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Topic: Confused as to how I should approach this...

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Guest_294
    Guest_294 avatar
    50 posts
    31 August 2018

    Hi all,

    So I was talking to a friend of mine tonight and she told me some things that I’m a little conflicted about. So this friend and I go to uni together and in our extended group of friends is her ex as well. He is a good friend of mine too, and they’re both on good terms now too.

    So she told me tonight that I couldn’t tell anyone or say anything but that he has been having a really hard time and is really depressed at the moment. He lost one of his best friends to suicide last year and apparently hasn’t been the same since.

    He puts on an outward joking, happy persona - I never would have guessed he even knew what the emotion sadness was, but here he is struggling really extensively. The issue is, he doesn’t want to get help. My friend (his ex) has told him on a number of occasions to go see someone or talk to someone but he just says that his mates are enough.

    My friend is really worried about him and the more she told me, the more I’m worried about him as well. But he’s not really listening to her. Theyre not on the best of terms (recent split) and she is the only one he knows knows about his depression.

    Heres the conflict - I would love to be able to help him or even just talk to him, but we’re not that close. We never talk for the sake of talking. I don’t even know how I would begin to address the conversation. Is it even my place? I mean in theory, I shouldn’t even know - I only do because my friend was getting really anxious holding all of this

    any advice would be appreciated,

    A

  2. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2681 posts
    31 August 2018 in reply to Guest_294

    Hi A
    Thank you for sharing your story. It is always difficult to know how to help friends when they are hurting isn’t it? I used to try all sorts of things in my time to help. But learnt the following is one of the best ways:

    • being myself
    • really listening
    • being supportive

    What I’ve learnt over time is -

    • not to rush in to offer advice. In the long run they don’t always appreciate it. They just want someone to listen. Sometimes they don’t want to talk, but are really chuffed to know someone cares enough to say something. Respect their view to not talk about it.
    • let them know I’m worried and happy to listen if and when they want to talk or suggest other people to talk to. It’s really interesting that when I don’t push it, how some people really open up. Sometimes, I don't have to try hard at all.
    • knowing what to say is difficult. Starting the conversation is one of the keys. I frequently start by saying - “I’ve noticed you’re not yourself lately” or “You seem down, anything happening in your life you want to share”. Is there anything I can help you with?
    • I don’t have to have all the answers. People don’t always want these anyway. They just want to be heard and have their lives and experiences validated. Just by letting them know you’re listening can be extremely powerful and helpful.

    If your friend’s ex doesn’t want to see a doctor or a therapist, then you have to respect this and not push it. Though in someway letting them know it can be helpful. Maybe direct them to online support services, e.g. Lifeline, Beyond Blue?

    Does this help you at all?

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

  3. Guest_294
    Guest_294 avatar
    50 posts
    31 August 2018 in reply to PamelaR

    Thanks PamelaR,

    the advice is really appreciated. It really is a difficult situation especially because I want to help, but just don’t know how. We’re not that close in the first place so I don’t want to push the boundaries of what is my place. I will definitely try some of the ideas you said - were all going away together in a couple weeks and I’m hoping that might give me an opportunity to ask him if he’s alright.

    Thanks for the help x

    A

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