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Old 01-25-2016, 08:43 AM
 
41 posts, read 33,250 times
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My best friend has recently developed a severe depression, increasing over a year starting with the loss of his only remaining parent. It seemed manageable at first, with only occasional bouts of what seemed like normal grieving depression. For the past three months though it's gotten drastically worse. The situation now is like he's in hiding. Not answering calls or emails, not answering texts, not answering the door when people get worried and drop by. Reluctantly making plans to get out for a bit then cancelling minutes before the outing. When emails do come they're one sentence, usually "Hi, still alive, going back to bed". He did see a grief counselor last year but stopped when he was recommended antidepressants by the counselor. It just hurts not being able to do anything to help. We went from seeing each other weekly with almost daily calls/texts to not seeing him in over a month and down to that one short email every two weeks. I call, but the phone is never answered, and I email every other day, trying to be encouraging, upbeat, and supportive, but I don't think they're being read.

No idea how to help, any thoughts when he's so thoroughly isolated himself?

Last edited by nepa76; 01-25-2016 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:51 AM
 
3,362 posts, read 2,282,005 times
Reputation: 6893
Quote:
Originally Posted by nepa76 View Post
My best friend has recently developed a severe depression, increasing over a year starting with the loss of his only remaining parent. It seemed manageable at first, with only occasional bouts of what seemed like normal grieving depression. For the past three months though it's gotten drastically worse. The situation now is like he's in hiding. Not answering calls or emails, not answering texts, not answering the door when people get worried and drop by. Reluctantly making plans to get out for a bit then cancelling minutes before the outing. When emails do come they're one sentence, usually "Hi, still alive, going back to bed". He did see a grief counselor last year but stopped when he was recommended antidepressants by the counselor. It just hurts not being able to do anything to help. We went from seeing each other weekly with almost daily calls/texts to not seeing him in over a month and down to that one short email every two weeks. I call, but the phone is never answered, and I email every other day, trying to be encouraging, upbeat, and supportive, but I don't think they're being read.

No idea how to help, any thoughts when he's so thoroughly isolated himself?

Sounds like this has hit him hard.

Keep emailing, trying to phone, and if at all possible, get him to come out and take a walk with you. He won't want to, but getting up and moving, even if just half a block, will eventually help. Understand that he may refuse even this, and it won't be your fault.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:17 PM
 
839 posts, read 1,109,894 times
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I know exactly what your friend is going through. I just lost my last remaining parent back in November. I was my father's caregiver until the end. Your friend will never be the same but hopefully he can pick himself back up to still have a happy and healthy life. Images of my father's pain before he died haunt me daily. I have a lot of guilt and your friend might be enduring this as well. Guilt can bring you to your knees.

Try not to smother him. You're only going to push him further away. Just shoot him a text or email once a week to let him know you're still there for him. He will eventually come to you hopefully.

I get out of the house when I want to get out. I don't let my friends push me because if I allow that to happen, I'm going to be miserable. I have to want to get out and I'm pretty sure your friend is the same way.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,263 posts, read 13,975,058 times
Reputation: 7527
There is no way to help someone until they are ready to help themselves. It's true. Just be there for them, whenever they're ready.
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