How Do I help someone with depression and self loathing?

This is not about me but a friend of mine. This person has tried to kill themselves not that long ago and now can not get past the point that they are still here. They told me that their brain is like a black hole and the only thought in it is "I want my knife back so I can do it again" (The police have it) I for one am glad they will not let them have it back. What i need to know is, How do I help get them past this thought and onto something else.

Oh yes this will also help me as it is keeping my mind off my black thoughts!!

Any advice welcome



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6 Replies

  • Hi

    I'm sorry to hear about the bad time your friend is having. The main thing I would say is that you ask how can you help them get past this thought and onto something else - my own view is that you definitely don't! I would stay with the black hole thought with them, it's incredibly painful to do that but sharing those feelings with someone else does eventually help the person come out of it, partly because the experience has then been shared so they are not alone in it, partly because it becomes tolerable because someone else has tolerated it, also because they no longer have to run away from it which takes so much energy, and lastly because they will climb out of it when they are ready and not when someone else wants them to.

    Sorry, but you did ask!

    Maybe you need someone to do similarly with your black thoughts too?

    Take care,


  • My black thougts only come when things are not going how i want them to but as things are going good at the mo I am OK ish. The fact he does talk to me is a good thing as he won't talk to anyone else!! He makes me realise my life is not so bad!!

    Thank you for your answer

    Take care, big hugs

    Ali G xxxx

  • Best thing I think is to try and be open and tell them you are there for them WHATEVER they need..... This can be tricky for you and them to understand and deal with but you'll both figure out your friendship and bonds moving forwards to a new life...

    Why not check out this tool I found recently... it could be something to bond over in many ways

  • your friend should be under the care of the mental health team, or at least go see his doctor if he wont himself. Say you know that theres this private and confidential thing. But someone needs to know how ill he is. Tell him he is ill, and that he needs some help. Tell him some times our throats get ill, or our tummy gets sore, so we take medication. Well the brain gets ill, so we need to see a doctor for this. We have to try several different medication to find, which one works best with our chemicals which are not working properly. when they are working properly, the sun shines, we cope better, and we see things, totally differently. This might take a little time, but with the support he will feel better. But its the lack of the happy chemical thats making him feel so bad. you can make an emergancy appointment with the gp,, and go along with him if you can. Or someone who can support him. good luck,, wish him well, it will get better!!

    Kind regards


  • It's great to let people you know who are affected by depression realise that you want to help them. This could be something as easy as saying that you recognise they seem down, and you would be willing to chat if they want to.

    It's quite a difficult and sensitive issue for many people, so just letting friends know you're there with a short comment is all you really need. You don't want to push them away, so avoid anything confrontational like a formal conversation - just let them know you're there. It's so easy for non-depressed people to give advice that doesn't really help, so just recognise that you will probably only be able to give support and won't be able to actually 'cure' them - however you could recommend they get help.

    The best way to help is to understand the causes of depression, the symptoms and the treatment options so that you can recognise them in people or even yourself. This way, you're better placed to help in future. It's such a huge topic, but you could start by doing some reading on Wikipedia for a lot of good information -

    As I say, it's quite substantial topic so it can be hard to get your head around. However there are many resources on the internet that can help you understand. You could check out documentaries on YouTube for example to get a better idea. This infographic is quite helpful at explaining the symptoms and treatment options - It's often better to use resources like video to tackle such dense subjects as a lot of reading can be hard to digest.

    Essentially, if you understand more about depression then you will be better placed to help people with it. It's all about awareness. I hope your friend gets better soon.

  • Thank you for your responce, I have been reading up on depresion and anxity for personal reasons. xxxx

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