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How can I help my friend overcome depression?

Q: My 22 years old friend had a break up with his girlfriend 2 years back. He also had a disturbed childhood as his parents were separated. He has still not gotten over the break up. He has stopped trusting anyone and has become cold and distant. I know him for the past one and a half years and I am observing him changing for the worse. He doesn't want to share his feelings and doesn't mind living alone too. He does not want to go into a serious relationship with anyone and is now building up hatred inside and has anger, which explodes time and again. He is afraid of getting hurt again and therefore doesn't want anybody to come close to him not even his mother and sister. Otherwise he is a very bright student but after his break up he went into a shell and was on the verge of breakdown. Then he started talking to me and used to share a few things with me and became happy. But then he started fearing it again. He became rough and rude with me. Now for the past 4-5 months he has not been talking to me and whenever we do, he fights. He was basically a good and sensitive person who believed in 100% commitment. His ex-girlfriend left him for another guy. He doesn't want to speak. He is very unhappy and something is killing him inside. Please advise me what course of action I should take?

A:Your friend is going through depression due to rejection. It is very important to address his anger turned inwards (depression). He will benefit from therapy and of course you just being supportive friend will give him strength while he is in treatment to fight his depression. Kids always think as if they had some thing to do when their parents separate. He has not processed his feelings of loss ever! If there is any thought of suicidal ideation he will need in patient treatment if not antidepressant and therapy will be helpful. Keep in mind that medical professionals have trouble playing sick role and are non compliant! Take him to a Psychiatrist or a therapist and be supportive - do not argue! Allow him to express his emotions and be supportive.


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