My best friend is in a dark place.
First time poster. Sorry if this is violating forum etiquette or something, I just don't know what to do at this point.
She's convinced suicide's the only way her life's going to end. She knows there are other possibilities, and things could get better, but she doesn't care. The way she's described it she's just... tired.
We both struggle with depression, and I've been there, y'know, I get how it is to be in that dark a place, but I don't know what to say to help. I'm terrified she's going to just disappear one day, and it's gotten my anxiety going crazy. I don't know what to say. I don't know how to help. When someone's this okay with it and resigned to it, how are you even supposed to approach it...? It's a long distance friendship, so it's not like I can do anything about it in real life. I've tried contacting the suicide hotline, and they didn't have anything to say I hadn't already tried. She can't afford a psychologist. My other friends who are aware of the situation keep telling me I'm doing everything I can, but that doesn't make this fear go away. I can't stop looking for some sort of miracle solution I know isn't there, and I don't know what else to do.
I'm sorry to hear you're going through this - you're very brave and strong to be there for your friend, and I'm very sure she appreciates you as such.
From personal experience I know it can be different each time what I wanted from others when I've been so down, mostly to be left alone a time, other times just to be heard without judgement (it's amazing how few people can actually manage this).
I'm sure you've been through many different things, but can you just ask her what she needs right now? Some time on her own? To vent? Listen to her carefully and let her know that you are there for her "when she needs you" (although with the the distance of course).
You'll need patience but she has to want to come out of her darkness too, don't push too much.
Thanks for the response. I really appreciate it.
To some degree, I'm scared that just letting her vent just ingrains some of these thought patterns deeper. I know advice isn't really helpful, but it's hard not to try and remind her that she's got value at the end of the vents. I dunno what to say, and that's part of what screws me up so bad.
Patience is another one of my problems, yeah. When an issue this big is on the table it's hard for me not to obsess over it. I have really bad anxiety along with my depression, so a lot of the struggle here is trying to force myself to not think about it and just act normal. I start worrying about whether or not anything I say is going to make her situation better or worse, and the resulting anxiety pretty much ensures I'm gonna put my foot in my mouth.
I'll try to keep this stuff in mind moving forward and try to hold myself together. Thanks again for all this.
Seeing your friend going through this from such a distance sounds rough, it's horrible not to be able to be there for loved ones when you know they're struggling. Still, at least she knows you're there, and you can, if nothing else, give her someone to talk to. About the situation, sure, but also... About life, about dreams, about her fears and doubts. Someone who doesn't look down on her for her mental state. Someone who can just listen and maybe say a few kind words.
Give her a light bulb - figuratively. Just the act of being there for her, to listen to her, to share stories, to tell her she matters to you, speaks volumes. For many of us, trusted, caring friends are the reason we stay around.
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