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Topic: My friend is depressed, defeatist and self-defeating

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Kukoy
    Kukoy avatar
    4 posts
    23 November 2020

    Hi! Me and my friend recently finished Year 12. He behaviour has been concerning to me for a while now. For example, he refused to look at his scores on tests and assignments (even practice tests), even if his scores were actually pretty good. He would often say phrases like "I hate myself" as well, and used to talk about suicide a lot. He assured me he would never actually kill himself saying he is "too much of a b**** to actually kill himself", however this just makes me even more concerned for his mental state!

    I tried encouraging him to seek professional help, but he always refused, citing that he believed it wouldn't help him. I'm not sure exactly how aware his parents are of his mental state, but I know they are at least somewhat aware as they bought him a dog a while back specifically to help him in that regard (which worked for a while, but not permanently).

    I talked with him a fair bit previously, but never took further action because I thought he was just stressed with the pressure of Yr12 exams, but now school has ended, it has started getting worse. He really liked a girl so our group encouraged him to ask her on a date. He eventually did and she agreed, but was busy on the weekend he asked, and now him and her can't meet up this week or next week, so he took that to mean she just said yes to be polite but doesn't really like him, saying things like "I've given up" and threatening to block her.

    Regardless, I think he believes no-one likes him even though he is actually intelligent, very physically apt, and good looking. We play games together and often he brings up the subject of how sad his life is, and how he has "given up" (with regards to the girl). I just want to help him but sometimes I feel I am saying the wrong things or other times I feel guilty for not helping him more.

    Sorry for the long post! :)

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5483 posts
    23 November 2020 in reply to Kukoy
    Hi Kukoy,

    Welcome to the forums! We're really sorry to hear what your friend has been going through. We think you're a really good friend, and we hope that you can be gentle with yourself and try not to feel too much guilt. Being a good friend to him, which you are, is really the best thing you can be doing. It's also positive that his parents seem aware of the situation. 

    You might find some helpful advice on our page "Worried about someone suicidal" https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/worried-about-someone-suicida

    If you feel it may be helpful, you may want to recommend that your friend contacts Kids Help Line. They are a confidential and anonymous, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged 25 and under. They may be more willing to seek anonymous support via webchat.

    We hope that you keep checking back in with us to let us know how you are going, whenever you feel up to it. Hopefully a few of our community members will be by over the next few days to welcome you.
    2 people found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10168 posts
    26 November 2020 in reply to Kukoy

    Dear Kukoy~

    It is not a long post, in fact is just long enough to give a good idea of the situation.

    I'm afraid that even with your friendship which is very supportive that your freind does need medical treatment. To always put himself down, avoid looking at test scores, expecting the worst of the girl, thinking nobody likes him and only being happy with the dog for a short time is not good.

    Worse is talk of suicide, even if he says he will not do it.

    First things first, which is you. Your actions have been spot-on, and no, there is absolutely nothing to have regrets about, you have done more than could be expected. It is a very stressful time for you as you have not only to worry about his mental state, but must also have fear he might in fact take his life. That is too much for anyone to bear alone.

    You said you thought his parents had some idea - maybe they do, though maybe they do not know how serious matters are, after all kids do not often tell their parents things like this. Do you think you might put them in the picture? I know your freind might not appreciate it now, but friendship can return when he is coping better. If you don't think you can, is there anyone else? Maybe a teacher you get on well with perhaps?

    What sorts of supports do you have? For instance do you have a strong freind you could talk frankly with, and lean on. Are you parents, mum or dad or other family member approachable, and will they give you the support you need?

    Like Sophie says if you are ever in any doubt what to do ring the Kids Help Line who give advice to people in your situation.They do more than you would expect and do give advice to those who are worried of others, They have phone, chat and more. You can talk to them more than once without having to keep explaining.

    https://kidshelpline.com.au/

    The one exception is if you think your freind is about to hurt himself or someone else -then ring 000, it is not a betrayal, it is simply a means of keeping a person alive.

    I know this is difficult, please come back and talk some more

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Kukoy
    Kukoy avatar
    4 posts
    27 November 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix and Sophie,

    I really appreciate your supportive responses!

    Firstly, I am pretty sure his parents are not aware of how serious things are. I am really considering talking to them, but haven't really had the chance to see them and don't know them well either. Me and this friend mostly talk online and when we meet in person it is not with his parents.

