advertisement
Home » Depression » My Friend Has Depression & I Can Feel Myself Getting Worse While Trying to Help Her

My Friend Has Depression & I Can Feel Myself Getting Worse While Trying to Help Her

Asked by on with 1 answer:

One of my good friends recently got diagnosed with depression. I’ve been trying to help her and be supportive but recently, my anxiety has been bad. From self-harming to feeling suicidal, things have been way, WAY better for me. I want to be there for my friend but every time she talks about something negative, I can just feel a part of me breaking away. I don’t know why it’s happening and I tried telling her to try to talk about other things but she just told me that talking about depression helps her. I feel so bad because I’m an awful friend for wanting to drop her but I just don’t want to talk about mental illness. Another important detail that I think was important: I told her I needed space but she told me to help her instead of herself. She later apologized but I’ve just never really forgiven her for it even though I said I did. I don’t know what to do. I feel so conflicted and broken.

My Friend Has Depression & I Can Feel Myself Getting Worse While Trying to Help Her

Answered by on -

A.

Your first instinct, to limit your time with your friend, is a good one. You were attempting to protect your own mental health. You did the right thing.

In addition, you are not a therapist. It is not your job to treat her depression. Nor is it possible for you to do so. That is the job of mental health professionals.

You should encourage her to seek treatment. If she is unwilling, then you should continue to limit the time you spend with her. People have to be willing to help themselves. She may not like it and it may feel uncomfortable but your self-preservation, in this case, is paramount.

If she is unwilling to seek treatment, another option is to contact her parents. Tell them about your concerns. She may not appreciate your contacting her parents but if you’re concerned about her, it’s the right thing to do. It might ensure that she gets help for her depression.

Your friend needs help beyond what you can give. It is reasonable to support her efforts to seek help but you cannot act as her therapist. There are professionals who can help her. If she’s willing to seek help support her but otherwise, keep your distance. It may be unpleasant to endure her disappointment but it will pass. Stay strong. Good luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle

My Friend Has Depression & I Can Feel Myself Getting Worse While Trying to Help Her

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). My Friend Has Depression & I Can Feel Myself Getting Worse While Trying to Help Her. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/05/07/my-friend-has-depression-i-can-feel-myself-getting-worse-while-trying-to-help-her/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 May 2018 (Originally: 7 May 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.