How to help a friend

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I have a friend the same age as me. She is very sweet, funny, beautiful, and all around great to hang out with. She is very depressed, though, and I worry about her a lot. I do not know how to help her, and I’m not going to call a psychiatrist on her. How can I figure out a way to help her? I’ve tried having her talk it out, but she hates discussing what brings her down, so I need new ideas or something I can think of when I talk to her that will help me understand her better. If you need any other info or specs, just post it in the response you give. Thanks.

asked October 21, 2013

6 Answers

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Hi :) try ask her about things she likes, for exemple books, music, movies... try to get closer toher and gain her trust. i think it will be easier for her to talk about her feelings that way. or at least this works with me... I thing you should try it, there's nothing to lose :)
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Hey so I know how you feel. My best friend is the same way. I wrote these too things you can check out if you want. They might help: 1. http://how-to-save-the-world-by-eva-marie.blogspot.com/2013/02/depression-hurts-you-can-help.html 2. http://how-to-save-the-world-by-eva-marie.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-talk-someone-out-of-suicide.html I'd say expecially pay attention to the part about the bracelets if she doesn't like talking about her feelings. Lastly, about the psychologist thing, use your own discretion. Talking to a professional can help some people, but it also can make some situations worse. I've both decided to and decided against telling an adult with different situations and different friends. If you think it might help, tell, but if you think it won't, don't. Also, if you want to talk about this further, feel free to message me :)
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Let me just say that I'm already really good friends with her. She trusts me and I know a lot about her. I know her favorite color to her dream vacation. She honestly doesn't like to talk about her feelings because they hurt her too much at this point.
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Here's a couple of things to do:
Ask her how her day is going, a simple "Hey, what's up?" or "Hey, how's it going?" should probably work.
Another thing would be to ask about makes her happy, what does she like in life?
And like Lenna said, earn her trust.
Don't poke and prod at her too much. But ask her how she's doing, it will let her know that you care.
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You could always get her to write/draw her feelings. I find it very hard to put how I feel into words sometimes. Maybe that could be her case too?I wouldn't push it too much though. I know it can be worrying but if you constantly push her to speak when she is not ready to it can backfire. I would suggest easing her into it. For instance, both of you could sit and draw how your day went, your plans for the week, etc. As you guys progress you can eventually go deeper and deeper.I know you said you wouldn't take her to a therapist but my friends told me that they would stage an intervention if I didn't go to therapy and it is honestly the best thing I have ever done in my entire life.I hope this helps and I really hope that your friends overcomes it.
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You'll have to feel your way through the situation with her, but I will tell you my experience because I've been on that side where your friend is. My friend told me that I seemed upset and that I was often ranting, seemed to have been unhappy for a while, and that it worried her. That last bit stuck with me and it was what got my attention. Not too long after, I chose to go to therapy. Depression is much harder to see in yourself, and because of my friend I never ended up at that final level (where it has reached that lowest point/self-harm). So I applaud you helping your friend, you are doing so much by even doing these little things to help her.I saw a few other blog links posted and I thought I would include these, they have been rather well received and referred.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html