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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Is helping me out taking its toll on my friend?

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Author Topic: Is helping me out taking its toll on my friend?
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

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So as I posted a while ago, I've had depression since last October really. I'm now seeing a university counsellor. It's still incredibly difficult to get by, probably worse than ever, I think - certainly by myself.

I have a handful of really great friends who help me out, being there for me, over the phone these days, now I'm at uni. My best friend is in London, and when I was talking to her today she was saying she was worried because this last week she says she's talked me twice most days and I always seem to be so depressed... and how she hates to see me so bad when we've been fighting this for over a year now.

I just worry that maybe all this help she's giving me is taking its toll - does anyone have any experience of helping people with depression or mental illness? I'm not sure what to do.

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alice
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Talking to a counselor is a good step, and my advice to you is to let that go on for a bit before you get discouraged because it really can take awhile to see the positive effects.

I think that sometimes having friends who care for you a lot about issues you're going through, especially pertaining to mental health, can become a problem. For multiple reasons, one being that the well being of a person whom you care about can take a toll on you and you get pretty frustrated, it's a lot to take on.

Maybe distance yourself from this friend, and tell her that you're distancing yourself not because of her but because you want to work on this on your own and with your counselor for a bit.

I'm not saying that a caring friend lending an ear and a shoulder isn't always a good thing: sometimes it's really helpful and beneficial for both people. But with all friendships and relationships, you definitely want to back off if it's starting to feel toxic, for the mental health of all involved and for the sake of any future friendship being possible and healthy.

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The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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temptationsgirl
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patrick
Ive been through depression, it sucks bad. I had a counselor for over a year twice a week. I agree with Alice. Spend some time talking to a proffesional about your situation. Start eliminating stress factors or anything that makes you feel blue. Dont overwhelm yourself with school work. Also I did the most practical things by myself to get through it. One of my best working things was going to the lake on a not busy day and watching the water. I would get out of the car lay on the hood and just breathe.

And yes some people tend to OVerhelp. I had friends that wanted to go go go to just ignore the symptoms and have fun. Also some that came over too much when I wasnt in the mood for visiters. I told my friend who came over to much just to let me take some time to myself. And we agreed to have her come over every saturday rather than everyday. hope this helps

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temptationsgirl
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I think I may have misread your post. Are you saying you think your friend is not wanting to help you through your depression?
Are you taking any anti depressents?
Have you talked to a psycoligist?
What are some of the depression factors? Are you feeling overwhelmed about things?

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bee_is_me
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Hi.

I've been on both sides of the fence and know how difficult it can all be.

One thing that really helps me is to 'pull myself out of myself' by having a mutual conversation with someone about issues concerning both people. You feel affirmed because you know you're not alone in your emotions and experiences and you get a chance to get your feelings out. But you also feel trusted and 'useful' because your friend is confiding in you. Depression is hard because it tires you out so much that you lose the ability to focus on others to some extent.

What I found helpful (as the friend) was to talk to others about how *I* was feeling too. So maybe encourage your friend to do that. As the depressed person, I realised the more I spread things around, the better it was for my friendships. Also, I kept telling my friends how much I appreciated them and reminded them that I was there for them, too. And my friends know that if they need a break, I don't mind and that I will be okay without them. This is important, because as the friend, you're constantly worried about the other person, worried that something awful will happen. You feel like if you're not there every second then everything will fall apart. And that's hard. But of course it's natural. And it comes with being someone who cares.

As others have said, seeing someone professional would be good. There is a tendency as a caring person (as your friend sounds) to put others first. This obviously doesn't help either of you. Remind your friend that you love them and appreciate them and therefore that you want them to look after themselves as well as you.

You sound like someone with great strength and insight which is really admirable.

Good luck and prayers for both of you.

[ 12-05-2008, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: bee_is_me ]

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Let your clarity define you...

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babygirl_sosu
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i just want those who have herpes to know that while going to the doctor to get on meds to control outbreaks is just fine, BUT there are lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your number and frequency of out breaks. I'm not talking about the crazy quick ways to get rid of the sores, but dont let doctors dictate that you MUST take this pill for the rest of your life or that you MUST use this cream etc. Do some research and create a healthy and stable lifestyle for yourself. It is possible, dont lose hope. (btw i love this site!)
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babygirl_sosu
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oops meant for this to be posted on the STD suffers blog! too bad i dunno how to switch it to there!! sry:) i'm learning:)
Posts: 30 | From: OK | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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