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Discussion Starter #1
My INTJ friend has clinical depression/anxiety ,he is taking Zoloft now and I forgot the second one, it's starts with the letter A...
This question is mostly for those who have dealt with heavy depression themselves or perhaps knows someone.
How would you like to be comforted and supported? What have you learned over the years that works for you or someone you know to help ease their depression?


I have not asked him yet what he wants me to do, he seems so fragile now. He makes jokes about taking Zoloft but I know he's scared. He has not said this outright but anyone can tell as he's starting to talk about opioids and the addictive nature of it, how people die, etc. He told me he hoped he wouldn't be found in an alley somewhere. He's saying that the medication makes him feel nothing, care about nothing but that's better than having anxiety. I wish I could understand but I don't, he's 19 years old I don't think he needs Zoloft. My Aunt is 44 and I saw what it did to her. Obviously I have not voiced this, why elevate his fears and it's not exactly constructive...

I did tell his mother I feared that he might be getting worse and she told me I was sweet but to trust the doctor. It's been over a month, I realize that still early but they have increased his dosage of Zoloft at least 3x (that he's told me, not sure if he's told me every time).

I know I'm not meant to hold his hand through life but I am worried, I feel a little bit in over my head as I don't think Zoloft is the best for him. Sometimes he acts like an empty shell and he feels nothing about everything he was so passionate about. His depression seems much worse, he also told me he is deficient in vitamin D which I'm sure doesn't help his depression. I know I'm not a doctor but I know many people on medication and that's not always the best option and this was his first choice.

*As a side not I do not want to dump him as a friend, I don't abandon friends when they are at their lowest. My mother suggested I cut him loose as I always seems to give too much of myself to a depressed friend. (I've had maybe 5 friends who have been clinically depressed, one was cutting and burning herself for years (ENTJ) without me noticing, I never want to let someone down like that again. I feel like he would just spiral like her without me noticing until late)


So far I have been acting 'normally' maybe a tad more chipper than usual. Every time he says something negative about the world I spin a positive, the only time I don't say something positive is when it directly relates to him. I want to acknowledge he is feeling sad. I've also been giving him hugs, physical touch can illicit oxytocin and idk if it's wishful thinking but it seems to help because he keeps touching me and letting me hug him, whereas before sometimes he'd be stiff as a board...like ENFP hug...does not compute. Hahaha
 

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Sometimes he acts like an empty shell and he feels nothing about everything he was so passionate about.
Well, this sounds normal to me -- he's just figuring it out.

So far I have been acting 'normally' maybe a tad more chipper than usual. Every time he says something negative about the world I spin a positive, the only time I don't say something positive is when it directly relates to him.
This is the only thing I'd probably want to be at least aware of, if I were you. If I were he, yeah, he knows, he gets how you're behaving "special" to him.

If I were he, I'd be starting to be more cautious about what I say around you, because I wouldn't want to provoke more abnormal behavior around me.

Again, I don't know, but that's how I've treated that in the past during a low period in life -- IMHO if you change your behavior around him, he's going to recalculate (i) reasons why and (ii) new model for behavior.

He might seem fragile, but I think everyone is a little tender after an upset in his or her life. Normal is good, but you can't make normal like push his face into a cookie cutter, he's got to reshape it from the inside out.

Yeah, that's sound a little hippie-ish, but that's all I know about it.

It's tiring, especially for someone who just wants to be regular, Joe Lunchpail regular, life as normal. As we all do, I think.
 

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Well, this sounds normal to me -- he's just figuring it out.



This is the only thing I'd probably want to be at least aware of, if I were you. If I were he, yeah, he knows, he gets how you're behaving "special" to him.

If I were he, I'd be starting to be more cautious about what I say around you, because I wouldn't want to provoke more abnormal behavior around me.

Again, I don't know, but that's how I've treated that in the past during a low period in life -- IMHO if you change your behavior around him, he's going to recalculate (i) reasons why and (ii) new model for behavior.

He might seem fragile, but I think everyone is a little tender after an upset in his or her life. Normal is good, but you can't make normal like push his face into a cookie cutter, he's got to reshape it from the inside out.

Yeah, that's sound a little hippie-ish, but that's all I know about it.

