A mates had a breakdown how do I react ?

Discussion in 'Charities and Welfare' started by ancient, Mar 5, 2009.

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  1. A long time friend has had a mental breakdown . Old story , wife left with the kids to pastures new , bankrupted him on the settlement , and he has a high stress job... he's ex army , now a copper .
    How should I behave around him ? Ignore it and go down the pub with him , try to cheer him up ( he seems very down and not himself ) , or just let him talk a bit even if he's winding himself into a spiral of depression . He's a good mate , and I don't know how to deal with this .
    Any usefull advice appreciated .
  2. PM sent mate
  3. i would advise you keep him away from alcohol for a start - going down the pub sounds like the cure all but it isn`t. Alcohol is a depressant not good when you are already unhappy.
  4. have a good friends chat, no pressure, don't try to force him to tell you whats wrong. good advice from above but try speaking to combat stress, a simple phone call should get you some good short term advice. Most of all, don't give up on your friend. You might even be able to have a discreet word with his inspector, not for snooping purposes but to let his line management aware that there may be issues which require dealing with.

    best wishes mate.
  5. I had a breakdown which ultimately resulted in my medical discharge, the thing that gutted me most was the fact that nobody came round to 'just chat' and treat me like I was still normal. I would recommend you tell them you are there for them if they need anything. Don't tiptoe around them either, just be normal & let them talk about it when they want to.
  6. Although alcohol is a pain killer, it is also a depressant, fine balance required. All valid comments above. Most important is to keep the door open for him to talk if he wants to. Treat it like a bereavement, since it is a loss of sorts. Practical help with access to the kids, and any legal issues regarding the separation, housing, finance etc. The police are just as used to family breakups as the military, long hours, constantly dealing with low life. Important to have a routine, keeping busy, exercise, eating properly etc. If he starts withdrawing, refusing to go out etc, mood swings, erratic eating & drinking habits, and general lack of self care, he needs professional intervention. Keep us posted.
  7. I know someone who was in a similar position.

    We just carried on doing what we had always done, go for the odd run, the odd game of squash, the odd pint.

    He wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs for a while but is right as rain now.

    I would say just keep in touch with him, carry on more or less as normal (whilst not pretending nothings wrong) and if he needs professional advice tell him to see his GP.
  8. The biggest danger is for the person to try to 'take it like a man' and not talk about, not cry etc etc. Talking about problems with mates is not always easy, and pressing people to talk is a s bad as ignoring them. Keep up normal contact, perhaps a bit more often than in the past, make your shoulder available to cry on without pushing it. At the end he will have to ask for help, until he does he is more likely top shut you out. I agree over dependence on alcohol is a bad thing at times like this but I don't think a few pints down the pub or elsewhere now and then is a bad thing as long as it is not the start of a real drunkex.

    Good luck to you both, I went through something similar a few years back and got through it so it can be done and in rerality most people do come out the otherside, better able to deal with the world too.
  9. Get him to join Arrse. :wink:
  10. Just keep reminding him how good your life it, how much money you have saved up, how many friends you have and how girls adore you. That'll probably cheer him up
  11. Get him to talk to these

    Positive help for when you break down

    Not being flippant. The morale to the story is cheer him up and don't become a soppy softy and let him slip into his crumbling life. Be the steady hand and the pointer in right directions and let those who are usual the softy types box him off.

    As has been said - Get him on arrse!
  12. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    You mention he is a copper. Well I believe they have very good welfare/occupational health back-up and he should talk to them.

    The main thing is to talk about his issues (not problems) and not bottle them up. From personal experience I know what happens when bottling up things, not talking and becoming introverted does to one. Once I had opened up to someone it was like a huge weight off my shoulders. I saw was not the only one in that postion and it is good to recognise that.

    Stay off the booze - the occasional beer good, especially in a social setting.

    There are a number of organisations who are only too happy to help, former service agencies and civil ones. Get him to speak to his GP.

    Mind you it does not always work the way you want it to. When I went through similar on my divorce my GP sent me to see a trick cyclist. I spent a whole afternoon going through what had happened, how it was affecting me and those around me and also how it was affecting work.
    Having spent about 3 hours going though this the tricky said "Quite normal, you will soon get over it".

    I nearly hit the condescending tw@t, went back to my GP and said that if he ever sent me to see that guy again he would probably be number 2 on the list. (Not quite like that but he got my drift) Different tack then decided upon!!!!!

    East to say now as I am many years past the divorce stage etc but time is a great healer.

    So my advice to your mate is seek help, don't be 'proud', it don't work in the long run. Anyone who says 'man up and get on with it' is an utter plonker who probably has absolutely no idea what your mate is going through.

    Best of luck to him.

  13. Ask him WHEN he is up to it and ready to PM me . . .

    Treat him as normally as you can, why make a difference?

    Try and keep him OFF the Booze (Drugs?)

    Get him / her out into the fresh air, walking, especially with a pet dog / dogs can be very liberating, no matter the weather.

    Good diet helps too!
  14. Sent a PM.