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Reactions from support friends

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by yada, May 5, 2007.

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  1. yada

    yada Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to understand why people react the way they do when they find out I'm extremely depressed and suicidal. My reaction towards anyone else that is depressed is to help them in any way possible -- consoling them, speaking with them, trying to find answers. But I've noticed that not everyone is like that, and from my research it's not so uncommon either.

    My support friend was very supporting in the beginning (almost a year now), and would even call me every day to speak. But as time progressed, and especially after finding out I'm suicidal, she has withdrawn. The thing is, that she is a very strong person, so I find this odd. If she does not know how to react, it would be like her to state so directly rather than pulling away. Especially since she knows that that makes me feel worse. Nowadays, it even seems that she puts me on her sh*tlist by not speaking with me, and when I question it, it's because I did something wrong, which I still don't see as wrong. She's continuously making me feel like I'm doing something wrong. It's almost as if she's trying to find excuses to not have to deal with this.

    This does not make sense to me. I have a thought now that she was very interested at first just for her own curiousity, and not so much to be helpful, but now she's in over her head. Maybe I'm wrong, and I so hope that I am.

    Is there something I'm missing here? I really am trying to understand this to fix it, rather than walk away, because I have a lot invested in her emotionally.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. Sil

    Sil Well-Known Member

    Probably she got tired that you didn't changed in a year, and thinks that she could not help you. But this is not a good reason to turn her back to you. She should be MORE supportive now, that she knows you're not only depressed, but also suicidal. So, I don't see reasons either... she probably had a shallow interest in helping you, and didn't think it was serious. maybe you can try to tell her that she meant a lot this past year and she helped you a lot, and it would be good to have her back as a friend
    take care
  3. TLA

    TLA Antiquitie's Friend

    I am no expert, but I do agree that peoples reactions can be strange at times. It can very hurtful or confusing to you. Try not to let it!! I cannot comment on the actions/behavior of your support person, everyones situation is personal. It also depends if this is a job for them, or not. The support person may have their own "issues" (stuff, family memories). :unsure:

    Many people don't know how to deal, support a suicidal person. Sad, but true.
    I DO understand how you feel, hear your fustration. I have had several people back away and I did ask them to be direct and just 'tell me'. Maybe they had a hard time doing so. Keep posting when you are at lost for your support.

    Also, as time goes on, it is helpful to have (IF possible) a few people, or friends to turn to. One knows your hurts, one needs you to give to, one that can talk about anything, one that loves to go out to eat, shop. You get the idea? IF you have 2 friends that know and accept you totally, you are rich!!
    People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime...maybe your support person is for a reason and maybe you will someday know if you'll have to make changes often.

    They may have stepped back to force you to grow, push forward, stand tall. That does not necessaryily put you on the shitlist.
    Hope this does not sound like a lecture. :eek:hmy:
    Take care!!
  4. theOtherGuy

    theOtherGuy Active Member

    This is from me, not saying you should or have to listen to me. But, I don't have anyone to talk to, and I'd rather keep it that way. I think when it comes down to it, people honestly don't care. To my knowledge, as someone gets deeper into depression/suicide, the people close to you get scared. There's always a chance that they, themselves, will push you over the edge, they don't want to risk that. If they were really their friends, they'd do anything to help.

    Clearly, you can't trust anyone.
  5. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    It's not that people do not care...I think they care too much. If they have been trying so hard to help and get no result, not only have they failed, but they are afraid of losing you. So they distance themselves. They don't understand what you are going through and do not want to get hurt, so they break away. Not everyone does this of course, but when they can't relate and you are always in pain, they feel powerless and afraid of becoming too attached to someone who might not be there tomorrow.

    Also, I think they sometimes get the impression that suicidal people are sort of vampiric in a way, that the friendship is sort of a one way street. They feel that when they need to open up or talk about something personal, they can't because there is always a "life and death" situation going on with the other person. This leads to an uneven relationship and can be emotionally exhausting for both parties.

    Just a theory...I could be way off base here.
  6. yada

    yada Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with a lot of this. Yes, I think people get scared when faced with things they don't know how to deal with and perhaps pulling away their way of dealing with it. I can partially give her the benefit of the doubt here, especially since she pretty much deduced recently that I now have an "out" plan now with the pieces in place to do so. Perhaps she is scared (subconsciously or otherwise) that she would feel some responsibility if I really did go through with it, and distancing herself is her way of alleviating that.

    But what's bugging me is the small attacks that implicate and state that I am wrong in doing little things. Things that I see as actually being good on my part. Her and her husband wanted to come over to drop off something for me a week ago, and I told them not to bother because I was really down and not in the best frame of mind. I've always felt that when in a bad mood, I should distance myself from others as I don't want to be the one in the crowd imposing my bad mood on others. And I know it is a big ordeal for them to pack the kids up in the car to go out at night. But I got attacked for that later, and made to feel as though I was rude to them. Odd, as I always thought that honesty was the best way to go.

    Yes, she's asked me to seek professional help, but I cannot and will not for various reasons. She knows that. I have clearly told her that I don't get and don't expect answers from her, but the compassion (from someone who I feel can truly understand and relate to my situation) has been amazing.

    The problem here is that I have a LOT invested in her emotionally as she's been the one who knows most of my issues. In some ways she chose to support me rather than me directly going to her, by realizing that I was not in the best state/mood and started asking what's wrong, and I accepted as I felt that she can relate to me as she's had some life situations similar to mine. She's strong, and that's why I openly gave in to confiding in her. But now that she knows all this detail and is pulling back, it makes me wonder what's really wrong with me. When the person who's supported me for some time suddenly starts attacking me, it really hurts. And this is where I start questioning whether she's just been inquisitive all along, or really supportive. Does she really care or not? And I'm now regretting telling her much of it.

    I can't agree that no one cares at all, but it's tough to figure out who really does care. I know that there are people *I* really care about and would do anything for. I'm always up for providing support wherever I can, though admittedly I find it hard to provide help for people that won't help themselves. A simple example of this is people I've know who abuse themselves by not exercising and eating the worst food, drinking, smoking and "enjoying their life to the fullest". But when they suffer a heart attack or get diabetes, a lot of people spring into compassion mode and feel sorry for that person. I cannot do that so easily in those situations.

    I have always found it hard to ask for help...any type of help. Partially pride, partially perhaps because it shows weakness, and partially because I don't like imposing on others. But in the recent past, I've asked or clearly implicated to other (good) friends that I am depressed, but I get no questions of compassion or offers to do so, from them. Don't think that means they don't care, but just their nature to not get involved. At least I'm happy I know that up front.

    Oddly, even on a forum such as this, I find it really hard to ask for help. Though it has been great because I feel that everyone here can relate.

    BTW, I'm also wondering why it's human nature to know someone and not bother about them when they're around, but once they die or something major happens, people coming crawling out of every corner and saying how they cared and wish they could've done something, and how they're sad for the loss etc. But prior to that, they weren't bother ... just living their own lives.

    Too much thoughts buzzing in my head lately... Sigh. If you've read to this far, I really appreciate it.
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