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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It doesn't really have anything to do with vegetarianism, but I wasn't really sure where else I could get advice without someone knowing him. But anyways, my one friend has recently seemed more depressed. I'm concerned it might be more than just typical teenage angst. He seems rundown, he doesn't care about things as much, and he keeps saying stuff like "maybe I'll see you on monday" (we have classes together) and "life sucks" and his eyes are so sad... it's kind of scary, because he always used to be so much fun.

But I can't get him to talk to me... I'm best friends with his girlfriend, but he seems much better around her (though I'm not convinced that that's not an act). I'm worried about him, but I don't think my suspicions are strong enough to get him help if he doesn't want it. Besides... I feel kind of like a hypocrite if I tell him to go get some help (I've been fighting against depression/anxiety/SI for a few years now).

Can someone just let me know what their take on the situation is... any ideas on how I could get him more comfortable with talking... or finding someone else to talk to.... something... I'm worried about him, but I don't think I could reasonably make him get help (I'm not convinced it's /not/ just teenage angst)

thanks for anything

~sb
 

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This is a tough one...My son went through a bought of depression six years ago. He had the foresight to have himself committed to a psch ward for six days. He's doing ok now, without meds. Not too long after that experience, he had a friend (19-20 yrs old) who was having some problems. We took him in and he lived with us for a year. Toward the end of that year, the friend was very depressed and verbalizing thoughts of suicide. My son and a few other friends reported it to the police, who came and took the friend to the ER where he was admitted. He was there approximately two weeks. When he was released, he was able to salvage a poor relationship with his dad and move back in with him. He seems fine today.

I'm not advocating that you do the same thing. I'm just sharing so that you will have some input to help you decide what, if anything you should do. Definitely continue to try and get your friend to open up. Because my son had gone through a similar experience, he was pretty much in tune with how the friend was feeling. If you haven't already done so, maybe you could share some of your similar feelings with him. You sound like a good friend. Good luck!
 

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Does he know that you're worried about him? You don't have to tell him to do anything, it might be good just to let him know that you're worried and that you are there to listen if he needs to talk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure if he knows I'm worried or not... it's one of those things I'm horrible at saying, and he's not very good at listening (oh what a pair we make). Next time I see him (I'll probably call him over the weekend), I'll try telling him I'm worried about him. Thanks

As for sharing my similar feelings... I'm not sure that would work very well...I'm one of thsoe people that smile and laugh all the time, so I doubt he'd even believe me...

and trust me, I thought about showing him my cuts and telling him "see what you're feeling can lead to?" but i chickened out... besides, he'd just sit there and lecture me...

*sigh*

yeah, I'll call him this weekend, 'just to say hi' see if I can get more of a sense of how he's actually feeling, instead of how he says he's feeling

thanks everyone!
 

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Since you say you also struggle with these issues, perhaps you can make a pact to get help together? Tell him you'd feel better if someone else were seeing a therapist/talking to a counselor/reading books on coping with depression too. It could give you both a feeling of solidarity.
 

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personally i would just like to know that someone is there

you know?

just the fact that you care about him and love him

and if he knows that, that should help him

even if its just a little bit
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks guys
I'll try talking to him tomorrow...

i wasn't sure that 'just being' there would be enough, but a lot of people seem to think that that would really help, so thank you for that
 

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Depending on the individual, 'being there' can definitely help. It's great if you let your friend know that you are available if needed, anytime, anyplace.
Please keep us posted on how things go.
 

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I was going through the same thing your friend is going through when I was 16. My friends talked to my parents who talked to my teachers and school counselors. I was admitted to an in-patient facility for a week. If my friends had not intervened I would not be alive to respond to your post.

When your friend makes comments such as "maybe I will see you..." he is asking for help. Please do not ignore his quiet cries for help.

Please talk to him, his parents, or anybody who is in a position to help.

Although at the time I was not happy to be in an in-patient facility I am very grateful now that I had friends that stepped in for me.

Please be a good friend and find him some help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by countMeVeggie View Post

When your friend makes comments such as "maybe I will see you..." he is asking for help. Please do not ignore his quiet cries for help.
Right. Your friend may feel that no one acting on comments like that, or not acknowledging them, are actually saying "I don't care enough to ask you how you're doing or what you mean."

It's not exactly straightforward thinking, but it could be the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yeah, when he said that... i told him basically

"what do you mean if? we have class together! So, yeah, I'll definately see you"

he seemed a lot better today... though he only seems really upset when we're alone... so i'm not sure if he was honestly feeling better or if he was acting....
 

