So, I’m new to this. I feel like a little bit of an imposter, but I’m not really. I’ve had depression for many, many long years and struggled through the initial teenage suidical thoughts (and actions), seriously self-destructive life choices, really abusive and violent relationships, drug abuse, many medication changes, a few hospitalisations and the finally, recovery.

But I’ve made it through what I call "the bad years" and lead a happy and productive life these days.

The thing about depression, though, is that if you’re honest about it to other people in your life, and you don’t hide your depression, you tend to attract a horde of people who also take anti-depressants, or struggle with depression, or suffer through abusive relationships, or any number of different scenarios.

I often struggle with the best way to help my friends. I might have been there myself, but that doesn’t mean I know the right things to say to my friends.  What helped me (honestly: time, maturity, the removal of bad influences like friends, drugs, alcohol, and just getting older) might not help them. And what about when they’re hostile to receiving abuse?

How do you break through when they’re deluding themself? And what about abusive relationships? How do you help then? Sometimes it’s so frustrating when one of your best friends KNOWS that they’re in a ridiculously bad situation, and you can’t make them help themselves.

What can you do? Do you eventually stop saying "you have to leave him" because you know that if she really wanted to leave, she would? And you’re just repeating yourself pointlessly? And, given your own mental health history, maybe you shouldn’t be taking yourself to ridiculously stressful levels? But then, how do you abandon yourself to having a helpless attitude and not worry that you’re not doing anything to help?

Sometimes I feel so helpless. I want to help, but how do I do it? How can I do it without risking my own mental health? And what is a good line between risking my own mental health to save a friend who is most definitely in need?

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