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  • Using Depression as an Excuse

    Something interesting that I have found with some people *a friend of mine in particular* is that he will use depression as an excuse. For example, I have one buddy (let's call him Joe) who is always talking about how he can not find a job. I personally kind of get angry when he tells me this because I have a job and you know what? I HATE my job. But I do it anyway, and I try to do it with a smile on my face and with good customer service. Do I get sad and depressed sometimes? Sure! But I don't let it hold me back and keep me from doing things.

    For a long time in my life I realized that I was using depression as an excuse to not do anything of value. I would go through phases of my life where I just sat home and moped.

    How do I motivate my friend who appears to be stuck in the same stage that I was?? Every time he brings up how he has tried really hard to find a job he puts on this sad face and I just get ticked off. I'm tired of my best buddy not doing anything productive. How do I motivate a guy like this? It really frustrates me, especially since as one of his best friends I feel like I should help him. Any feedback would be great. Thanks!
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  • #2
    Originally posted by broncoFan! View Post
    Something interesting that I have found with some people *a friend of mine in particular* is that he will use depression as an excuse. For example, I have one buddy (let's call him Joe) who is always talking about how he can not find a job. I personally kind of get angry when he tells me this because I have a job and you know what? I HATE my job. But I do it anyway, and I try to do it with a smile on my face and with good customer service. Do I get sad and depressed sometimes? Sure! But I don't let it hold me back and keep me from doing things.

    For a long time in my life I realized that I was using depression as an excuse to not do anything of value. I would go through phases of my life where I just sat home and moped.

    How do I motivate my friend who appears to be stuck in the same stage that I was?? Every time he brings up how he has tried really hard to find a job he puts on this sad face and I just get ticked off. I'm tired of my best buddy not doing anything productive. How do I motivate a guy like this? It really frustrates me, especially since as one of his best friends I feel like I should help him. Any feedback would be great. Thanks!
    #1. Don't mock him. (because it seems you are frustrated and you stated that you think he is using depression as an "excuse" - depression is not an "excuse" and is perfectly normal)
    #2. Offer to help him look for a job. (As in help them post online resume, etc... help them look professional, etc... Give them pointers, etc...)
    #3. Console him if he cannot find a job

    That's all I can really say...
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    • #3
      You have to realize that the world doesn't revolve around you and people don't always deal with things the way you do.

      He's your friend right? Stop trying to be his dad then. Jobs are hard to find right now. I don't think you need to "motivate him" I think you need to be a friend and help him wherever you can.
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      • #4
        If it's clinical depression then i'd say it's a pretty legitimate excuse.

        If it's normal people sadness and depression, make him read an inspirational book or something.

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        • #5
          Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." He didn't mean examining someone else's life; he meant examining one's own life. What may seem an excuse to you may be a reason to someone else. Depression is real even if the reason for it is not always known. Being a friend is the best one can do.
          "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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          • #6
            If he is depressed, stop asking him about his job and try focusing on other things or do things that he likes to do. Just doing something that puts him in a good mood can help him feel a little better and he'll probably feel like trying harder to get a job.
            :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Houshmazode View Post
              If he is depressed, stop asking him about his job and try focusing on other things or do things that he likes to do. Just doing something that puts him in a good mood can help him feel a little better and he'll probably feel like trying harder to get a job.
              This is really good advice. Help him become more confident. I find when I have an issue that is a bummer having people pester me about the problem seldom makes it better. Be a friend. Take him out to do something fun. I don't know, just go hang out with him. If he wants to talk about the problem then let him bring it up.
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              • #8
                Depends on what kind of person your friend is and what kind of "depression" you are talking about.

                But honestly, you just gotta be nice to him. Sometimes that's all he might need. Treat it like you're job, put a fake smile on your face and try to help the kid out, smiles can be contagious. Just keep the atmosphere around him positive, he's having a tough time because of the job search, last thing he needs is his best friend getting mad at him for being upset. Do things to try and pick him up.

                If it doesn't work then he needs to look into more serious help, like professional help or just some old fashion tough love.

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                • #9
                  Took me about a year to get a part time job at just a retail place after I got out of the Marines. I applied to everything from fast food to Loomis (just wanted something to keep me busy while going to college).

                  I got my job out of luck because they fired a bunch of people, or they quit, and they called me almost 6 months after I put my app in.

                  Just because he doesn't get an offer every day, month, few months, doesn't mean he isn't trying. It is TOUGH out there....
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                  • #10
                    Offer to go do something different with him. When I broke up with my gf a few months back and was going through depression, my bro and my moms co-worker asked if I wanted to go train in Ninjitsu. I went, found a job a couple weeks later, and all is good. Getting out and doing something different is a great way to help him out.
                    And like the other guys said, dont pester him.
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                    • #11
                      The advice so far has been very good.....

                      I am on the run here, but all I would say is (and it's been said):

                      Be a friend......

                      Put yourself in his shoes, and realize what you would want at a time like this.....from your friend.

