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Advice for my friend

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  • Advice for my friend

    My friend has been dealing with clinical depression her whole life. When I met her I started noticing it and did some research in to it and about how to / whether to talk to her about it. When i brought it up she got upset and told me that she'd been living with it pretty much her whole life but that she just tries to ignore it. She saw someone about it years ago but said it wasn't helping so she stopped seeing them. I kept prompting her to see someone about it, not all the time but I told her how important it was that she finds someone to help her deal with it and that she doesn't have to hate herself/ her life so much.
    She got married just over a year ago and got upset on the day saying how ugly she was and that she didn't want anyone to look at her. She's looked at a few of the wedding photos once and said she hated them and wouldn't let her husband put any of them up in their house and would show them to anyone (except me because she knew I wouldn't tell her how beautiful she looked - she hates that, i would only say the photographer did a great job - and they were great).
    She kept telling me how miserable her life was, one day I was VERY firm and said you have a great life; you've just married a wonderful man who loves you very much, your family love you, you have friends that love you, you've just bought a house and you're well off financially. Can you see how your life is good and that your perspective on it is wrong? She got really upset but agreed with me and finally made the ph call to the psychologist that I'd found a recommendation to.
    She's been put on meds and has been getting help for 2-3months now.
    My DD is 3months now and I've been emailing her with regular updates and photos. She's just told me that I sound like I really love being a mum and that she's decided that they're going to start trying to conceive soon.
    I'm really worried for her; I've been getting help for PND myself and have always been a confident and happy person. I'm coming out of it now and know I had some bits of depression through the pregnancy mainly due to hormones. I've had lots of support and a very strong fiance.
    I've always been straight with my friend and I'm REALLY concerned for her wellbeing with going down this track so soon after starting the road to recovery from depression. I don't know what to say to her, I'm not sure how to approach this subject with her. Do I say anything?
    Please help.

  • #2
    Dear Bissym
    Thank you for your post - my sincere apologies for taking so long to reply, I have been on holidays with my kids.
    You have asked - do I say anything? Think carefully about what it is you want to say and the reason that you might say this. Is what you want to say 100% for the benefit of your friend? Is there the possibility that having a child is just the thing for your friend to find what it is that's been missing in her life? Possibly not, but I wonder if that is for me, you or anyone other than her and her husband to decide?
    You might be right on the mark thinking that this might lead to her to experience PND or take a step back in her recovery, or you might be wrong....we can't know until it has happened and it would be awful if your friend perceived that you had said something out of line to her and she lost your friendship in the process - at least if you saying nothing but just continue to be there for her, even if it turns out that your fears are correct, at least she has a friend like you to understand and be there for her.
    It is much harder to sit by and watch than to jump in and try to do something - we are so used to 'doing' in our society, it is hard to sit by and just let something be, however, if you really honestly want what is best for your friend, my suggestion is to sit and wait for her to come and ask for your opinion and/or your help. In the meantime the best thing you can 'do' is focus on your own baby and provide a good role model for your friend in motherhood and in recovery from depression.
    best wishes