask.

I can't figure out what's going on, and I'm really scared. Because of what she's told me about the suicide, I'm afraid she's going to hurt herself or the kids. Her kids are terrific, and I love them to death. I'm so stressed that I started smoking again today just to deal with it. I hate crying, and I usually never do, but since I got those messages, I can't stop. I hate it.

I don't know if I did something wrong, if I said something I shouldn't have, or even if I'm doing anything right. I don't have any of her friend's phone numbers, so I can't call them to ask for advice. And I know if I call her mom, she's not going to do anything about it. I don't know what to do. If you have any advice, I'm open to anything. Thanks for reading. I know it's long.
2 Responses
547573 tn?1234659310
It seems your friend has a lot more going on than a simple bout of depression and her suicidal ideation really worries me as I'm sure it does you.
My opinion is that she needs some serious mental health counseling and assisstance with a psychiatrist and a mental health counselor, who can determine what medication(s) she might benefit from.
Whatever she does, however, it's doubtful she'll see immedicate results and there are not any guarentees that even if she goes into a state of remission, that her symptoms will return.
You didn't mention how old the children involved are, but rasiing children alone is a difficult task filled with stress. I was a single parent for years and know how draining it can be on your psyche.
There is no doubt that she needs and would benefit from mental health intervention and the military have numerous resources available(I was in the military for 9 years) and she should seek to tak advantage of every opportunity not only for her sake but more for the children who can recognize when soemthing is wrong.
Yhe down side of this whole issue is that she doesn't seem to want to have any help and until she does there isn't going to be much that you can do. You can't fix her. It's up to her to take the first step.
I encourage you however, to explain in detail your concern for her and the children and be available to give her the support she will need when she is ready.
If you in a position to communicate with the husband it might be beneficial if he also became involved with pushing her towards assistance.
Whatever you do and whatever happens, don't blame yourself for any negative things that might happen. As I said, all you can do is be there whn she's ready.
I wish you and her the best of luck.
Avatar universal
I have to agree with Jikan. You know the old saying " you can take a horse to water, but you can't make them drink". You've done the best you could, flew out there, her moods drastically different.I  Don' think you're a bad friend to say enough is enough, but honestly, you can't help her, until she wants help. Sometimes you just have to walk away. Though I have depression and bipolar, I've had to walk away from a couple of friends that got like that.

Your friend was almost identical to my oldest friend, except the military thing. I've heard from her twice in the last 8 yrs or so. She hasn't changed, and I couldn't put up with the behaviors.  I have an ex who is under medicated and smokes a lot of pot, her moods drastically changed, if it wasn't for the fact we share dogs, one is hers one is mine. We wouldn't speak, she relies on me for the dogs care and I tried to split the dogs up, and it was awful. I basically have to put up with her for another 10yrs or so.

I hope you can figure out your boundaries, and keep them.
Keep in touch,
LCC
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