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Topic: Helping my BFF with depression

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. sandl12
    sandl12 avatar
    1 posts
    8 April 2021
    Hi, I am new to the forums. Looking for some advice. My BFF gets engulfed in what he calls "the darkness" and when he is experiencing an episode, I can't seem to find anyway to help him through it. He is a gay man who feels isolated from his community, his best friend who is also gay has moved overseas and all his other friends in the community have partners. For most of his life he has struggled with his weight and has zero self esteem and hates himself. He has had some terrible things happen to him, bashed, mugged, cancer, heart attack, unsupported by his family when he came out - he is in his late 50's now. I have begged him to get professional help or contact Beyond Blue but he refuses. I just feel so helpless as there is nothing I can say or do that seems to make any difference. I don't think he really wants to die as he has fought so hard to live but I can't take the chance. He keeps saying the world won't miss him, he would be better off dead, I would be better off if he was dead and it scares me. The sense of relief I feel when he comes out of "the darkness" is overwhelming as I feel I can relax for a while. He has taken a huge step towards helping himself by walking every day and has lost over 10kg. He has stopped drinking and eating only nourishing food. He says he is now facing his demons and trying to deconstruct his thoughts, draw a line in the sand and use 2021 as a rebirth. He is in so much pain mentally as he is facing all of the issues he buried and I am not sure he can do this without help. He hides this from his other friends and refuses to discuss it with them or allow me to seek support from them or my family. I feel so isolated and helpless, any suggestions? Thanks for listening
  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    4426 posts
    8 April 2021 in reply to sandl12
    Hi sandl12, 

    We understand that it is super difficult to support loved ones who are in such a dark place, particularly when they do not want to reach out. It so great that he has decided to use 2021 as a year of rebirth and looking for ways to move forward. We recognise that this can cause you much stress as it sounds like you may wish to help more, but find that you can only do so much without your BFF consent. Life changes can definitely bring about times of darkness. 

    There are supports for you that you can contact and get some advice on how to support your friend. Please remember that if ever your friend is in immediate danger call 000.

    Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) can give you some advice as to how you may be able to support him while he is in his dark times.

    MensLine Australia is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. You can contact them on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au/ 

    If he would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that he get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals. We understand he may not be in a space to contact us right now, but we are here no the less.

    If he is up to it you can also find information on support groups is available on the Black Dog Institute site here - https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/support-groups/ It might be helpful to join a support group to try and build a social network in your area.​​​ 

    Welcome to the forums it's great to have you on here. You and your friend are not alone and the community is here to support you both.  

     
  3. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    4970 posts
    8 April 2021 in reply to sandl12

    hi and welcome.

    will start on a positive (?) note... that your friend is making changes to his life this year.

    the downside can be that things from the past or thoughts tell us we are hopeless.

    beyond blue has pages on their web site for people like yourself wanting to support a friend/partner ...

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/supporting-someone/supporting-someone-with-depression-or-anxiety

    that might be a good starting point for yourself. The other thing you can do is listen. Of course you do not replace a therapist and need to make sure it does not impact on you as well.

    did he indicate how he would face his demons and past?

    Does he like reading? Not sure how good this suggestion might be... my psych recommended a book to me called "the happiness trap". I bought 2 copies and gave one to parents. My dad has issues as well but mum read the book first. It has a number of tools, tips, techniques that might be useful. OF COURSE, if this is a bad idea then don't.

    if you want... please let us know how you are going.

  4. Sweesoft
    Sweesoft avatar
    60 posts
    8 April 2021 in reply to sandl12
    Hi there. From what you had shared. I think the most important thing right now is for you to be there for him. Make him feel loved and cared for and that you are not giving up on him. As soon as he feels better, he would be more open to other things that could help him.

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