It's tiring, especially for someone who just wants to be regular, Joe Lunchpail regular, life as normal. As we all do, I think.
Thanks, I will strive to be more 'typical' I wasn't trying to rub it in by being more chipper. It's also my own personal problem that I can work on. Though he does remind me fairly often that he's on Zoloft so that's always in the background. I'm not really sure what to say to that. Yes, I know?
And the reshaping it from the inside does make a lot of sense. I just think that's an impossibility to be normal, if there's some kind of chemical imbalance in his brain. My ENTJ friend has told me she'll never be 'normal' but life can be ok. It just sounds so stifling (or tiring as you said), I'm afraid I'll be very little help when though I've been depressed and I have anxiety it's nowhere near the level of my friend.

I know he's not looking for me to 'fix' him nor could I, just wondering if being 'normal' is a good enough support for someone whose parents are too preoccupied with their divorce and personal problems. I will try that though, thank you.
 

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For me, the one thing I wanted most when I was severely depressed was someone to just be like ' Hey, you look like sh*t but I'll be here for you whenever ' and then actually be there.

Just be honest and kind with him. If he wants to talk, then talk. If he doesn't, maybe suggest an activity that you can do together without talking.

I think the biggest thing would probably be just knowing that you are going to be by his side no matter how upset or out of control he feels.

I think of depression as kind of like a swamp. In order to live a 'normal' life, you have to wade through it to the path on the other side, but it's really murky and hard to move. He will get through it, but it may take a while, even years (worst case scenario).

One note though, being with someone that is depressed can be draining, so make sure you do think of yourself every once in a while and take some time to recharge :)
 

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Though he does remind me fairly often that he's on Zoloft so that's always in the background. I'm not really sure what to say to that. Yes, I know?
Heh. Yeah, it seems like ages ago, but I started an SSRI and was on it for a few years; I don't know how much was physical or what, but it was a rough few months for me, just adjusting to it. Libido, some unidentifiable changes to perception, strange dreams.

I don't know about neurochemistry, I don't even know if I remember orgo chem enough to make sense of the literature, but it's a kind of strange thing, probably, from his

I know he's not looking for me to 'fix' him nor could I, just wondering if being 'normal' is a good enough support for someone whose parents are too preoccupied with their divorce and personal problems. I will try that though, thank you.
Yeah, I sympathize with you -- I mean, though, really (I'm just wildly guessing), he knows you, he knows how you are, and I'd guess he would appreciate you being who you are.

I'd be suspicious if people started to change, and look for reasons why, and start to get deeper into my little rut trying to figure that out, in addition to whatever else I want to deal with.

I mean, you can only be you, and maybe that's the best for both of you, however it has to be for your own well-being as well. I doubt he expects you to be Florence Nightingale, and maybe probably he doesn't want that.

I would think if you need to ratchet down the frequency of heart-to-heart conversations, that could be OK as well, for both of you. Or, I don't know, go to the movies a few times a month, or whatever you guys like to do.

Just some random thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For me, the one thing I wanted most when I was severely depressed was someone to just be like ' Hey, you look like sh*t but I'll be here for you whenever ' and then actually be there.

Just be honest and kind with him. If he wants to talk, then talk. If he doesn't, maybe suggest an activity that you can do together without talking.

I think the biggest thing would probably be just knowing that you are going to be by his side no matter how upset or out of control he feels.

I think of depression as kind of like a swamp. In order to live a 'normal' life, you have to wade through it to the path on the other side, but it's really murky and hard to move. He will get through it, but it may take a while, even years (worst case scenario).

One note though, being with someone that is depressed can be draining, so make sure you do think of yourself every once in a while and take some time to recharge :)
Thanks Glitch I'll do that, I'm always wanting to help and make things better...probably why I work with kids who have special needs lol. I won't force him to say anything if he doesn't want to talk, I definitely know that puts people off especially INTJs.

I definitely will take my own time, I think that's what my mom was probably worried about when she told me I should just stop being his friend.
 

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I hope he's taking Zoloft under medical supervision, right?
It's not addictive or an opioid so I'm not sure why he fears he'll be found in an alley and such. I've taken Zoloft and it helped me incredibly, we had to tweak the dosage with my doc so it wouldn't be so high that it made me numb and it worked wonders like this.

Just be there for him and try to make him safe to be emotional.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Heh. Yeah, it seems like ages ago, but I started an SSRI and was on it for a few years; I don't know how much was physical or what, but it was a rough few months for me, just adjusting to it. Libido, some unidentifiable changes to perception, strange dreams.

