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Old 09-25-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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Help! A Friend in Need

I hope this is on the right board, please move the thread if there is a better place for it.

I have a friend who is having some mental health issues. I think he has Bipolar and/or Schizophrenia. I'll ask him next time we speak to confirm for the board.

Anyways, the problem is when he gets stressed,= he seems to lose it and gets institutionalized. This has happened twice so far; first time was last year and second time was last week. So this is relatively new.

We're really good friends, grew up together. Since moving to another country (otherside of the World) we've kept in touch via the internet. But this seems to be getting out of hand now and I don't know how to talk to him anymore. I don't want to facilitate his irrational fears and conspiracy theories. But at the same time, I know I'm somebody he trusts and turns to when the going gets tough. I don't want him to feel as though I've abandoned him. I would love to help him but I don't know how.

Should I aggressively change the topic when he gets into his weird theories? Or should I hear him out and let him vent through me? Another mutual friend believe we should have a slightly more aggressive approach to this and make it very clear that we wont listen to his nonsense theories. But, I feel as though we need to be easier in handling this situation and that we can use to our advantage him trusting us and finding comfort in telling us these things.

 
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:39 PM   #2
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Re: Help! A Friend in Need

Man, I wish I knew the answer to that one. I'm in a somewhat similar situation with a friend. It's hard to know if I should let him know I think he's just being paranoid/delusional and should get help, or let him think I'm 'on his side' and just agree with him.

I usually talk to him about how it makes him feel and suggest he see a doctor or someone so he feels better, while avoiding the actual details of what's upsetting him (his paranoid delusions).

Anyway, for now I've decided to humour him. There is no benefit in telling him I don't believe his nonsense - none that I can see anyway. But I don't let him go on too long about his theories, because there's no point in that either. I try to ask him what he's going to DO about it and that usually stops him and then I try to encourage him to see a doctor. (He hasn't been institutionalized yet.)

Question: is he medicated? And was he okay for a while between these two incidences? I mean, was there a period where he acknowledged that he wasn't being rational and that he had a problem?

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:48 PM   #3
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Re: Help! A Friend in Need

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisby View Post
Man, I wish I knew the answer to that one. I'm in a somewhat similar situation with a friend. It's hard to know if I should let him know I think he's just being paranoid/delusional and should get help, or let him think I'm 'on his side' and just agree with him.

I usually talk to him about how it makes him feel and suggest he see a doctor or someone so he feels better, while avoiding the actual details of what's upsetting him (his paranoid delusions).

Anyway, for now I've decided to humour him. There is no benefit in telling him I don't believe his nonsense - none that I can see anyway. But I don't let him go on too long about his theories, because there's no point in that either. I try to ask him what he's going to DO about it and that usually stops him and then I try to encourage him to see a doctor. (He hasn't been institutionalized yet.)

Question: is he medicated? And was he okay for a while between these two incidences? I mean, was there a period where he acknowledged that he wasn't being rational and that he had a problem?

Yeah he was alright between the two incidents. I just figured the first incident to be stressed related and didn't make anything of it.

And yes he has been taking medication since the first incident. He says he doesn't like it, though, cause it drains him mentally and physically. And he doesn't have the energy or will power to go to the gym or play sports anymore, which he says makes him feel even worse.

He is conscious of his irrational thoughts but says he can't control them and that they overwhelm him. He lives in a country where mental health isn't taken seriously. He's an American though. I was hoping to maybe convincing him to go back home or maybe even come to Canada and get treated here. But I really have no idea what the Canadian system could do for an American.

Anyways, I'm digressing. The point of my thread was to get some advice on how I, as a friend, should approach him. I want to help him as much as I can, but at the same time I don't want to facilitate his irrational thought processes.

 
Old 10-07-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
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Re: Help! A Friend in Need

Quote:
Originally Posted by arborvitae View Post
The point of my thread was to get some advice on how I, as a friend, should approach him. I want to help him as much as I can, but at the same time I don't want to facilitate his irrational thought processes.
I hadn't realized you wanted to actively help him. I thought you were just trying to deal with him. All you can do is find out what kind of facilities they have where he lives and try to get him to go (or phone, or whatever). You can't really do much else, and don't be surprised if he backs off totally. If he knows he's losing it, he'll probably withdraw from everyone anyway.

 
Old 10-16-2012, 09:03 AM   #5
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Re: Help! A Friend in Need

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisby View Post
I hadn't realized you wanted to actively help him. I thought you were just trying to deal with him. All you can do is find out what kind of facilities they have where he lives and try to get him to go (or phone, or whatever). You can't really do much else, and don't be surprised if he backs off totally. If he knows he's losing it, he'll probably withdraw from everyone anyway.
Well, he currently lives in a country where mental health is not considered a big issue yet. It's still a developing nation. Anyways, I also want help on how to deal with him. Should I let him go on his random irrational rants? Or should I actively stop him when I feel like he's getting too caught up in one of his theories.

 
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