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Please keep checking on him and let him know you are there to talk. People suffering from depression have good and bad days. You are a good friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
oh man... he was giving me a ride home tonight, and he spent the entire drive saying all this depressing crap... like how life's not worth living... there's no point to anything... everyone should just kill themselves after childhood, he's not going to accomplish anything in life...and he's started to drive pretty recklessly (takes hands off of wheel, tries to go too fast, etc)

i told him that i'd miss him, and I care if he lives and all that normal stuff...but he's so stubborn, i'm afraid i didn't get through to him... he's kind of dramatic though... so i still can't figure out whether he's just saying this stuff because it riles me up or because it's honest... either way, i treat it like he's being honest... but it sent me for such a trip tonight... i had messed up at the event we were out, and i just lost it when i came home...

being friends with him is really upping my normal worries... and his words are almost exactly what i think secretly in my head, and i don't want him thinking like me... because i know where it's led me... and just being around him when he's like this really sends me back into wanting to go upstairs to my razor (but I've been refraining
) or I just lose it and sit and cry for a while... so i don't know how much longer i can be friends with him... but i can't just ditch him, because i worry that that'll send him over the edge (he complains a lot that he only has three friends... some kid, me, and his girlfriend...)

*shivers*

i don't know why i'm telling you all this... i think it's just to get it off my chest.. i don't really have any confidents in RL

well, thanks for listening to my rants
 

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Hmm this is a tough situation for sure. I definately think your friend needs help. I've been in his shoes before, when I was 14/15. But I also know it can be draining to remain friends with someone who is always down like that. I think that he's at a point where you can't do anything for him on your own. Is there maybe a guidance counsillor at school, or an adult or someone you could talk to about your concerns? I've never dealt with anyone who was literally suicidal (except myself! haha) so I'm not entirely sure which step to take; I'm hoping someone else will step in and make a better suggestion. But I do think your friend needs more help than you alone can provide. Also, I know it's hard but I really hope you do not leave him as a friend because of this. I remember that many of my "friends" disappeared while I went through my depressive episodes and it just felt like they really didn't care enough about me to get me help or notice anything was wrong. Then again if he's causing your own depression to surface, I can see why limiting your time with him might be a good idea. It's a tough call.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I can see where you're coming from! Please keep us updated.
 

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This seems to be a pretty good website with some relevant information. However, there is a note posted that reading it could be a trigger. If you think this could be a possiblity don't go there.

http://suicideandmentalhealthassocia...rnational.org/

I have to agree with Starblossom...this seems to be a bigger issue, one that you should enlist some help with from another adult or professional. Hang in there!
 

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Has your friend made any comments regarding how he would commit suicide? Has he started giving away his possessions? Basically have any of the critical warning signs shown up? In my past experiences that is when I knew it was time to seek out more qualified help. If you are really worried, and it sounds as if you are, please go speak a counselor at school. How is his relationship with his parents? I would say talk to them first but some parents may ignore the problem and write it off as general teenage blues. Speak to a counselor at school and let them take the next steps. Your friend is asking for help in his own way please do not ignore those cries.

Also, try not to let his depression pull you in as well. This is easier said than done.

Please keep us updated and do talk to a counselor. You should not worry about the consequences of asking for help. Having your friend alive is much more important.
 

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I'm no professional on this, but you said that he said that he thinks he's not going to accomplish anything in his life. Sounds like he's scared about what he's going to do after he leaves school. Maybe it shouldn't be you, but I think someone needs to help him come up with a plan for what he might want to do with his life.

I felt a bit like this towards the end of high school. I just couldn't imagine what I could do and felt that I didn't have the social capacity to pursue anything I might want anyway. In the end I just did what my Mother had once suggested, which wasn't very original, and kind of weak now looking back on it. It all turned out though, and now that I'll soon be leaving Uni five years later, I feel like I've grown up enough to face the challenges that the world might throw at me.

