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Posted: 12/4/2001 8:55:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2001 9:30:53 AM EDT by RBAD]
I know this lady who is going through some serious hell on earth. She's going through a nasty divorce with her husband who is a lawyer. The guy is pure scum. I'm thinking of paying someone a carton of smokes to have this guy [b]SPOKEN TO[/b]. Her business is failing and she's losing money left and right. She built this business up and her asshole of a husband has been siphoning money from it and now it can't weather the recession. She's almost lost her house because she hasn't paid the mortgage in four months. And to top things off, her mother is dying of cancer. This once proud and vibrant woman is a shell of her former self. She's depressed almost all the time. She's started drinking heavily. Most of her friends have deserted her. Even her kids have gone and are staying with her husband's parents. She called me yesterday and asked if I could hang out with her. After work, I picked up my girlfriend and we went over to her place to get her to watch the monday night game. We took her to a nice Italian place that was also showing the game. She started dinner by having a bunch of wine and she was getting drunk. Throughout the game, all she could talk about was how bad life is. She was so bummed and I felt so bad for her. Her depression was getting contagious and bringing me down. Even my normally understanding girlfriend didn't want to be around her. She's in a bad spot, but I want to help her in any way I can. What can I do to help her besides just saying that things are going to get better? Thanks, John (Hmm.. Edited a bit by RBAD)
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 8:59:38 AM EDT
hmmnnn that's a tough one. Sounds like she needs a nice long vacation on Temtation Island or someplace wild. Ibiza, Spain?
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:03:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:23:47 AM EDT
Well, that's how I feel. It doesn't mean I'm going to do it, though. I'm pretty sure it takes more than a carton of smokes to have someone killed, don't you think?
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:24:05 AM EDT
Actually John one of the worst things anyone can say to you when you are clinicly depressed (the level at which this woman seems to be from what you describe) Is "cheer up" or "things will get better" It seems like everyone is always saying that or something like it to you I know you mean well but that is part of the problem --You (the depressive)do not see anthing getting better -- You wish you could just cheer up and feel better about yourself and the world around you but you cannot --not by yourself. Unfortunatly My family has a history of depression on my mothers side and it has struck both of my sisters hard and me in a mild way--I have through help from friends and professionals at an early age dealt with it and now recognize it and know how to deal with it. This woman ovbously does not --and here is where it is going to test your friendship becuase she will resist you but you should encourage her to seek treatment or at least some professional help and possibly medication (short term I hope as I do not personally agree with long term medication of depressives the idea should be to cure and manage not simply supress symptoms )Alcohol is a bad idea at this stage as it is a depressant itself and can do more harm than good to her mental state right now. She will probably resist medication as well thinking she wont feel like herself etc etc --but at the outset of treatment it is really the ONLY thing that will break the downward cycle and allow her to get a grip on her life and emotional state back. Honestly this is a real tough row to hoe you have chosen but an admirable one, trying to help someone in the state she must be in but unless she gets some treatment it will not get any better on its own--trust me on that , I wish I could give you more advice than that but not knowing her myself the details and severity are difficult to judge, Help her get some help and somewhere down the road she will thank you.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:32:54 AM EDT
Thanks for your input, offctr. We've been friends for about five years and I've never seen her like this. How would I go about presenting this course of action to her? Where would I find a professional who treats depression? Thanks, John
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:40:18 AM EDT
Just the fact that you are there for her in this troubling time in her life probably means a great deal to her. Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:42:52 AM EDT
Some county health departments have depression/mental health hotlines If not just ask your own doctor to recomend someone or check out the bulliten boards at the library or DMV or other state offices for phone numbers and contacts some are state run and others are self help organisations you can have her contact --She should if at all possible be convinced to go voluntarilly -you dont want to get police or state mental health officals involved if you dont have to, Perhaps you could offer to go with her to a divorce support group meeting and talk with the group leader after the meeting explain your concerns and after a few meetings He might recomend she see a mental health councilor or professional with some recomendations on names / phone numbers.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:44:09 AM EDT
I agree with offctr's comments. John, It is obvious that you are a good friend and that you really care about this woman. Everyone should wish to have a friend like that. Anyway, aside from offctr's suggestions, I think it best that you just "be there" (I know it sounds touchy-feely, but anyway). Sometimes she's just going to need someone to tell her problems to. It sounds like you've done a lot of listening already...that's good. Also keep in mind that you don't need to offer solutions all the time. A lot of times she may just need you to listen. I'd also recommend cutting out the alcohol. It isn't helping (emotionally, financially, etc). Good luck. Best wishes to your friend.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 9:53:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 10:33:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2001 12:14:02 PM EDT by John91498]
Thanks for all the help and encouragement. I've never had to deal with something like this before. It's certainly a different kind of "pain." Thanks to you all, John
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 11:15:56 AM EDT
The booze might really help her take her mind off of her problems and her emotional pain, but all in all it's a really bad medicine. I did the same thing. Dwelling on problems and negative emotions, feeling sorry for yourself; this is the heart of depression...or it was for me. I went to a counselor and started taking antidepressants, but that didn't help me as much as having the guts to stop living in a shitty situation and doing things I hated. I forgot about solving my problems and instead focused on creating the life and situation I wanted to have. If she has an option or alternative she has been thinking about (aside from blowing her brains out) that might lead to a life she'd rather lead, steer the conversation towards that. Talk to her about the life she wants and all the details, instead of the problems she needs to overcome. Then talk about creating that situation, focus on that. She'll probably say how it can't be done because of all the obstacles, but just try to get her mind off what she's been thinking. Her mind's been hijacked by negative thoughts and emotions and is on an endless loop.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 11:50:48 AM EDT
Good job offctr!
