Should I tell her the truth?

@Fleura (6328)
United Kingdom
June 15, 2016 7:53am CST
A good friend (who I met a couple of years ago) suffers from mental health issues - depression and some degree of OCD. She often talks about her problems but says her husband doesn't want to talk about them because he is under the impression that focussing on them in this way will just make them more prominent. Apparently she often feels a compulsion to self-harm, with voices in her head continually telling her to harm herself or even kill herself. Her husband tells her that everyone has these and they just manage to ignore them and get on with life and she just needs to try harder. Now I don't know about you but I have never experienced anything like this. I have no difficulty wishing to live, It's what I want to keep doing as long as possible! So my question is: Is it more fair to let her believe that we all have to continually fight against the urge to end our lives, but that most of us are doing better at it than she is? Or would it be better to tell her that in fact she suffers more than most and has more of a problem to overcome? So far I have just kept quiet, listened and made sympathetic noises but not expressed any opinion one way or another. Has anyone else experienced similar mental problems and if so what, if anything, helped?
9 people like this
9 responses
@Daljinder (19945)
• India
15 Jun 16
Depression can not be cured in a blink, if at all. Ignoring the problem and expecting it to go away on its own is not helping your friend. Husband isn't helping her situation. She isn't looking for an opinion on her problems. What she needs is some moral support, some encouraging words, empathy, some understanding and most of all she needs patience. She does need help! But a therapist alone can't do the work if she doesn't has the support from family and friends. Be her strength! I have a friend who deals with depression and OCD. Ask her ( @VivaLaDani13) how it actually feels to be at that place where your friend is. You might want to watch this video too that Dani has shared with me..
I'm honoured to of made some sort of difference in your life Alex. All my love to his family. #RIPAlex Merch: https://www.districtlines.com/daz-black Follow ...
2 people like this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
19 Jun 16
Thanks for your comments. I do try to be supportive and encouraging and a non-judgemental listener. As you say she also need professional help and hopefully will get more soon. Thanks for the link too.
2 people like this
• Perth, Australia
21 Jun 16
@Fleura DJ pretty much said what I wanted to. I mean you can always feel free to message me with any further concerns or questions because I do suffer with depression and OCD myself. No self harming or voices in my head but all of these mental issues should be addressed and not ignored. Things like this shouldn't be taken lightly. From my own personal experience, people who tell me to "get over it" or "toughen up" etc only makes me feel 100 times more depressed and alone. And like DJ said, and for me again, personally, sometimes I just want someone to listen. I understand that not every one has the answer to help but going as far as just listening without judgement go can such a long way. Your question, "Is it more fair?" Well, on her behalf I should think no. It is not fair to have someone believe that what they are feeling is common and easy to fix because even though so many people suffer, they choose to not speak about it because of people like her husband! Who reach out for help but get shut down! Your friend needs professional help where she can speak of her issues and actually get help to control it. Hopefully cure but we will start with controlling it. It can be a long process. The day I found out that I had OCD from a councilor, I was happy. I mean I wasn't happy that I had it but I was happy that what I had been doing since I was little had a name to it. Because people telling me it was "normal" when I couldn't see anyone around me behaving in the way I was, was total bull! Everyone has issues yes but some need to be attended to! Your friend needs to see someone. No more of making her believe she is in some fairy land where everything is ok because in her mind right now, everything is not ok.
2 people like this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
21 Jun 16
@VivaLaDani13 Thanks very much for taking the time to respond. She is seeking professional help but of course that can only be intermittent. In the meantime at least I can listen without judging. I'm glad you say that helps because that is one thing I can do!
2 people like this
@jaboUK (51447)
• United Kingdom
15 Jun 16
I've no experience of this sort of thing, but I think I would tell her the truth (in a sympathetic way of course). She needs to know that it's not normal to think and feel like that, and that she needs to get help.
2 people like this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
19 Jun 16
Thanks, That's pretty much what I thought; I'm afraid she might feel more of a failure if she thinks everyone else is doing so well at overcoming these thoughts and she isn't!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 16
I think if your country has help for depression, that she needs to find it. By ignoring the problem, she can in fact be making it worse, because then she has the anxiety over trying to ignore it. I have suffered from depression before, and I will tell you...ignoring it isn't the answer. Not everyone has the urge or thought to kill themselves, but everyone does have problems. Seeking help isn't the weakness her husband seems to think it is. Seeking help is a sign of extreme strength. So if I were you, I would tell your friend that she is in fact suffering, but not to worry because you will help her find help. Then follow through and actually help her get into some sort of program where she can get the help she needs. Please do this for her.
2 people like this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
19 Jun 16
She doesn't ignore it, it is her husband I guess who thinks that talking about it too much will make it more of an issue. She is looking for help and I will support her as much as I can, thanks.
@Potorino (294)
15 Jun 16
No go help her already she need's help depression is really a bad thing going to happen in person's life. Depression is like a monster sitting in that's back of your neck and you just feel like no matter what you do it's gonna be their for all of your life.
2 people like this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
19 Jun 16
You're right it is a bad thing to have following you around. She is seeking help and hopefully will get to see a good counsellor soon.
@Teep11 (6664)
• United States
15 Jun 16
How well do @Fluera know This woman? If she's your friend why are you talking about the woman instead of trying to help your friend in some way? Do you think that it's beneficial to your friend to discuss the issues that could be plaguing your friend's life? It would seem more sympathetic if you had some solutions that will probably be a break through from This woman. I pray for healing and are you the said woman? If so there's help for you @Fluera. I hope you're able to get the help needed. Have a blessed day!
2 people like this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
15 Jun 16
Thank you for responding. No the 'friend' is not a way of disguising myself, I am totally the opposite, full of the joys of life! My friend has had some help, she is on anti-depressant medication but that has unpleasant side-effects so she would like to be able to get off it or at least cut back. She sees her doctor regularly and is hoping to be referred to a counsellor. But of course I see her at other times and wondered if there was a way I could also help.
1 person likes this
@Shiva49 (10607)
• Singapore
19 Jun 16
Sometimes I do wonder what is in store for me and will I end up as a burden to others. However, I have no intention to harm myself or take my own life. As the quality of life and independence decreases with age, I cannot blame some living in their own world. I would think it is better to keep the conversation going and tell your friend there are many more disadvantaged who press on day-by-day as life is worth living - siva
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
19 Jun 16
Thank you, I do try to support her and keep her going as life really is worth it!
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (33828)
• Portland, Connecticut
19 Jun 16
I think she needs to know that wanting to hurt yourself is not the norm. There are many anti-depressants and there is bound to be one that will have less side effects.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6328)
• United Kingdom
19 Jun 16
Thanks. That's what I thought; I'm afraid she might feel more of a failure if she thinks we are all doing so well at overcoming these thoughts and she isn't!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (161922)
• Garden Grove, California
15 Jun 16
I would not just let her assume everyone has those tendencies tell her the truth
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (22203)
• United States
19 Jun 16
You are in a rough situation. I hope that you figure out what to do. I think she needs help.