psychologically disturbed online friend
I have a close knit social media friend group (have never met in person) consisting of people from all over the world, and we chat almost every day. Unfortunately, the behaviour of one of my closest friends in the group is becoming increasingly difficult to manage and concerning. He would be fine for long periods, then slip headlong into a very paranoid mindset, perceiving innocuous things as evidence that most people in the group hate him and want to ruin his life. His most concerning behaviour lately has been talking about other people and death, and also his comments about suicide. It's evident he has serious psychological problems, but we're at a loss at how to handle this. We've tried to support him as much as we can and have urged he seek psychological help, but despite him sometimes appearing to be open to this, it's gotten nowhere. The saddest part of all this is how close our friendship is and how fulfilling it is when he's not in such a state. I just really don't know what to do.
Thank you for reaching out this afternoon to the Beyond Blue forums we are so glad that you have made you way here and had the bravery to post.
It sounds as if this friend certainly does have a great friend in you and we can see that you are doing the right thing by him by encouraging him to seek help where possible, as frustrating as it may be that he is not following up with the support. It is in moments like these, we like to offer a friendly ear to listen to these troubles and discuss any options or assistance that may be appropriate and that's what these forums are for.
If this continues to feel distressing for you, please know that we are also here 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via our Webchat. Our team who answer the phones are ready to have a supportive and non-judgmental chat whenever you need it; they may also be able to assist you in seeking other support options for your friend should he choose to take this any further; you can also Click Here for information supporting someone who may be experiencing anxiety, depression or suicidal feelings.
We’re sure to hear from some of our lovely community members here on your thread soon. Thanks again for sharing. It’s a powerful and brave first step towards feeling better.
Hi, I have experienced the same a couple of times. I would like to say to you that you need to make sure you are looking after your mental health first. You are no good to your friend if this starts to eat at you. The best friend I ever had was also very psychologically damaged (brain injury and drug related psychosis). I was there for him for 35 years. So I know the grief of letting go. What I have learnt is you can only do the best you can; provide resources, a listening ear, referrals. But if your friend is not in a space to take that in - it is not your fault nor your responsibility anymore. You do your best but you need to recognise that he has the right to make his own decisions - even if that hurts you, or him. I really hope your friend finds his way out of this - and if you feel he may hurt himself, I would not hesitate to call the police for a welfare check (he might not appreciate it but it might just be what he needs to get help).