Helping a Friend who is Struggling with Depression

Ask the Expert Patient Health Guide
  • Question:


    kkatie wrote...


    I have had cousins and close friends who were depressed commit suicide and i struggled with depression and body image issues two years ago but i moved to a new school with a much more positive atmosphere and i feel so much better. but one of my best friends is really struggling with depression and body image problems, she's admitted to having them, but she refuses to talk to her parents or go get help saying that "she can fix her own problems".. HOW CAN I CONVINCE HER TO TRY GETTING HELP?





    Dear kkatie,


    You're in a tough situation. You have a sense of what your friend is going through based on your own experiences. You're right that she needs help, but if you push her too hard, she might stop talking to you about her problems, and that wouldn't be good. Still, this isn't something you should be handling on your own. Beyond the fact that you want to do the best possible thing for your friend, you have to look out for yourself at the same time.

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    One problem here is that she has to admit to herself that she needs help. Until that happens, it's going to be very difficult for anyone to help her. Can you talk to your parents about this? How about a school counselor? They might be able to give you some suggestions about what you can do to help your friend. There may be some support groups in your area or even specific counselors who have expertise in this area and could advise you on how to get her to try some of them for help as well as how to best approach her to help her see that she needs help.


    One other thing that must be considered here... You said she's struggling with depression and that you've had friends commit suicide. If this friend is at risk for suicide, you may need to tell someone so they can intervene before she hurts herself. Yes, she might be angry with you, but better to have her angry and alive


    Please do try talking with your parents or a school counselor. It's important that you take care of yourself in this situation too.


    Good luck,


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Published On: November 08, 2007