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:01:52 PM EDT
John, first of all, the above posts are correct in that she needs to get off of alcohol. All of my aunts & uncles were lifelong depressives & alcoholics & they are all now dead except one aunt who seems to be drinking too much. Fortunately my parents never became alcoholics, but my dad worried himself to death in January. The death certificate says pneumonia but it was patently obvious that that was only the end game & the physical manifestation of the problem. Try this website for starters: http://www.save.org/ It is a Minnesota-based organization, vs your home of CA, & suicide oriented, but it covers a lot of ground re:depression. Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:20:50 PM EDT
"hardcase" has laid it out straight. Please, please get your friend professional help as that's the only kind that will actually help her. The bad news is that she's probably clinically depressed. The good news, the very good news is that clinical depression is now treatable.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:21:37 PM EDT
Whoa!!! I know she's feeling depressed, but I don't think she's suicidal. At least, I don't think she is. She's one of the strongest persons I know. She's a hell of a lot strong than most guys I know. How can I tell if she's thinking of suicide?
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:36:53 PM EDT
John91948, although I didn't mention suicide in "my" post suicide and depression are hand-maidens. We're talking about an electrical malfunction in the brain that can't be cured as yet but the symptoms can be controlled.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:49:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2001 12:42:16 PM EDT by raven]
Originally Posted By John91498: Whoa!!! I know she's feeling depressed, but I don't think she's suicidal. At least, I don't think she is. She's one of the strongest persons I know. She's a hell of a lot strong than most guys I know. How can I tell if she's thinking of suicide?
View Quote
I don't know, but if she's depressed she's almost certainly entertaining the thought of suicide. My good friend's wife blew her brains out from a combination of depression and alcoholism. [img]http://store4.yimg.com/I/demotivators_1664_4679491[/img]
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:53:43 PM EDT
Quoth the Raven "... depression and alcoholism..." I mean no pun but this combination is explosive.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:15:57 PM EDT
The alcohol use is going to make any other possible solutions impossible. Hopefully with your support, and the right help, she can recover. Try here for more info. [url]http://www.al-anon.org/[/url]
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:24:17 PM EDT
I gotta admit that she has started drinking a lot more. She's usually the designated driver when she goes out with me and the crew. She usually doesn't drink because she says that she has her kids to worry about. I'm the alcoholic in the bunch. Can you become an alcoholic overnight? Ok, it started out as a depression thing. Now, I also have suicide and alcoholism, too? I certainly hope it's not as bad as some of you think it is. I don't think I'm equipped to deal with this much misery.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:26:44 PM EDT
Offctr is right on. She needs to be encouraged, even helped to professional intervention. Depression is an insidious illness; chronic depression actually causes changes in the brain that perpetuate the condition. She needs someone to talk to and work through these times as well as possibly being a candidate for a [i]limited[/i] regimen of antidepressants [i]under supervision[/i]. Good luck. shooter
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:42:57 PM EDT
John Sad to say that if things are as bad as you describe above suicide has probably at least crossed her mind --now of course you dont know that for a fact but From my personal experience I would say that she has at least thought about it (I never tried it or seriously considered it but I have to say the thought did cross my mind)Its interesting that people who have never experienced any form of real depression really dont understand what it is like --some people who are depressed dont know that they are--Its not just feeling sad or anything like that, It is seeing no way out -no solution to problems that seem to mount and mount as time goes by. I was depressed in the Army but didnt know it becuase my einviornment was structured and ordered and directed all the time. When it wasnt(weekends or leave)I was usually toasted. When I got out I would get depressed at work and despite the fact that I knew exactly what I had to do -what the next task in my day was I could see no reason to do anything. I would find a building or section no one was working on and simply do nothing--not stare out a window, not sleep, nothing, till quitting time then go home and sit around till I fell asleep hoping to wake up the next day feeling better,which since my case was mild I usually did-- You really have no idea how horrible this is to feel like doing nothing and feeling bad about your life for no reason and just wanting to stop thinking period so you can stop feeling bad. The good news is that it is totally treatable and eventually curable if you get her to get help I took a lot of pressure from friends family and co-workers to convince me that I even needed help. Once I did get treatment I realized that I could regain control of my life and could treat and control depression AND I had a good health plan and a Dr Who advised me about depression treatments and insurance companies and records that some states keep. To be kept in mind if you do or plan on owning guns or getting a CCW(it can be considered mental illness and a reason for denial by authorities)My Dr used a common mild antidepressant (Welbutrin) and logged my treatment as smoking cessation therapy but it was better that being labeled a depressive. But dont rule out anything at this point-- I am sure there is a depression website out there check out some of the symtoms and courses of action and contact points for help.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 2:14:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2001 2:10:28 PM EDT by DScott]
One other thing: you can only help so much, and sometimes it won't work out despite all you do. Ultimately what help does for people in these situations is allow them to regain their ability to think and do good things for themselves. Anti-depressants and good supportive therapy can help alot, as can being a good friend. She's got to make some of the steps on her own, though. BTW, the risk of suicide is unknown here, and not something you should be overly worried about. MOST people with depression don't kill themselves. Some do. Even professionals who do this every day can't always predict it. All you can do is inform yourself, provide options and support, and get help! The American Psychological Association has an excellent website, with consumer info. and resources. Look here: [url]http://helping.apa.org/[/url] Specific info. on depression is here: [url]http://helping.apa.org/therapy/depression.html[/url] There's much more, but I think you can find it by looking up depression on the web. Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 3:43:42 PM EDT
Thank you to everyone who posted. I'll certainly put some of this knowledge to good use. It's good to know there are a lot of good and decent people on this board. Thanks, John
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