    I will definitely talk to others in our friend circle about it. I have a very close friend in our group who I have told very personal things to in the past, so I know he will take it seriously. He is already aware of the problem but probably doesn't know the extent.

    As for the friend that needs help, I was playing games and talking to him online today, which I often do as we are usually the last two to go to bed. He told me that he can't take his mind away from his perceived problems, which makes him very sad. He also compared himself to others in a way that affirms his own low self confidence. I try to tell him that comparisons to others are unhelpful but yet it is not uncommon for him to use these as justifications for his bad thoughts. He referred to himself as a "loser", and basically said that no-one would ever like him.

    He also made a brief reference to suicide. This really worried me so I asked him seriously if he was thinking about it. He told me that he isn't anymore. Despite this, his reference to suicide is still really concerning. Regardless it is clear to me that he needs help.

    Our friend group in a few days will go to his families house for 6 days to celebrate school finishing. I will definitely discuss more in person with him.

    Once again thanks so much for taking time to write your responses!

  5. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10168 posts
    27 November 2020 in reply to Kukoy

    Dear Kukoy~

    Thanks for coming back and telling us how things are going.I think it was brave of you to ask him straight out if he was thinking of suicide, it is a hard thing to do.

    I've no idea about the truth of his answer - which is no comfort to you I know. You cannot control his actions, only your own after all.

    Most parents are often left in the dark with kids' mental health, only inferring something is wrong or taking remarks designed to keep the peace as close to the truth. They can be very grateful to be put in the complete picture. It gives them a chance to do something that will help rather than just worry.

    The sooner they know the real picture the better.

    All this is throwing all the responsibility on you, too much I think for any one person. Maybe you should tell your parents or an adult you can trust who will take action - you are not indestructible and the current situation is dangerous for both of you.

    What do you think?

    Croix

    .

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Kukoy
    Kukoy avatar
    4 posts
    23 December 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hey, sorry for not responding in a while. Things have been busy lately and also my computer broke :/

    I'm going to keep this one short. This friend was exhibiting the usual depressed sort of behaviour, but just on Saturday our ATAR's (the new OP equivalent) got released. He got way better than he (and even I) expected. This seems to have (at least temporarily) kept him from being too depressed. He is still dwelling on things a bit too much but he seems to be a bit more positive for the time being. I'll keep you updated.

  7. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    14905 posts
    23 December 2020 in reply to Kukoy

    Hello Kukoy, I'm sorry I've late in joining you and Croix because this thread is rather concerning.

    The situation may arise where instead of telling his parents in an emergency, call the police, where in extreme circumstances he will be taken to hospital for his own safety, I know the repercussions of what may happen, but this can be handled, slowly,, whereas before it comes to this, talk with his parents and monitor how he is feeling when this is done.

    Even if someone gets a 100% ATAR score doesn't necessarily mean they won't have any signs of being depressed because there isn't any care in how well you've done and what the future entails just seems to be an enormous burden.

    If he's feeling more positive then try and encourage him but not so much in an overly way, because if this does happen, then there's the possibility of reacting in a negative way.

    When people congratulated me too much for feeling better it was something I actually didn't like, it was a condition I had too slowly come back to.

    Please keep us in touch.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Kukoy
    Kukoy avatar
    4 posts
    6 January 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hey Geoff, thanks for replying, I'm sorry for taking a long time to respond, I don't check the forum often unless I feel like I need to.

    The positivity isn't really lasting. With regards to the ATAR, he believes he was too stupid to have got that ATAR and that there must have been an error even thought that's impossible. He isn't having as much fun playing games anymore, and I was talking to him just before and I'm really concerned. To him it seems like his life is sad and meaningless and won't get better. He is adamant that he will stay lonely and sad. He said something about wanting to go to sleep forever, and even though he tells me he won't kill himself its getting really concerning. Maybe it is contributed by the fact that it is really late at night when we talk personally and he is tired but even still its obvious to me that he is not in a good way at the moment.

    I still haven't talked to his parents or anything yet. I really tried pushing the fact that he can ask for help from anyone always but he thinks everyone is like him, and he thinks that his depression isn't bad enough to seek help, even though it seems really bad to me.

    Thanks for responding again, it's nice to let out what is on my mind with regards to him.

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