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Old 04-06-2020, 09:43 AM   #1
HereForAFriend
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Attention Friend who's having a hard time.

My "pen-pal" for 5 years now's situation is getting worse. Incredibly unlucky won't even start to begin describing how things are for him, and he is starting to develop self harming behavior, and edging closer and closer to suicide, I tried doing stuff to help him before, as he has given up on helping himself, saying the world has proved that he doesn't deserve help and to "win", but his lack of luck shined bright yet again, and the attempts at helping him not be lonely and cope with his family failed, and now, his belief that he doesn't deserve help has been increased, and he stated clearly that he doesn't want me to help him anymore, I've only discovered this site recently, and I think have great potential to help him, but he wouldn't register himself and I haven't been receiving much attention as I barely have been posting and when I did, it might've been in the wrong places, in the wrong times I guess, but I am in a tough spot, he specifically ordered me not to seek for help, but he doesn't care if I vent or worry, and my worry is only rising with each day.
Is the world this cold and unmerciful? is he truly lost? how do I cope?
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:00 AM   #2
Yaowen
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Default Re: Friend who's having a hard time.

Dear HereForAFriend,

It is really heartbreaking what you and your friend are going through.

One of the most brutal and cruel aspects of depression, is I think, its ability to demotivate sufferers from seeking help. The image that comes to mind is a person dying of hunger while sitting in a garden full of ripe fruits and vegetables.

A person I know who works for a suicide prevention hotline once told me that this is the most demoralizing aspect of their work. Sometimes people most desperately in need of help will not seek it.

In some countries, a person who is a threat to themselves can be forced to be hospitalized. Since your friend is a "pen pal" I don't know what the situation is for him.

In any relationship there is only so much one can do for another person. Clearly you are making heroic efforts to help your friend. What is your friend's family doing to help? Could his family be enlisted to help or is that not possible in this situation?

There has been research which has linked some serious cases of depression to brain pathology. One study has linked some depressions to atrophy and loss of mass, volume and density in certain parts of the brain; atrophy unrelated to normal brain aging.

Some studies using imagining techniques have shown that in the brains of scanned individuals suffering depression that there are regional reductions in cerebral blood flow and energy utilization [glucose metabolism]. Some studies have linked some depressions to cortical thinning in certain regions of the brain and loss of protective glia cells.

Some studies have found atrophy at the microscopic level in some brain cells. Of course all medical research is subject to limitations: quality of study, size of study, duration of study, confounding factors and new discoveries. And all medical studies are subject to the existence of other studies which might reach alternate conclusions.

I wish I had some profound wisdom to share that would help you with ideas on how to help your friend. Many, many people utilize these Forums and I hope some will have ideas for you. I fear, rightly or perhaps wrongly, that your involvement might be having detrimental effects of your own health and well-being. Are you okay?

Have you considered calling a suicide prevention hotline yourself on behalf of your friend? Perhaps they would have some ideas that would be helpful. Another idea, although this would perhaps involve some expense, would be consulting with a medical professional on behalf of your friend; someone like a psychologist or psychiatrist.

I am very, very sorry that this whole situation is occurring. It must be so difficult for you and heartbreaking. Wish I knew how to help.

Sincerely yours, -- Yao Wen
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