I don't know about neurochemistry, I don't even know if I remember orgo chem enough to make sense of the literature, but it's a kind of strange thing, probably, from his



Yeah, I sympathize with you -- I mean, though, really (I'm just wildly guessing), he knows you, he knows how you are, and I'd guess he would appreciate you being who you are.

I'd be suspicious if people started to change, and look for reasons why, and start to get deeper into my little rut trying to figure that out, in addition to whatever else I want to deal with.

I mean, you can only be you, and maybe that's the best for both of you, however it has to be for your own well-being as well. I doubt he expects you to be Florence Nightingale, and maybe probably he doesn't want that.

I would think if you need to ratchet down the frequency of heart-to-heart conversations, that could be OK as well, for both of you. Or, I don't know, go to the movies a few times a month, or whatever you guys like to do.

Just some random thoughts.
Yea, exactly. My aunt had some weird side effects and I'm afraid he's going to have them too. Haha same, well I never even took organic chemistry, I'm more of a psychology/sociology girl. But I did take a neuropsyc class and a drug class and it doesn't help lessen my anxiety about opioids but apparently 11 year olds take Zoloft so maybe it'll be ok.

Oh, I see. I think I'd do that too and I know he does that to strangers/peers (overthink). He has social anxiety but I think he'd just ask me outright if he thought I was being odd but better safe than sorry. And I also think I should mention I was being me just a bit more chipper(like me but on sugar), I was just thinking it might be overkill since I'm already pretty chipper haha.

I guess I just want to give him as much support as possible since he starts university at the end of this month, it's only an hour away from mine but we used to be 20 minutes away from each other walking and I'm afraid if he doesn't make decent friends he's definitely going to get worse. His other best friend moved to another state so I feel like it's such a bad idea to move to an area where you know no one.

Also thanks, I see your posts a lot and I always feel like they are so kind and helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I hope he's taking Zoloft under medical supervision, right?
It's not addictive or an opioid so I'm not sure why he fears he'll be found in an alley and such. I've taken Zoloft and it helped me incredibly, we had to tweak the dosage with my doc so it wouldn't be so high that it made me numb and it worked wonders like this.

Just be there for him and try to make him safe to be emotional.
Sorry this is my bad, he is taking an opioid I just can't remember the name, I just had it in my head that Zoloft was the opioid since I already had a negative impression of it.

Hmmm he started on a low dosage, 25mg and now I believe he either takes 100mg or more. He told me it was increased because it wasn't helping as much as it should. I just fear he thinks it's going to do all the work.
 

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Sorry this is my bad, he is taking an opioid I just can't remember the name, I just had it in my head that Zoloft was the opioid since I already had a negative impression of it.

Hmmm he started on a low dosage, 25mg and now I believe he either takes 100mg or more. He told me it was increased because it wasn't helping as much as it should. I just fear he thinks it's going to do all the work.
Oh, I see. I take it the opioid is for the anxiety or to sleep? Zoloft can cause insomnia, my doc didn't want to prescribe any sleep medication so she told me to drink triple chamomille tea (3 bags in 1 cup) and it helped a lot tbh. This effect usually lasts until Zoloft's action kicks in, which usually takes a month since you start taking it. Every time you increase the dose it takes at least a couple of weeks for the effects to be visible. I personally settled at 75mg because 100mg made me numb. But that's just how it worked on me.
All in all, I took it so it would help me deal with therapy because talking was very difficult and emotional and I couldn't do it. I hope he understands he needs to do therapy and not just rely on the drug entirely.
 

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I'd say the most important thing for you to do is stay in contact with your friend. You will probably have to do most of the planning and initiate most of the contact. It won't mean that he doesn't need your friendship, just that depression makes people passive. Your friend needs contact with people, it is really important.

If you can get him outside the house and doing something stimulating, that is great. But don't push too hard - him feeling pressured is not what you want. As for being positive, that is great, but again, don't go so overboard that he feels pressured to be the same way.

Just be a friend. You can't make the depression go away, but you can be a positive presence in his life, and he needs that just as much as the Zoloft.
 

