July 13, 2015

My best friend and I had a running joke that we would moan about things - it started off little things but gradually I noticed the moans got more frequent and less jokey.Mu's blog At one point I read over our messages and noticed that she only said negative things. I was concerned and brought it up with her; she was not aware she was being so negative and insisted she was fine.

My friend is going through a very difficult time

A few months later I got a distressed phone call saying she could not get out of bed. She was not able to express herself clearly and I did not know what to do from a distance. A couple of days later she managed to get to the doctors and she was diagnosed with depression.

Since being diagnosed, she has become progressively worse. She has become suicidal, been sectioned, has regular dissociative periods and has lost everything positive in her life. Although she has sought help, she has been consistently let down by the services she has encountered and her condition continues to deteriorate.

I will never stop loving and supporting my friend

As her best friend, I have been supporting her throughout everything. It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done and had no idea how stressful it would be, yet I know I will never stop loving her and supporting her.

Her depression has thrown major obstacles at our friendship, including her pushing me away, revealing a double life, losing all aspects of a normal friendship, relentless hopelessness, resentment and anger directed at me, as well as all the stress related to her attempts to take her own.

I do not for one second regret my decision to support my friend

I have often felt lost and had no idea what I should do, or why I am putting up with it. I have wanted to walk away many times when the situation has become unbearable or I can’t face the guilt of not being able to make her better. I have felt reluctant to voice the pressure I have been under and I have also felt guilty over some of the thoughts I have had. I know her emotions and behaviours are due to her illness but it does not stop the hurt. Normally when faced with negative and sometimes aggressive situations, you would leave and distance yourself from that person, however with depression it’s the opposite and I have had to learn how to handle this and still be able to stick around and support her.

Although it is challenging, I refuse to give up on my friend. I do not for one second regret my decision to support her through her struggles and I hope one day she will beat her depression.

Mu tweets at @mumoody.

Have you supported a friend with depression? What do you think of Mu's story?

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Comments

Mu story !! Wow !!

What a wonderful person you really are . I bet your friend is proud .. I too have a family member living with a mental illness . As a family we are lost , stuck . We have tried all sorts . Just to make life a little bit more barable . And nothing . I would any ideas or anything you have to give .xx

Want to help if i can

Hi, Read your comments after reading this amazing personal story which is so much alike my relationship with my closest friend supporting her through her mental Illness which started as Bipolar and PTSD and she now suffers from Schizophrenia. If its not too personal or upsetting may I ask what type of mental illness your family member is suffering from as the ways of helping them are different in each situation. I hope to hear from you soon.

Mu's blog

Your friend is so lucky to have you supporting her.

I just wanted to say what an

I just wanted to say what an amazing friend you are! Do remember to take time to look after your own health as well. Best wishes to your friend.

supporting our friends

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. I am in a similar situation. My close friend, my sunshine, is clinically depressed. I try to do my best to be there for her. There are some good days, there are some desperate ones. I hope I'll write a story to share with everybody and to ask for advice

You are a wonderful, lovely,

You are a wonderful, lovely, kind hearted person. I hope that you are very proud of the way you have supported your friend and know how special that makes you. I worried about telling my best friend about my depression. I finally admitted it to her after coming close to taking my life. She didn't say much, but looked shocked. I carried on seeing her on a regular basis (always me going to her house) but she never so much as asked me how I was. One day I was in crisis, I had come off my meds as I was sick of the side effects (I'm back on them now) and had a crisis team watching over me, they had just visited and I was feeling particularly vulnerable when she turned up with her 5 year old daughter, unexpected. I had unexpected visitors which she knows. Her daughter was being rude to me and I snapped and told her off. My friend left and the next day sent me a Skype message telling me my behaviour was unacceptable and having a go at me for not having been there for her! That was over a year ago and we haven't spoken since. I felt very let down by this so-called friend who had been my best friend for 30 years.

Thanks

Thank you for all your lovely comments. I really appreciate them. I have my own blog page where I share my experiences supporting my friend and what has worked for me. Its moodymu.com

You are amazing

You don't know how difficult it is to find someone like you who is not only such an amazing and supportive friend been able to support your best friend through her mental illness and all the ups and downs that come along with that illness, been able to deal with all the emotions and still been there for her. Mu you truly are one in a million and you're best friend is lucky to have you in her life. I too support my closest friend through the issues caused by her mental illnesses which include Schizophrenia and PTSD. she too has self harmed and attempted suicide on a number of occasions whilst suffering from anger, confusion, paranoia and many other emotions all which I have shared with her, I know her illness has destroyed so much of her but I also see her real personality through it all. I know how hard it is to support someone through this issues we are sharing with our friends but I also see it as the most rewarding friendship I have. thankyou for you courage in sharing your story.

