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helping a depressed friend

By Anonymous September 22, 2011 - 1:49am
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my best friend is going through hard times, lost a job, his engagement went to pieces shortly afterwards and his fiancee left him for this super rich guy (and my impression is that she's been seeing this guy for at least 6-7 months), he doesn't have much contacts with his family since years now and he really wanted a new one with this girl.. so he's wasting away, drinking, smoking, pot also, not eating or sleeping or showering even. he goes out of house just to get booze and cigarettes. i'm the only person he's talking to. he admitted me he's having suicidal thoughts, sometimes he'd say things that sound like a farewell or asking me if i liked his camera and his chess board (things he loves the most) and that maybe i should have it..

..now i spend a lot of time with him because i'm afraid he might do something stupid, i even sleep over at his house often (and came to the point where i have to lie to my boyfriend i am sleeping there because i spend most of my free time with my friend, my boyfriend doesn't really know how bad the things are and would definitely get annoyed if he knew, but i can't tell him all this. my friend never made a move with me in our entire lives, so it's because me and my friend hiding an affair), i also have a job since just a couple of months and i'm trying to do my best there but this is really making things hard for me. sometimes i get 2h of sleep a day because i spend a night talking to my friend until 5am and then i'm up at 7 going to work.
i can't tell anyone what's going on, my friend is asking me that all the time because he doesn't want people asking questions, he isolated himself completely, his ex gf won't talk to him at all and won't even reply my emails where i asked her for help openly.
as much as i love my friend i can't bare this responsibility alone, i'm only 26 (he's 30 and he's been like a brother to me) nad it's all getting out of hand.
there'v been days he told me he wants to turn himself in an institution but then he'd never go although i tried to convinced him that it was the best for him. is it possible for me to turn him in? or i would need to wait for him to attempt to do something???
please help me because i feel like he's sinking and taking me down with himself.

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EmpowHER Guest

he's hardly talking to his family as they live far from us (another state, 12-13h away) but i will try to contact his mother. i don't have her direct contacts though so i'll have to get it from him somehow.
thanks for your help, this is driving me crazy.

September 22, 2011 - 2:34pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon,

I completely agree with Susan and, as a mother, it doesn't matter if I talk to my son once a day or once a year..or whether I live 10,000 miles away from him: If he is depressed and suicidal, I will be there to help him. However, it is important that you truly do get in contact with her otherwise she will never be able to help him until it's too late.
Try looking her or any other member that can get you to her through facebook, white pages, etc. Please, for his sake. The fact that he has no family near him can be a huge factor in his overall mental health.

Keep us updated,


September 23, 2011 - 7:20am
(reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

hi Rosa, hi Susan,

couldn't agree more with you. been through a similar thing myself. in the end i called my friends family and they took care of him.. i just had to resist until they managed to come physically there.
and maybe you might want to talk to somebody too after all this is done, it's exhausting mentally and physically and might benefit you.

September 23, 2011 - 1:57pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question and welcome! I knew you had made an error in your first post by reading your post it it's entirety!

You are correct in that your friend has a serious mental illness and does need help. He also needs to stop manipulating you into spending all your time with him (hinting at offering you things that he won't need for much longer/hinting at saying a final goodbye) - as scary as that is, it's also manipulation on his part. He may well be suicidal but he's also making sure you know it and are afraid of it. This is a terrible thing for him to do to you.

Additionally, as you said, it is causing problems with your job and relationship so it's time to get the ball rolling on getting him help and giving this responsibility back to you because he has placed an enormous burden on you. You also need to be honest with your boyfriend and this friend's family.

What happens when a person commits suicide? Their friends and family say they never knew....that if only they had known, they would have intervened in a second. You do NOT want that guilt on you for life. You have to tell his family and tell your boyfriend what is going on - it's very unfair not to tell him. Secrets about suicide are never a good thing.

Talk to his family whether your friend likes it or not. What is he going to do - not talk to you for the rest of his life? That's ok, as long as he gets help and can start living his life again. Suicidal poeple do not want to die - I promise you that. They just want the pain to end and the only option they think they have is death. Suicide is such a permanment solution to a temporary problem. Get him help, fast.

Let us know how things go for you and don't wait on this - talk to someone he knows soon - or call a hospital to see what their procedures are. You may be able to have him committed if he has shown he is a danger to himself.

You are being a very good friend to spend all this time with him but this isn't actually helping him at all. Be proactive and call 911 if you have to.

Also, call the National Suicide Hotline to see how they can help: 1-800-273-8255 ... please do this today! This will ease your own burdens too, I can tell how stressed you are and this is not something you should be going through. Stopping these secrets will be the best thing you can do for your friend.

Please stay in touch with us-

September 22, 2011 - 10:44am
EmpowHER Guest

i just want to add a correction: what i meant here:
"and came to the point where i have to lie to my boyfriend i am sleeping there because i spend most of my free time with my friend, my boyfriend doesn't really know how bad the things are and would definitely get annoyed if he knew, but i can't tell him all this. my friend never made a move with me in our entire lives, so it's NOT because me and my friend are hiding an affair"
i missed out that NOT part, the phrase was really long and i am really upset in this moment - as i said this person is like a brother to me, i hide this from my boyfriend because our relationship is already suffering because of this, i already cut some time out of it to dedicate myself to my friend and if my bf knew i was skipping gym (i'd say i go to a gym but i go to my friends, i say i go see my sister & her family but i go see him) he'd be mad, i know. i know i'm doing wrong by not telling him but on the other hand how can i share something so intimate out of my friends life with someone who knows him a bit but not so well? help!

September 22, 2011 - 1:56am
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