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It looks like he's seeking treatment and that's all that one can really expect out of someone with a clinical disorder. If he's not getting better the way you think he should, understand that getting on the right "cocktail" can take a while sometimes. As long as he's honest with his doctor about how he's feeling, his doctor should be able to put him on the best combination for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, I see. I take it the opioid is for the anxiety or to sleep? Zoloft can cause insomnia, my doc didn't want to prescribe any sleep medication so she told me to drink triple chamomille tea (3 bags in 1 cup) and it helped a lot tbh. This effect usually lasts until Zoloft's action kicks in, which usually takes a month since you start taking it. Every time you increase the dose it takes at least a couple of weeks for the effects to be visible. I personally settled at 75mg because 100mg made me numb. But that's just how it worked on me.
All in all, I took it so it would help me deal with therapy because talking was very difficult and emotional and I couldn't do it. I hope he understands he needs to do therapy and not just rely on the drug entirely.
It's for his anxiety, he says the Zoloft makes him sleepy. Lol he doesn't believe in 'herbal medicine.' Even though it works and herbs are actually in many chemically based medicines.
Yes, he sees a psychiatrist (as far as I know you can only get Zoloft prescribed unless it's illegally obtained). He hates going and also has a hard time talking to people who aren't close to him.
Honestly I don't think so, of course he could have changed his mind since then but he told me therapy doesn't help him but I could give it a shot since I like to talk through my problems (when I was asking for advice on it).
Thanks for sharing, it's nice to know someone has had positive experiences with it, logically I know many have or they probably wouldn't distribute it but it's still nice to hear.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
@Green Girl

I agree, I'll definitely make sure that he's knows I'm here and stay in contact.
Mmmm I can try to get him to go out but honestly we mostly hangout in my apt, watching movies, documentaries, or YouTube crack. Or we play video games and make food together, etc. When we do go out (before his depression and anxiety peaked) I'd have to explain why it would be fun to go together lol. But again, I'll try really I've been too afraid to ask.
Yea, I've noticed a lot of my INTJ friends sometimes take my positivity as a signal that they should be too because I don't always agree with their outlook. I'll be careful not to go overboard, the last thing I'd want is to cause him strife because of my actions.
@brightflashes
I know, I know. I've kept my mouth shut, I'm not going to say anything to discourage him from seeking medication because he might need it. Also he's off his first opioid so that's good enough for me, the new opioid might be temporary as well. As you said the right combo will take time and I'm not going to hinder the process with my opinions. Plus he feels the same way about opioids and I'm sure he told his doctor that.
 

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I know, I know. I've kept my mouth shut, I'm not going to say anything to discourage him from seeking medication because he might need it. Also he's off xanax so that's good enough for me, the new opioid might be temporary as well. As you said the right combo will take time and I'm not going to hinder the process with my opinions. Plus he feels the same way about opioids and I'm sure he told his doctor that.
Aw, I didn't think you'd hinder the process anyway. Really, Green Girl's response was awesome - just being there for him and making certain he's not isolating himself will go far. I was thinking about it from my perspective - I take meds for clinical depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I know it seems like a lot, but what works best for me is a combination of 4 pills. Pills like xanax, for example, affect those with anxiety way differently than they'd affect an un-anxious person (though xanax is usually prescribed short term since they're not very effective for long term management - they stop working after about 2-4 hours).

The hardest thing for me was admitting to myself that I actually needed medication and that it wasn't taking the "easy way" out at all. My form of depression just can't be maintained without these medications. And I'm much much better for it. When I think of the way I was when I wasn't taking meds, I just think man, I am glad I got on meds and was ok with being on meds once I had kids because I wouldn't want my kids around me unmedicated. It's just how it is. With meds, I'm perfectly fine. Without them, the symptoms come back. Given that I'm 37 and have been working on this stuff since I was 15 through therapy and just about every other thing one can imagine, I just know that's what works for me. So, just know, if the meds start helping him, one thing that can go far is to let him know that you don't think he's weak or anything for taking them. I mean, let him know that you're so happy that he was brave enough to try them, you know? Because it's really hard at first when dealing with a clinical disorder to realize that you can't handle it yourself.

And, just letting you know, I take a benzodiazepine which is the same class as xanax. I've never felt "high" on it or goofy or anything. For me, it helps me be "normal". So, if he gets prescribed a benzodiazepine for his anxiety, it's a pretty common thing to prescribe and a responsible doctor won't put him on a dose that isn't reasonable.

