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How can I be supportive?


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I have a friend who has PTSD and severe depression after being abused as a child. I am a long distance from him but try to keep in touch with him each week to see how he is doing. I just wonder what to say to him sometimes, I know he feels so bad and life is so hard for him. I just wondered if anyone could give me some insight. The last thing I want to do is be patronising to him or make him feel worse. I just feel a bit helpless sometimes.

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I have a friend who has PTSD and severe depression after being abused as a child. I am a long distance from him but try to keep in touch with him each week to see how he is doing. I just wonder what to say to him sometimes, I know he feels so bad and life is so hard for him. I just wondered if anyone could give me some insight. The last thing I want to do is be patronising to him or make him feel worse. I just feel a bit helpless sometimes.

Your concern for your friend is palpable and that is great. I would suggest that, unless difficult questions or feedback are asked of you, it is not the least bit patronising to just hear him out and be honest with your responses - be they verbal or physical. He may be afraid that your friendship, or any other for that matter, sometimes seems to revolve around his difficulties so a well-rounded conversation might reassure him of your interest in all areas of his life.

I know that sometimes the less said, when someone is grieving for example, the better. But just being there for your friend is probably more than some manage. I have some experiences like your friend and, if a difficult subject comes up, I may or may not be able to talk about it in that moment but it is always important to know that I have someone who will just listen if need be.

Peace,

Kenn

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my family and friends frequently ask me if i'm having a good day, and they mean it mental health wise. they mean my bp, ptsd, and all of it. lately it has been the ptsd.

if i'm not having a good day, i'll tell them, and choose to discuss it or not. they know that i'll do that. you can ask him how he's feeling, and if he's having a bad day, let him know that he doesn't have to talk about it, but that you're there for him if he does. often just knowing someone is there is enough.

if i'm having a good day i'll say that too, and again, if i want to discuss it i will, and if not, i won't. there's no harm in letting him know that you're there for him. you don't have to harp and pressure, just be there.

loon

;)

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  • 2 months later...

Karuna

Give him an ear to vent to. I know that I just found this site and havent posted much but have been reading alot. It has given me alot of comfort to know that there are other people out there that are feeling the same pain that I do, Im not alone! My family has labeled me as crazy. I'm a single mom with no-one to talk to. So I can understand his position. Just be there for him, let him talk, he will let you know if you pass a line, trust me a friend never does ;) .

Petite

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