Thank you

Thanks for your lovely comment Chris. It sounds like you are a wonderful caring friend. I'm glad you can relate to my experiences. I relate to what you have said about still seeing the real personality shine through. I feel that being able to have glimpses of the way my friend was before the mental illness is one of my key motivatiors in continuing my support. It reminds me of why I'm supporting her and gives me hope that one day I'll get that person back. Best wishes to you and your friend :)

never give up

You are right we must never give up hope of getting that friend we care for and love so dearly back, its what give us hope and strength during the most difficult times. I have started reading your amazing blog and can relate to so much of what you say there. It is a massive source of strength and its nice to meet someone who understands. Take care of yourself too though Moody Mu as I know I am guilty so often of forgetting my own well being in order to support my friend, it can consume you. best wishes for you and you best friend, she is very lucky to have such a good friend in you.

What a wonderful friend....

What a wonderful friend you are. You truly are the definition of a good friend. I am very similar to how your friend is. I have no one, no family and no friends, and have not had for 6 years. I ruined everything that I had. Loneliness does not begin to describe how I can feel & couple that with my mental illnesses and it can equal hell. Your friend is very very lucky to have you. Maybe she does not tell you due to how her illness makes her think, but she will know how special you are to her, and you most likely make the essential difference to her living. Without you, who knows. You truly sound like an amazing person. May your friend have better days ahead of her, and you too.

Thanks

Thanks for your comment. It means so much to me. You have really given me hope and encouragement during a particularly testing week with my friend. Im sorry to hear about your situation, I hope that things get better for you :)

Hope you're ok

I am sorry to hear that you and your friend have had a difficult week. I hope that things have settled down for her now. You are doing so well and even though I know how hard it is to support someone with depression etc. I know been best friends for all these years you will continue to find the strength inside yourself to keep supporting her. Sometimes its difficult for others to understand just how hard it is to not only suffer from mental health issues but also to be the ones caring for them. To all people though just remember your illness is not the real you, the real you is the amazing, brave, kind person who goes through so much and feels so much fear, pain and confusion sometimes sadly without sharing it. You are not alone.

Your friend

I've read this post and your blog. As someone with a mental illness I truly hope your friend never finds your posts. They are horrible and hugely hurtful. There will be plenty of people now doubting their supportive friends. Shame on Time to Change for giving this a platform. How would you feel if you read this about yourself?!

Blog

Hi DIDgirl, I'm sorry that you don't like this blog. We published this blog because it is an honest reflection of someone who is trying to support their friend who is experiencing depression - sometimes the process of supporting someone isn't always easy, and it's important that we acknowledge that. You'll notice that mu separates her friend from her friend's condition - mu knows that it is the depression that is causing her friend to feel unwell. Making a distinction between the person and the person's illness is important - we are not our illnesses. Best, Crystal at Time to Change

If you've ever wondered why

If you've ever wondered why people with MH difficulties withdraw, wonder if they're a drain on their friends, isolate themselves - this is exactly the kind of thing we fear our friends think. This post, part of the wider blog, could be a seriously damaging read to some of us. I'm stunned that Time To Change felt this was an appropriate blog to host & promote. The way the author talks about her friend is appalling, and I genuinely worry for the day the friend might find the *entire blog* dedicated to talking about how awful it is to be friends with someone like us. Please, take this down.

Blog

Hi Spencer, I'm sorry that you don't like this blog. We published this blog because it is an honest reflection of someone who is trying to support their friend who is experiencing depression - sometimes the process of supporting someone isn't always easy, and it's important that we acknowledge that. You'll notice that mu separates her friend from her friend's condition - mu knows that it is the depression that is causing her friend to feel unwell. Making a distinction between the person and the person's illness is important - we are not our illnesses. Best, Crystal at Time to Change

My blog

Hi Spencer and DIDgirl, Im sorry my blog has made you feel that way, I never meant to hurt anyone. Yes my blog documents the difficult moments in my friendship, they are moments in which I have found myself struggling the most. These times have been spread out over years and are tiny but critical parts in our friendship. They are times when she is vulnerable and I am at breaking point, not knowing what to do and close to giving up, or times where I feel I have learnt something valuable. I am not always proud of how I have acted and that is why I want to share them. I want others to learn from my mistakes and share experiences. As well as saying about the difficulties, I address what has worked for me so it hopefully helps others. I have also got more positive blogs as well. I understand that what I say is not going to be an easy read to many, especially those with a mental illness themselves. However, the whole situation is not easy. Depression is a horrible and devastating condition for everyone involved. None of the blogs I have written have been easy for me.They are of particular instances in which I have been at my most concerned, frantic, emotionally exhausted or desperate. The common underlying theme is that I love my friend and I try my best I can at that particular moment. If mental health awareness is to move forwards, we need to hear from all sides and this needs to be honest. Carers need to be able to feel free to admit they are struggling too, if not then it isolates them further and are more likely to give up on their support. If we come together and share experiences, no matter how difficult then we have a starting point to learn from and teach others. It is an opportunity to move forwards and hopefully as a result make carers better equipped/supported to help their loved ones. Again, I am sorry if I have offended or hurt you.

positive supportive Love

Bless you all for the Love that you share and radiate for friends and loved ones through days of laughter, smiles, silence and tears. No matter whether we are the one struggling at that very moment or the one trying to help, it can be both, one and all for each at any given moment. We all learn and grow from the very trust that we share through the journey together. Keep those eternal channels of hope alive the very essense of humanity at its best. You are an amazing couragous bunch giving hope to all.

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