I went to see a friend a few weeks ago who, having been the clown for years and years has, over the last 12 months, become seemingly more and more depressed. He had already warned me in the last year that some really bad stuff had been going on, but he wasn't ready to talk about it yet.
The day before I went to see him, he called to warn me he would be talking to me about something really really serious. This sounded so grave, I was convinced he was going to tell me he was dying.
Anyway, after a very long winded story about everything that had happened to him over the last 3 - 4 years, which I already knew being a close mate, he handed me a bit of paper on which were the symptoms of depression and he said he was suffering from this.
Now I'm having a hard time understanding what I'm supposed to do - I know I need to be there for him, be available for him to talk to and shouldn't force the subject. However, I have a mutual friend messaging me telling me he needs me to help take some of the burden off his back because he's been bearing the brunt of it over the last 12 months.
The other thing is - my depressed friend doesn't really have anything wrong in his life. He owns his own home, he has a good car, a really good job. He hasn't had a relationship in 7 years, but he says that's not what has brought him down - he's always been 'one of the lads'.
If anything I've been through a lot more in the last 12 months and find it almost selfish that he's telling me how much he's suffering when nothing really has happened. Which I know isn't the right way to be thinking, but it all comes across as self-indulgent.
I'm convinced that a lot of it is because he has spent so much time living alone. He lives near Manchester, where none of his friends are around. He works 20 minutes away and most of the people at his work are much older than him. He doesn't really have any hobbies, so just goes home every day, watches TV and eats. (Though he tells me sometimes he doesn't eat because he just can't bring himself to cook or shop). His nearest friends are in Leeds - others in Nottingham and Cardiff, his family in the Midlands.
So if any of you who have suffered from or know somebody who has suffered from depression can give me any advice on how to help him, it would be amazing. I don't understand it and am not the sort of person to suffer from it, so if I can get my head around it, hopefully I can help him. I want my friend back!
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