Out of Touch

20 February 2010

I feel out of touch right now. I really don't know what to do. My friend told me that he suffers from severe depression that runs through his family and would like me to help him with it. The reason he asked me for my help was because he felt that out of all of his friends I would be able to help him through the hard times. I agreed to do my best, even though I don't know a lot about depression. It's been awhile since he told me about it and I feel like I haven't done anything to help him. I'm completely out of touch. Whenever I try to talk to him, help him, or do something with him when he is depressed, he pulls away. I reach out to him, but he never grabs my out reached hand. It is extremely frustrating. I know that I shouldn't be frustrated, because it is his life and I need to let him come to me. The problem is that the natural doctor comes out inside of me; the care, compassion, and dedication. I hate seeing him in pain and suffering and then not letting me help when he asked me to. I want to help him become happy enjoy life to its fullest. I don't know what to do anymore though because I am so out of touch.

I pose a question for all of you. What should I do? I feel so out of touch and that I need to be doing something differently to help him. Also, don't give me suggestions about therapy and medications because both of those are already happening. I would really appreciate any advice.


Mister Curie said...

Sometimes people who are depressed pull away from help because they want to make it difficult for others to help them, so that others have to "prove" they really care. I say keep trying. Good luck!

Scott said...

Along the same lines as what Mr. Curie said, someone who is depressed doesn't feel very good about themselves. They see themselves as of little worth, and believe that their problems and issues will be burdensome to others. They don't want to be a bother, and so they distance themselves from the people they care about.

It takes persistence and sincerity to make it clear that it would actually please you to listen to them and to be able to comfort them and help them through their struggles. They won't believe you at first--they're not worth the effort, after all--but keep your hand out and eventually they'll realize that you really mean it, that you really want to be with them and to help them.

You're right, though, when you observe that you need to let him come to you. You can't do anything more than keep trying to make it clear that you're there for him (trying to force your help on him would be counterproductive) and wait for him to take your hand.

Abelard Enigma said...

As one who suffers from clinical depression - I just want to add a bit to what has already been said.

When a person is depressed, they may not feel worthy friendship - or they may perceive that they've become a 'project' when people start being nice to them.

As has been said, it takes persistence. You just need to keep letting him know that you are thinking of him and are there for him when if/when he wants to talk. Don't try to push yourself onto him. What's important is consistency - but not necessarily quantity, you don't want to become annoying. Just keep texting him, calling him, sending him little notes, whatever. If he's open to it, a quick hug once in a while would also be nice.

He just needs to be assured that you truly care about him and he's not your 'project'.

Sean said...

Thanks guys! I appreciate your advice!