PS - I LOVE short cake cake!
 

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it's a truism but i think the best/only thing is just be there. not 'help', not try to 'ease', not nothing. just be accepting. neutral, even. he's got fears and he's got stuff and he's got his own landscape, and most probably just having someone around is as good as it gets.

it's not your job to fix his depression - but also, it is not your depression to fix. it's his. and the same goes for 'easing' it too. i think it's a big deal to many people who do have it, just to be around someone else who doesn't 'do' anything about it, actually. who isn't invested, who isn't appalled, who sees it for what it is and can (basically) live with it as it is. may depend on the person, but i've had mostly that kind of experience.

the other thing is: you need to monitor your investment and expenditure so you don't overextend for your own needs. seriously. i know nobody does find the truth of their own limits except by go-there-do-that experience, but i think it's really important.

so you asked for 'experience' and this is mine. i don't mean this in a cold way, but if i had to deal again with somebody who's severely and clinically depressed, i would start earlier with reminding myself of one thing: this person can [most probably] give you nothing. and i would be reminding myself of it more often. it's just a way of keeping yourself honest and staying within your own limits so the entire thing is more sustainable for a more consistent long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@brightflashes

That's great and I have no problems with medication, my younger sister is 16 and takes medication and her anxiety is much better than before. Yea, I believe the xanax was just to get him some kind of relief after he had a breakdown. Thank you for sharing, I'll definitely make sure he knows I don't think of him as weak. It's insane that people think that, no one would call me weak for taking my asthma medication.

Yea, honestly my initial worry was when he was talking about his opioid medication and he was acting paranoid and more depressed than usual. Idk if it was just all in our heads or he just wasn't used to the medications yet so it was making him act oddly. I am happy he's taken this step and is getting treatment. If my ENTJ friend got hers sooner she wouldn't have had to go through a 5150 and just horrible hell for so long. Everyone deserves to be as healthy as they can be.

Lol dessert is my first love:tongue:


@lilysocks

Hmmm I'm not sure what neutral looks like in this situation. He's not the kind of person who would ask for my opinion on his medication and even when he was talking about opioids or just his meds I only agreed if what he said was true. He'd probably find it odd if I stopped giving my opinion since I have a lot.

That's true, that's what my mom was worried about when she said I should just 'cut him loose,' I do often try to do too much when it's not even my problem to fix. I think I will just be there for him.
Ah, yea...I think I should be ok. I usually have really good care of my own mental health and well being but I hear you. Also nothing better than someone trying to be a support then turning around saying they are stressed supporting you.

I agree with that, I don't think he can give me anything right now and I don't expect it. Strangely the idea of love vs. attachment came up in the ENFP forum and I do think I 'love' him (platonically). I feel that way about the few close friends I have, I just want them to be happy and if it's with my presence great if it doesn't include me then that's ok too. Luckily I have other friends and family members to help me if I need it. Thank you for the reminder though, knowing limitations is important and tbh at first I did feel overwhelmed but I took a step back.
 

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Just being there and engaging in activities with him might be enough. It could be a walk in the park, hiking in the woods, or a movie. More often than not, it's the simple things that facilitate soul-healing. If he's accepting of physical touch, give him lots of glomps and noogies. X3 Be playful. Engage his sensation. Maybe even be a little teasing with it. It might help him get "genki" (as I like to say). The best cure for depression is mania.

Note: Anxiety can help amp up our reflexes.
 

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Just being there and engaging in activities with him might be enough. It could be a walk in the park, hiking in the woods, or a movie. More often than not, it's the simple things that facilitate soul-healing. If he's accepting of physical touch, give him lots of glomps and noogies. X3 Be playful. Engage his sensation. Maybe even be a little teasing with it. It might help him get "genki" (as I like to say). The best cure for depression is mania.

Note: Anxiety can help amp up our reflexes.
Lol genki. I'm half Japanese (from Japan) and I love that some Americans ( Idk if you are) use Japanese hahaha.
And thanks I'll do that. :proud:
 

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Let him know you’re there for him if he wants to talk but don’t pressure him to talk abt whatever.

Give him time to sort out his own stuff

Otherwise just be how u normally would.

Can’t say abt evrryyone but that’s how I’d want to be treated if I were him.


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