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To Sam

my friend is very depressed and i want to help but im not sure how?!?!

my best friend told me she took tablets for deppression but she always talks about wanting to die and really sad stuff like none would care if she didnt return but we all really do what can i do to help shes really scaring me becuse i love her to bits!xx
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for you letter.

I can hear how concerned you are about your best friend. It’s clear how much you care for her and it seems as though you have a very special friendship.

You mentioned that your friend takes tablets for depression, which suggests she’s seeing a doctor and is receiving treatment for her illness. That’s really good to know, because it means she’s taken steps to get the support she needs to get better.

People with depression do sometimes talk about wanting to die and other really sad ideas. These ideas are part of the illness and if the doctors treating her are aware of them they will be able to help. I can hear how scary and upsetting it is for you to hear your friend talk like this. If she’s talking about having plans to die, or anything else that makes you really worried, it’s important that you speak to an adult.

You could consider talking to your friend’s parents or you could ask your parents to do this for you. If you’d prefer, you could chat to a teacher at school and let them know what’s worrying you. It’s important that the doctors are aware of what’s really happening so they can provide the correct treatment for your friend’s illness. You could also always suggest that your best friend contacts ChildLine herself and talks to one of our counsellors about how she feels.

You’ve asked me what you can do to help. Depression is an illness and it’s important that you don’t take on the responsibility for making your friend better. That’s what the doctors and other professionals are there for. What you can do is make her recovery less lonely, by showing her how much you care. It feels as though you’re doing all the right things already by listening to her and supporting her. You’ve told me that you all love her to bits, so keep reminding her of that too.

You might find it helpful to read more about depression and feeling sad in Explore. There’s a short video on that page that helps explains a little of what it is like to have depression. Another great website is Epic friends, which explains how to help friends with mental health issues.

Supporting a friend who is depressed can be difficult and worrying. It’s really important to look after your own feelings while you’re helping your friend. If you would like to talk to someone, remember that ChildLine are here for you. You can speak to a counsellor anytime, either on the phone 0800 1111 (free call) or on a 1-2-1 chat, whichever you prefer.

Take care,

Sam

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