Concerned about a close friend...

Postby dave000 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:36 pm

Hello all,

I'm writing here because I'm concerned about a close friend of mine who I've known for over 15 years. We're both 28 and male.

My friend has clinical depression and has had some difficult times in his life. He lost his father when he was 20 years old and suffered from eating disorders and self-harm during that time. He's a very sensitive soul and one of the kindest people I've known. I believe he has some co-dependency issues. He's always had girlfriends from the age of 14 without much time as a single person. He's always very unhappy when he's on his own and has struggled to end relationships even when the girl has treated him badly. He left school with good grades and has a university degree, but has never had a job in his life.

A few years ago he found himself a lovely sweet girlfriend, she was very attractive. We all (our friendship group) thought he did extremely well to get her and he agreed. He always expressed how lucky he was and that he was the happiest he'd ever been. She seemed to bring the best out of him - they even started their own little business together. His overall mood and motivation levels were the best they'd ever been. We were all so happy for him. He finally seemed sorted in life.

Last year, much to our surprise, he broke up with her. It seemed completely out of character for him and we heard she was devastated.

A couple of months later, he told us the truth. He 'came out' to us and is now dating another male. Surprised doesn't even begin to describe it. None of us ever suspected he was gay. We supported him and were proud of him for finding the courage to come out though.

As much as I would love to be happy for my friend, all I feel is great concern... Turns out his new partner is only 18 years old and still at college (and failing all his subjects). My friend doesn't get out of bed until 1pm and plays video games 12 hours a day with his new boyfriend. This has been going on for 6 months now and he doesn't seem to have any interest in finding himself a job. He's still living with his mother and I believe she'd be happy for her son to live with her forever as she's been a very lonely woman since her hubby passed away. :(

I'm really worried about him and don't want him to waste his life away. I've tried to talk to him about his potential future career and job search, but he gets over-sensitive and all it does is cause an argument. Is there anything I can do? I hope he comes to his senses soon, but I fear he won't.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:14 am

dave000 wrote:Is there anything I can do?


Your role is friend. That limits your options.

What you can do is be a role model. When you talk, when you are together you can demonstrate the values you embrace in life. And you can be there to listen. If and when he asks, you reinforce and live your values.

What you can't do is force your values on him. Based on your values he is wasting his life. His values are different. He doesn't see it the same. He might say he values similar things as you, but his actions demonstrate what he truly values.

Live your values, demonstrate the benefits of your values, etc.
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#2

Postby TheCloud » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:19 pm

dave000 wrote:I'm really worried about him and don't want him to waste his life away.


Your definition of what is a waste of his life might be more optimistic than his. He might think that everything he has lived up until now has been a waste of life. He is clearly a traumatized person, and this can be difficult for people less traumatized to understand. He has very little knowledge about what is good about living, possibly much less than you.

Do you know what is good about living, well enough that you can tell it to others?
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