Depressed Friend

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
One of my friends in college who recently came from Egypt 2 years ago seems to be really depressed now.  We go to the same college and we have the same friends and he even knows some of my cousins back in Egypt. He was telling my today that he feels depressed and he doesnt want to live anymore and he feels miserable.  He said he has been feeling like this a lot lately and all of these depressed feelings started when he was a young boy. he just seems like there is no hope for him for some reason. He seems fine at college but he tells me that when he laughs with us its like a fake laugh, like he doesnt really feel it.  I told him a few times to go to confession and to talk to abouna and he said he will. I told him to pray and that I will pray for him. He is really starting to scare me!! I dont know what I should do!!! im so confused and im not sure who I should tell or what I should tell him. should i tell our other friends who can maybe help him out? should I talk to abouna (we go to different churches though)?

Please I need some advice ASAP!!!!! I dont want him to do anything we will all regret!!!
and also PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM!!!! and pray that God gives him strength to overcome his depression!!
and please pray for me so that I can help him!!


  • Hi egyboy,
    when i first read you post i thought "well, all new comers tend to feel lonely or alienated". But as i read on and you said it started from a younger age, the situation got a little more serious.
    As a matter of fact, we were just talking about depression and suicide in church last week.
    We said how in our church, a coptic orthodox church, we had 2 suicides in the past 6 years!
    Our servants were talking about how one of them was 25, and how he used to come to church, he seemed happy, but he has hinted that he does not like to come to church because he felt judged by others. One of my servants grew up with him for more than 12 years and she is a psychologist but she never suspected anything. tears were coming down her eyes as she told us how awful it was to lose him and how she wishes that we never experience this in our generation. She said that he had wonderful servants that would have given up their lives for his sake but he just never talked to anyone.
    This is why i really wish that your friend seeks help. Maybe God is asking you to give him hope. meeting with an abouna or an older and wiser person is the first step. How lucky are we to have abounas that can listen and that  we can talk to without feeling judged.
    Remember that suicide is often not an instantaneous thought, it starts with sadness then depression then suicidal feelings. A person can feel that they cannot imagine being alive for one more day or waking up in the morning because this is how mush they hate their lives.
    Also your friend needs to look at things with a more positive attitude and really feel God's grace in their lives.
    I know this is one of the hardest situations a person can be in but keep him in your prayers
    and may God give him hope and reassurance.
  • thanks for your advice!
    anyone else have any more advise? Please!!!

    pray for me and my weakness!
  • I think he needs to always feel someone around him, to feel loved and to know that someone is thinking about him and caring for him.
    Maybe you should try to take him out of his depressed mood by doing stuff together, go out, go to the cinema, etc.
    I think once he notices you care for him that will give him hope and he will feel there is still something nice in life, a good friendship, and when he feels he can trust you (or anyone else from your group) then he'll be more comfortable with you and open up more, and sometimes when you talk about your problems that can be a way of dealing with them and getting over them..

    So in short, my advice, after prayer of course which is the most important thing because whatever you do, if God is not in it with you , it will fail... but my advice is: be a good friend !!!
    (and I think you aleardy are, because you're worried abt him and are praying for him, just focus on showing him that..)

    God bless you and strengthen you and your friend
    Please pray for my weakness
  • [coptic]alou`n<ymi pamenrit>
    ]meu`i je vai oury] `nkundinyc pe @ paco;ni pe [itf epicyini `m'y,oc[/coptic]
    I think that is a serious situation; my advise is take him to a psychiatrist
    [coptic]oujai qen `P=[=c[/coptic]
  • I agree with ophadece, professionals know what they are doing and are the best people to go to for help. Whatever you do though do it quickly, its best not to take chances with things like this. I reckon the first chance you get call a psychiatrist and get their professional opinion on what to do next.

  • Hey egyboy,

    It would definitely be wise for you to seek the guidance of your confessional father right away.  His guidance and prayers are critical in dealing with issues like this.

    please remember me in your prayers.

  • usually there are professional psychologists on college campuses that are available to help, and their services are free and confidential. if you cant talk your friend to go, offer to go with him, if go and ask for their advice on how to handle the situation. this, along with prayer, FOC advice, and being a true friend should help the situation a bit

    May God give light to all our eye so we may see the true light
  • Im sorry to be a downer
    but i thought of something
    This is a fragile situation
    you cannot just take him to Abouna, or a Psychiatrist
    he may get mad at you for not keeping his secret
    you have to take it step by step
    go see these ppl yourself and get a look at how to help from the outside so he can help himself later
    and speak with his FOC not just yours, cause his know more about him

    Pray for me
  • i dont think that he would EVER go see a psychiatrist. But he told me that he is going to see his father of confession soon.

    please pray for me and for him!
  • we are praying.
    has he got another friend or family member that you could share the burden with?
    obviously don't reveal the details of your conversation but you could say something like 'can i talk to you confidentially? x seems a bit down lately, have u noticed anything or is it just me making it up?' don't tell that person anything at all, just ask them your opinion. if they say no, maybe this is not the right person to help you. just smile and say 'good' and change the subject and they shouldn't think it too unusual.
    that way you haven't disclosed anything and the other person could just make sure to notice him a bit more and then maybe he will also open up to the other person.
    if he has 2 people who are caring for him and listening, he will get more strength from that and it will share your burden as well.
    it's hard having depressed friends/family. you are doing the right thing, may God guide you and help you.
  • actually i was speaking with one of our friends and he said he has been feeling a little depressed because he feels like we dont want to hang out with him. We try to hang out with him as much as possible. It might just be because he left all of his old friends back in Egypt and he feels left out.  And this friend told me that he doesnt want to feel depressed and that he is trying very hard to be happy.

    Please pray for me and for him.
  • cool
    u r doing all the right things
    keep it up, brother  :)
    rabina ma'akum
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