In fact, making a plan for what you're both going to do after school is something you coud do with him that I think would help, that wouldn't even require to you address his depression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well, most of you seemed to think talking to a gudiance coucelor was a good idea... i wish it were that simple... frankly, the guindance counselors at our school are pathetic... i was having a mini-mental breakdown because my schedule is absolutely crammed tight... and one of my higher level classes didn't fit... her solution? *just pick a class... here are the three classes you can take, or take a study hall... oh? you don't like study halls? ok. can't do anything for you, gotta go, bye"

other than that:

starblossom- it's nice to know someone knows what this is like... because where i live, i swear all the people i talk to seem to have such bloody good lives, and granted i do to... and so i have no reason to be this upset... but yeah, it just seems like there's no one... you know... oh, and i don't think he's actually suicidal... or rather God I hope not... but i don't think i could ever leave him... especially because then if something (God forbid) did happen, I'd never forgive myself... *shudders* why can't I just go back to the little-kid days where your biggest concern was how to watch two television shows at the same time?

karenlovessnow- thanks for the link! don't worry i'm not usually triggered by anything, so i really appreciate the site, it seems really great!

countMeVeggie- no, he hasn't had any of those signals (trust me, i've been looking for them *worried look*) his parents? their divorced... his dad is an absolute jerk and his mom has a bunch of health issues and works all the time... last i knew he and his little sister got along pretty well... but his latest thing is he 'just pretends to be nice (care, etc)'

gas4- he knows what he wants to do after highschool (go to college in music...he's crazy into music, and he's amazing!), but he's convinced that he's not good enough, etc. and he expects perfection, and he's working entirely too hard on all the stuff. he's very pessimistic and tells me he sucks at music (total lie!) and then he's also getting really critical (you're not good at music (he hasn't heard me play...ever except in school, and I hardly count that) and stuff like what you did then really sucked) (i've had this dicussion with him when he was having a really tough time at a show he was supposed to perform in)

you know, it feels really strange to be sitting here divulging all this information about my friend, when he's trusting me to not tell anyone... but i don't know you guys... so i suppose the fact that you guys are never going to know who/where i'm talking about it, it makes it more okay?

blech!! i can't wait until uni and i can get out of here! (I don't want to ditch him, but i swear this dinky little town of mine is bringing me down!)
 
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i'm going to be blunt: you're not qualified to deal with this, and so you need to straight away pass it on to someone who is. tell your class teacher, tell a school nurse, tell someone in authority who can do something about it, and if you have to, keep telling people who can help, until someone says that they are taking it seriously and will do something about it, and until they report back to you that they've followed through on doing something serious about it. if your school really sucks, and you think they'll brush it off, call social services or the local child protection agency (in the phone book) or somewhere similar- they have to check out things like this.

you're not qualified to judge what he will or won't do, how bad he really feels, and how bad this situation is, and with all your own stuff going on, you really don't need the weight and responsibility of trying to work this out and help your friend, let alone just lying in bed at night worrying about it is too much when you're going through your own stuff, trust me.

write down everything that he's said/done that concerns you (its better on paper (with dates- or as close as you can), cos when you explain things like this to people often important details get missed, or you can make it sound less serious, accidently- like if you're trying not to sound like you're being over dramatic, and if you feel a bit embarrassed, for example).

then take that piece of paper, photocopy it, and give the copy to the qualified person you pass this info on to. if you've got a copy, and they've got a copy, you're covering your ass (and conscience) should they not do their job and record it and follow through on with the info, and having the bit of paper will help them with all the details they need for their file- like how long he's been talking about it, how his comments have progressed, etc.

then tell yourself you've done what you can, and try and not worry too much about it any more. knowing you've done something takes a big weight off yor shoulders- and if something does happen to him, you won't feel guilty for not having intervened.

i'm not being a drama queen here.... i am very close to somebody who's friend hinted for a while like this... he did those little things, like saying how he found life a struggle sometimes, like saying he found it all futile, and that he felt he'd never acheive his goals...all with a smile on his face and followed by a joke... he'd say things like 'i might see you tomorrow' etc, but he always seemed ok. he did this with all of his group of friends, individually, and while all of them tried to be nice, and empathise, and help and support him, nobody actually seriously intervened. he started mentioning suicide, and giving people gifts, telling them how much he appreciated having them as friends, etc (these are signs that he's tying up loose ends) but nobody took him seriously, or did anything, cos they didn't know if he was joking or not. 3 months ago he hung himself in his parents garage when they were on holiday, and was found by his 7 year old sister. seems he WAS serious. that group of friends are totally shellshocked, and a lot of them are carrying a LOT of guilt that they didn't just do something serious about it.

your friend might be ok, and just feeling a bit down- if thats the case, then the person qualiied to help will figure this out, he'll be a little p!ssed and embarressed, but he'll be ok long term. but, he might be very very unhappy, in which case you could save his life with that piece of paper- by telling someone.
 
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