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Dealing with Depression/Friends with a Person who has Depression

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Question
QUESTION: Hello,
I have a friend who has depression.  The reason why I had been drawn to him is because of our similarities, one being depression. (I'm a bit better now.)
He has problems of not reaching out to me or anyone, like he wants to withdraw from the world.  I can understand this, but it makes the friendship hard when I always have to be the one to do the contacting. (Sometimes, I feel like withdrawing myself.)
I have this feeling that I am more important to him than he lets on.
He's important to me, because he has made me feel better about myself.
But he can get rude at times (and has other flaws), which is one reason I withdraw sometimes, because I don't know how to deal with it without enabling him.
I don't spend huge amount of time or energy with him, because I have other friends and things in my life.

How can I be sensitive to him, but not enable him?

Thank You

ANSWER: I'm sorry, I am not understanding what you mean by "enabling him."

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I mean that when he is being rude or doing something not good (cause it's mostly hurting himself).  I want to help him, but I don't want to push him away.

Answer
Sometimes the best way to help is to step back and demand less. Let him know that you're here to help, but give him his own space, let him come to you if he needs to.
Many times we think "I want to help this person," and try our best to help them- and in the end, we push them further away because they feel smuthered.

Dealing with Depression

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Johnny St. Tai

Expertise

It is okay to feel down and out once every so often, as long as you know to reach out for the hands that will pull you back up. I can answer questions about self esteem improvement, relationship with others, depression, and sexuality. I will/cannot give medical advice without an actual examination of the person and his/her medical history, so for those issues, best to find a local specialist/doctor to be safe.

Experience

Ten years of professional and volunteer counseling, and volunteering for the Crisis Center. Born of a conflict-laiden family, I've walked through violance, addiction, abuse, and more. I survived, scarred but still strong, and I will do my best to help others do the same.

Organizations
Richmond Chimo Crisis Center

Education/Credentials
Interpersonal/Social Relation Specialist, University of British Colombia Socialwork, 2005.

Past/Present Clients
over 500.

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