Depressed Friend

Hello all

I have a friend (yes a friend, not a “friend”) and she has the lowest self esteem I have ever seen on someone…

She seems to only be happy in a relationship which she systematically destroys because she is overly needy. (the old, you can’t love someone fully until you love yourself deal…)

It is a vicious cycle, and I know the only way she can break it is to start loving herself…but she just seems to be sinking deeper and deeper…

The problem is, no matter how much you love your friends, there comes a time when it is too tiring to continue holding them up. The constant “you are a good person, you look great etc…” is wearing, especially when it seems to fall on deaf ears…

How do you get someone to start believing in themselves, without pulling yourself under trying to help?

I think they need to see a therapist. It is too hard on a friend when they are that depressed. She might have depression and needs medication. Chemical imbalance can reek havoc. Do her a favor and make her go.

Sadly, I’ve seen this happen to my friends before and I feel like when it gets to this point, there are only two things you can do:

  1. Go with the above suggestion and talk to her nicely about possibly seeing a therapist and the value of learning to appreciate yourself, or

  2. Let the friendship go. It is harsh and difficult, I know, but someone like that is just going to drag you down and wear on your nerves. It is like the old saying goes, “if you want to be successful, hang out with successful people.”

As you mentioned, there’s a big difference between trying to help a friend in a time of need and having your advice fall on deaf ears. I’ve been happier easing myself out of destructive friendships than if I had held on, I know it.

Good luck!

If she’s a true friend and you two are close, make an appointment for her and drive her to the doctor. I know for me, when it finally got to the point I couldn’t take it anymore, I wanted to see a dr. but was too embarrassed and hesitant to actually set up an appointment myself and my husband ended up having to do it. And, I am truly glad he did because now, though years later, I don’t have to take my medication anymore. I haven’t used any anti-depressants in roughly a year and I’ve been absolutely fine even with all the stress I’ve been under.

If that doesn’t work, I don’t know that there is much more you can do that you haven’t already. A person has to be willing to seek and receive help, stick with their treatment, keep in contact with their doctor, and, most importantly, tell their doctor if the medication isn’t helping or causing negative side effects. Not all meds work the same for everyone and sometimes it’s trial and error until the proper medicine is found.

You know…sometimes when we are so focused on ourselves, it helps to do something for someone else. Perhaps you could volunteer somewhere and ask her to come along. Doing for others has a way of putting things into perspective. You also gain confidence when those you are helping express appreciation for your efforts. I experienced this when I began volunteering at my children’s elementary school.

Joy comes in serving and helps us subconsciously realize that maybe we aren’t as bad off as we thought. Volunteering might illuminate some hidden talents and grow her confidence in that way.

Just a few thoughts…off the top of my head.


i would try auburnchicks idea to start with personally. i used to be a lot like that, i went from bad relationship to worse once because i thought i didnt deserve any better. it took for me to do something drastic to sort my life out.

it sounds like she just needs a kick up the butt kind of thing, but a nice one rather than you will do as i say kinda. voulentering could be a great confide,nce builder, a great first step on the ladder. even going back to school or something like that to make her meet new people and feel good about herself.

I actually walked away from a friend after 2 years of her being in an abusive relationship (phsyically abusive) because i helped her walk away 3 times and she just kept going back saying she loved him!!
but she may not want to be helpped. just prepare yourself for that, some people are just like that. my mum is kinda like it being honest.

good luck, you are a great friend trying to help her

Volenteering is a great idea…we already do that though. We do Girl Guides together (in fact, that is how we met in the first place)

Taking her to the doctor doesn’t seem to be an option, at least not now…her mom is a nurse, and she works with her in a hospital. When I suggested it once she just said “I work with doctors and therapists all the time”

I know what you mean about some ppl not wanting to be helped…trust me, I worked side by side with one of those people for 8 years! Wow what a trip that was…she was a hypocondriac and was only happiest when she was bitching about something…once one was resolved, there was something new!

But the friend in question…sigh just stubborn. It really is the “You can’t see the forest for the trees” type thing. She knows she is unhappy, but I have seen her fly off the handle at her close friends so many times in the last few days. She is obviously hurting…and I guess if you are going to lash out at anyone, best to do it with your friends…cause at least they are going to take it. It is just that it is over little petty things…ie she was playing a game with someone the other day and things were not going her way so it became a “well if that is the way it is going to be, I may as well quit” type thing…she is 25 years old…!

Anyway…enough of that…I am just scared and concerned for her and feel a little helpless about it. Everyone that has been experiencing her around me has said that she is hurting, and ultimately she needs to find her happy place herself. Nothing we say or do will turn that around for her…she has to believe in herself!


When I was depressed, I’d get so angry that my heart felt like it would jump out of my chest. It was usually in the form of road rage. It scared me. I told my doctor about how I was feeling and he actually diagnosed me. He put me on Lexapro. I am so thankful for that. Things are so much better now. This medication is not something you can get high off of. I thought that the drugs were like that for depression. They are not.

Even counseling won’t help some people, but I do think it’s the best thing for your friend to do right now. See if you can get her to at least give it a fair try… like “go for 3 mos and see how you feel.” The suggestion to do for others is a good thing to do during this period, too.

There are people though who simply the Eeyores of the world and there isn’t much we can do. :shrug:

Must be why she is an avid Eeyore fan…smiles