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How do you?

  1. Dec 8, 2004 #1
    How do you try to make someone see that their life isn't meaningless? I know at time people feel like that, and I know that I have. I've got this friend who I thought was more stable than I was, but it turns out its all a...lie, I guess you could say.
    They don't seem to want any help in feeling better but as I'm so close to them its only natural to want to help out. And I was just wondering if anyone could give me any advise as I'm at a total lose at what to do.
    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2004 #2


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    Carly, it's tough to be close to someone who needs help and isn't willing or ready to accept that help. If it's as bad as it sounds from your description, there probably isn't too much you can do on your own, these problems sound like they are beyond just having a friend around, but need referral to a professional. See if you can talk your friend into talking to a counselor or doctor about this problem. Let them know you're worried about them, that you care, if they want to talk, you're there to listen, you'll go with them to the counselor's office and wait for them in the waiting room if they don't want to walk in alone. If at any time your friend starts to talk about any explicit plans for suicide ("maybe I should just take some pills" or "do you think it hurts to if you kill yourself by doing ..."), don't hesitate to call for emergency treatment.

    If you're not sure how to get your friend help, you can talk to a counselor yourself and get advice from them on how to approach your friend, what to say, how to get them to get help.
  4. Dec 8, 2004 #3
    One way to help people feel better about themselves is not to help them, but to let them help others. This can add a feeling of accomplishment and selfworth. This works best if it is done subtly.
  5. Dec 8, 2004 #4
    Give him Frankl's 'Mans' Search for Meaning' for Christmas.
  6. Dec 8, 2004 #5
    'The number 42', You took the words right out of my mouth. Coincidently, I am writing an essay as we speak about that book and its relation to depression.
  7. Dec 8, 2004 #6
    Making peoepl realise that there are people worse off or that they have something to live for is always good. Mine used to be music and science but it is now them and, mroe so, my girlfriend. Other the last month I have wanted to just sit in a corner and die but someone or something said 'No. Don't'.

    Force them to do something good without them realising it is a set up and make fuss over it or pretend to be in a bad mood and make it really obvious and hope they try to help and maybe a lot of the problems will come out and be easier to handle.

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  8. Dec 8, 2004 #7
    No, this just tends to make them angry. When a person is truly depressed, this will at best add guilt and make them feel worse, or at worst make them angry and stop talking to you altogether about it.
  9. Dec 8, 2004 #8


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    Show that you and other people care about him/her and that he/she has a positive influence on your lives.

    Or get him/her to volunteer helping other people.

    Religion works for many people, but that could be a tough sell to someone so depressed.

    If he/she is clinically depressed, then a doctor could help (medication).
  10. Dec 8, 2004 #9


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    From my experience, medication or forced emergency treatment is not the way to go. Many anti-depressant drugs have very, very strong side-effects, and some, namely Lexapro, have been known to make matters worse. As far as `forced' treatment, I don't see that as healing, but more like a safeguard to others.

    If the person is suicidal, help them - don't imprison them in some place they don't care to be. This is the absolute worst you can do; I've been a witness to it and the poor quality of the mental healthcare system.

    The best thing you can do for them is to let them see that they are useful, however, that may be.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2004
  11. Dec 8, 2004 #10
    "Emergency Help" for derpession is not a good answer. Groups that try and help people with a problem (rehave or rehab? I can't spell it) really don't work. First of all, why would your friend feel better for going to get help for his/her brain? :| Secondly, they don't know him/her. You do, however.

    I'm sad to say that it's hard for logical thinking people to accept help so rashly. I know, if I were in that perdicament, I wouldn't heed the words of anyone except a girl, that I liked... For sure.

    Depending on your friend's personality, it may be best just to leave him/her alone with the problem. That's not to say that you should leave him/her alone. It's to say that you should organize group activities, but don't talk about the problem. Try to invoke subliminal messeges while you're at it. Often things that people find out for themselves have more impact than someone's advice, as it holds no bias.
  12. Dec 8, 2004 #11


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    I had a problem like this with a guy at work. He wanted to kill himself and all that annoying crap.

    People need to realize that a meaningless life is what makes it fun. I love life because it is meaningless. I do the things I do because I want to do them and not because it is meant for me to do.

    People get confused and think they have a duty in life when in reality they don't. If you did duties, life would be like a job where eventually you want to quit.

    Think about the word quit.
  13. Dec 8, 2004 #12
    While i dont' disagree with you in principle, your attitude about the whole thing makes me hope someone who feels that way enver turns to you for help.
  14. Dec 9, 2004 #13
    This is true, but they know that they have a positive influence on my life. And I don't think they're at the stage of being clinically depressed so pills are not the answer. Its more a feeling of being trapped

    But as they don't want to be helped it makes it all a lot harder as I feel if the problem is left it will turn into something more serious
  15. Dec 9, 2004 #14

    jimmy p

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    Look in the dictionary and show them the description of "life". You will see it isnt meaningless. Aimless... but not meaningless.
  16. Dec 9, 2004 #15

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    And how did you manage to lose to Saint in the funniest member award?
  17. Dec 9, 2004 #16
    I don't know but my bro is funny yet his point is good. It is aimless. I need a corner to crawl into and die in.

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  18. Dec 9, 2004 #17
    because nothing is funnier than someone who's not trying to be funny;)

    On this topic, Carly, I can definitely empathize with you. I had a long time friend who suffered through many bouts of depression and other personal issues. I tried to help her, and had to eventually let her go in spite of my desire to help her. They have to first want to help themselves before you can help them. I wish I had an answer for you, but I wasn't able to help my friend. Self realization is the only way to come to terms with something like this. And if you try and force anything, they push you away all the more.
  19. Dec 10, 2004 #18
    That is too true. I suppose all I can do it make it known to them that I'm there if they ever need help
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2004
  20. Dec 10, 2004 #19

    jimmy p

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    Well, he was the better man, and as Zantra said, he could do it without trying. That takes class and I am humbled by his presence, immoral as it may be to worship him like that...
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