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kirakirakira
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07 May 2024, 1:36 pm

We've been friends since we were young teens, and he's always been depressed in some way. I'm on my own mental journey and as I learn something that helped me, I would share it. He has done a lot at this point (gym, better diet, therapy, meds), but he is still suicidal sometimes, and at this point, it's annoying to listen to. Multiple times I've told him to stop trauma dumping on me, as I'm growing resentful towards him; he would stop for a couple of weeks and do it again. I feel helpless and angry at the same time. Helpless, because whatever I say, it will never help in such state, and angry, because if I ever need some emotional support, it's as if I'm talking to a wall, just "I don't know what to say" to whatever I tell him. This friendship is super one sided. More than that, on multiple occasions, when I said something to protect my boundaries (for him to stop trauma dumping so much), he told me that the thought of me ever leaving him makes him suicidal. It doesn't make me sad, but the very thought of someone putting such a huge mental burden drives me insane. I saw similar posts of people saying how tired they are of their depressed friends, but the friends didn't do anything to help themselves. He does a lot of things and still feels this way. I don't know where to draw the line between emotionally supporting a friend and being their personal therapist.



nick007
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08 May 2024, 3:46 am

I've been on both sides of this before. I've been the depressed & unstable one(I'm not bipolar thou) in a few friendships & also in a couple relationships but I've also been friends with people more depressed & unstable than me & been in a relationship with someone who's depressed & unstable(she's not bipolar) for like 12 years now. In my experience I feel a lot better mentally being around people more depressed & unstable than me. I've tried various things to work on myself though plenty people thought I was not trying & I like being able to use my negative experience to help others. I guess being around people more held together makes me feel like I can not measure up & like I'm getting pushed away even if they are not intending to make me feel like that. Perhaps your friend is the same way. Has he been part of any support groups :?: Since being around him can be draining it's important that you try & take care of yourself & do what you need to relax & recharge. Setting clear boundaries is necessary but expect him to slip up some & need some reminders. That said if you really feel like your friendship is very one-sided then it may be time to step back. I felt like my previous relationship was very one-sided(her side) for other reasons & it made my mental health worse. It's important that you do what's best for you.


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kirakirakira
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08 May 2024, 9:40 am

nick007 wrote:
In my experience I feel a lot better mentally being around people more depressed & unstable than me. I've tried various things to work on myself though plenty people thought I was not trying & I like being able to use my negative experience to help others. I guess being around people more held together makes me feel like I can not measure up & like I'm getting pushed away even if they are not intending to make me feel like that. Perhaps your friend is the same way. Has he been part of any support groups :?: .


I personally hate dealing with people who are at a worse state than I am, it's as if it's dragging me down. I really want him to communicate with other people, especially with those who went through the same things, but it's as if he's way too attached to me in particular. I honestly start hating that a lot. I don't like feeling like I'm responsible for his existence at all, because he told me before that he would kill himself if I stop talking to him.



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08 May 2024, 9:59 am

Remember he didn't ask to be born the way he is; I would tell him I love him; you are not a therapist nor trained as one and you will help him find one that can help him.



autisticelders
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09 May 2024, 4:14 pm

people who are constantly depressed or otherwise needy can be hard to help when we struggle with our own needs and problems.
Please encourage your friend to call helplines, get therapy, ask doctor for meds adjustments... much can be done to help, but sometimes friends don't have the emotional resources/ strength or the knowledge to help.

Keep encouraging him to find new ways to deal with his troubles, its OK to tell him you wish you could help but just lack the energy, time, skills, etc...

Our daughter is bipolar and often needs help and support, and it is so painful and difficult for her.

I mostly try to spend time with her talking about the things she loves and trying to find little things that interest her or that I know make her happy.

She doesn't mind changing the subject to positive things most of the time. She has to work at surviving and fighting her many diagnoses every day, but she is doing self care and learning new coping techniques over time in therapy, and things are getting better.

It might be hard for your friend to see hope when trapped in the worst of depression, but keep telling them they are worth the hard work to find better life and feel better as they go along.

Its a very hard place to be friend or family of a depressed person, but since I also fought depression for most of my young life I can say its likely harder still to be the person who has depression.

You can get trapped and not be able to find your way out except for the help of friends and or family. Counseling and meds help so much and there are so many alternatives today nobody needs to suffer. Encourage them to reach out for help, to work at recovery. It doesn't happen without self care, self understanding and learning new ways to "do life" as well as following self care for health , including faithful taking of meds, not abusing oneself with alcohol or street drugs, etc.

It is OK to take care of your own needs first, and if things get too tough, your friend relies on you too much, see if you can brainstorm with them about other options they have available.
Its OK to take a break and to distance yourself when you need to. Self care always first.


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nick007
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09 May 2024, 9:16 pm

kirakirakira wrote:
nick007 wrote:
In my experience I feel a lot better mentally being around people more depressed & unstable than me. I've tried various things to work on myself though plenty people thought I was not trying & I like being able to use my negative experience to help others. I guess being around people more held together makes me feel like I can not measure up & like I'm getting pushed away even if they are not intending to make me feel like that. Perhaps your friend is the same way. Has he been part of any support groups :?: .


I personally hate dealing with people who are at a worse state than I am, it's as if it's dragging me down. I really want him to communicate with other people, especially with those who went through the same things, but it's as if he's way too attached to me in particular. I honestly start hating that a lot. I don't like feeling like I'm responsible for his existence at all, because he told me before that he would kill himself if I stop talking to him.
Saying he'd kill himself is a scream for help instead of an attempt at guilt-tripping you. That said, it's fair to set firm bounderies with him. Everyone has their own limits to what they can handle & do for others. You can not help him or be there for him or anyone else if your too burnt & stressed out. It's not your fault he's depressed & you are not obligated to be his support or friend.


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Questionings
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10 May 2024, 2:03 am

I had several people stop talking to me because I tell them what I'm thinking about, and, well... you're either friends or acquaintances... I suppose with the latter it would be odd, but if, as a friend, you think of it as "trauma dumping" then I doubt there's much of a friendship.