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How do I reach someone withdrawing?


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People that read my posts know I have a lot going on lol.

Lot of issues myself. But I'm trying to fix things to make life better.

The point of this thread is to help with that. Someone close to me is so depressed she is withdrawing from everyone. It is getting much worse. She is scared to get close to anyone and when she starts to she backs even further away. She is in another state I can't really visit. It is to the point where she barely talks to me. Her family is worried for her. I just need to know how to reopen communication and how to start to help her feel better. Seems like no matter what I do she backs further away and gets more defensive.

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Hi randomperson,

I have been in that situation where I was unable to communicate by the sames means available to you because of distance.

What I did was simply be there for them. I never judged them. I told her no matter what I would be there for her. In time she realized it was true.

Of course she has to respond.

What actions have you taken?

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Hi random person

I have been there in the shut out mode way to many times. I would suggest maybe just telling her you will be there for her no matter what and you will check in with her everyday and when she is ready she will respond to the efforts you have shown.

If you think she is in real danger then of course the best thing you can do for her is help be her advocate of getting the proper help. Is she on meds now? Has she ever seen a therapist or a Psychiatrist? Does she have a diagnosis? It sounds like maybe there might be something else going on like PTSD ?

I would start with that and if she is so unresponsive then I would have someone make the decision to get her help maybe in a psych hospital and one of a choosing that can meet her needs.

Good luck :)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Random,

One of the worst things about a situation like this is that it leaves you feeling totally helpless. The best you can do is suggest to the family that they try to get her to a psychiatrist. Also, they should know that if she threatens suicide, they should call 911, report it as a threat of suicide and they will come to the home and help out, a lot. Sometimes thats the only thing that helps.

Other than that I don't believe there is much you can do and I know that is terribly frustrating, plus, you are worried about her.


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I know not everyone responds to the same thing but when I had this problems a few years back it helped me that I had a friend that was just there for me. Even if we didn't talk, her presence made all the difference in the long run. While I admit I still have problems with letting people in, it's been easier knowing I have at least a few people there not judging me in any way and offering an unconditional love.

I am not sure if that is any help to you. I speak from experience and I know it isn't an easy thing to overcome. It helps if you both know why your friend distances herself and that she talk through her fears.

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Thank you everyone for your advice. She did write once this week. I don't think she is suicidal at all. Just has had a lot going on in her life I know from experience major stressful events tend to make pre existing emotional issues flare up.

I have talked to her family some recently and I do think she is doing much better.

I think your right about just letting her know I am there for her is the best I can do living so far away. And I have :(

Maybe she will start talking again. If not it does sound like she is talking to her family again which is good news.

As far as the root of the problem.. I'm not 100% sure. I could guess, but it would just be me guessing :) Distance makes things tricky as you just get a partial picture of things.

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You might find that the "physics" of emotional support doesn't work like that of electricity. ;-)

I've found (human) sparks tend to be multiplicative, rather than additive ...

But yes, if it drains you, you have to take care of yourself first.

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Love that saying you had :(

No it's not that it drains me. It is very complicated to explain and often when I do explain in detail I scare people off lol.

Hmm what is the easiest way to put it.

Imagine a bunch of people each with major emotional issues then put them all in some of the most stressful situations and experiences you can think of for over a year. That is both of our families right now. Right now with all that is going on it is easy for one emotional problem to trigger effects of another and so on.

I find it difficult to separate my personal feelings for her keep my distance emotionally and be just a friend there when she needs me. But that starts to go into my problems not hers :)

I have to remember Baby Steps! :)

I am helping :) Her mom even cried when I offered to help.

Just gotta stay strong myself, be proactive on holding back my personal emotional challenges.

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