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My best friend is depressed

My best friend has been really depressed for the past year. At first, I thought it was just simple low self-esteem, she puts herself down a lot and she doesn't seem to have energy or confidence. This is a huge difference because she used to be really social, she could literally go up to anyone and start a conversation but that's all changed. I've noticed quite a few problems like; she's conscious about her weight even though she's actually half my size (a size 8), she stays up really late at night, she doesn't seem to care about stuff like her hair and make-up like she used to, at the end of school she always says she hates going home and there's a lot more. It makes me really worried that she's going through something quite serious. I've talked about it briefly with out other best friend but she doesn't seem to be taking this as seriously as I am. I feel like if I confront her, she'll just laugh it off and tell me I'm being stupid. The other day, she even mentioned suicide and that freaks me out so much. I feel like I have to help her but I just don't know how.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to write to me as I can hear how much you care for your friend and how worried you are that she’s going through something serious. 

It’s understandable that you’re worried about confronting your friend but even if she laughs it off then at least she’ll know that you care about her and are there for her when she does feel ready to talk. It might help to think about how you would talk to her and what you might say as it can be a very difficult thing to do. It can help to try to imagine someone trying to talk to you and how you would like them to do it and what you would like them to say – it can also help to think about what you wouldn’t like as well.

Although you’ve said you’re worried that your friend won’t tell you what’s going on it does sound like she trusts as she’s mentioned suicide to you. Sometimes people only have suicidal thoughts but sometimes they are really thinking about acting on these thoughts, either way, it really important to get help and support. You might want to have a look at the suicide advice in the Explore section of the ChildLine website. It might help to talk to your friend about it and see if she knows what kind of help she’d like but if you’re really worried about her you might want to think about letting a trusted adult know about this. Your friend can talk to one of the counsellors at ChildLine they often talk to young people who have suicidal thoughts and help them to cope with them. I do not believe that suicide is the answer. It might help to go through our confidentiality policy with your friend as it explains when ChildLine might have to tell someone else – in this case it would only be if your friends’ life was in immediate danger.

Seeing your friend like this and supporting her can be very difficult and it’s important that you get support when you need it too. You can also talk to the counsellors at ChildLine whenever you need to about your worries about your friend and how it’s affecting you, and even go through how to talk to her about it. You can do this by ringing them on 0800 1111, calls are free and won’t show up on bills; you can take up an online chat through the website; or you can send an email once you’ve set up an account but it can take up to 24 hours to get a reply via email. 

Take care,


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