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                      • #12
                        Well I had a buddy who was behaving about the same as you describe. One day I said hop in the car I have to show you something. We went to a flea market and wandered around.

                        When we got out he ask why I wnet there with him and I said did you notice the people working there ?(I'll have to say it's not top notch flea market we have here but literally a flea market) He said yes I felt bad for them. to wich I responded see your not in that bad of a situation I guess...

                        He agreed and restarted looking for job and finally got one. Not that I have anythinf to do with it beside changing his mind.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JakeNbake View Post
                          This is really good advice. Help him become more confident. I find when I have an issue that is a bummer having people pester me about the problem seldom makes it better. Be a friend. Take him out to do something fun. I don't know, just go hang out with him. If he wants to talk about the problem then let him bring it up.
                          Agreed. Everyone else's advice is good too. The job market is crap right now and trying to find a job is a pain in the ass.

                          My cousin killed himself a couple months ago because of depression and alcohol problems and it runs in my family so I've had some experience with it. The way people act who are clinically depressed doesn't always make sense when you try to help them. They might be perceiving it as an attack on their integrity or it may seem that you don't care that much about it because you're getting frustrated and calling them out on it. I know that last part doesn't make sense but it will to someone who's been on the other side of your position before.

                          The best thing to do is just to be their friend and try not to bring up their situation much. Having someone like that who puts them in a better mood can help pull them out of it.

                          It may not always seem like they're trying but you don't know everything that they're doing to try and what it's like to be in your position unless you've had really bad depression before. I would say try to avoid giving advice unless you're just telling them about a job opening or something. A lot of people will give a person in that spot "advice" and a lot of the time it's different from what other people are telling them. Then if the depressed person takes one person advice the other people criticize them for not taking their own, etc.

                          Just be a friend.
                          Last edited by Houshmazode; 07-20-2012, 10:04 AM.
                          :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
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                          • #14
                            Don't bring up something that brings him down because that will just keep him down. It all depends on if it's clinical or just a phase. If it's clinical then it could range from a variety of things that cause it including a chemical imbalance in the brain. If it's regular then the more fun he has with his friends the quicker he'll get back up to normal. If it's clinical then it's different with different types of people and depends on how strong it actually is. The more you try to be "dad" the more he's going to fall down deep. People who suffer from real depression don't want to constantly be told what they're doing wrong and what they need to do or how bad their doing things in their life. That will make them want to just stay away from everybody. Negativity is the worst thing to bring around in a situation like this, just try to be as positive as possible. If he puts the sad face on...change the subject to something that he enjoys talking about and will cheer him up a bit. If he has interests and hobbies then ask him about those it'll help that someone shows interest in this doings.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Charlie Brown View Post
                              #1. Don't mock him. (because it seems you are frustrated and you stated that you think he is using depression as an "excuse" - depression is not an "excuse" and is perfectly normal)
                              #2. Offer to help him look for a job. (As in help them post online resume, etc... help them look professional, etc... Give them pointers, etc...)
                              #3. Console him if he cannot find a job

                              That's all I can really say...
                              Well let me clarify. I do not think he would ADMIT that he is depressed. But just the way it seems something very shady is going on. He's been a highschool graduate since 2008 and since that time he has been unemployed for over 4 years. He is now 22. I'm worried for him because I want him to have a future. Maybe I am trying to be too much like his dad and mom, but they don't seem to be stepping up and telling him to get a job or get his driver's license so I feel it is my duty as his best friend to do so.

                              CoryWinget81
                              You have to realize that the world doesn't revolve around you and people don't always deal with things the way you do.

                              He's your friend right? Stop trying to be his dad then. Jobs are hard to find right now. I don't think you need to "motivate him" I think you need to be a friend and help him wherever you can.
                              I know that. I'm just very worried for him since he has not had a job ever and he has been a highschool graduate for 4 years now. He's not pursuing a college, his parents offered to take him to PPCC and he declined saying "I don't feel like doing this." I'm beginning to think he's just being lazy and maybe I should confront him on this. It's hard to be a friend when I feel like an enabler. I don't want to be an enabler, I want to help him get a job.

                              If it's clinical depression then i'd say it's a pretty legitimate excuse.

                              If it's normal people sadness and depression, make him read an inspirational book or something.
                              I think it is either depression or fear. Fear of getting a job and moving into the real world. I might give him a book to read but he hates reading books lol. He is really addicted to his XBOX 360 and I need to find a way to pull him out of it I think.

                              Houshmazode
                              If he is depressed, stop asking him about his job and try focusing on other things or do things that he likes to do. Just doing something that puts him in a good mood can help him feel a little better and he'll probably feel like trying harder to get a job.
                              Like I said, I've narrowed it down to two things. 1. He is depressed that he can't find a job and has given up looking so he's playing his 360 all day. 2. He is taking the quitter's way out and just doing anything he can to avoid work.

                              This is really good advice. Help him become more confident. I find when I have an issue that is a bummer having people pester me about the problem seldom makes it better. Be a friend. Take him out to do something fun. I don't know, just go hang out with him. If he wants to talk about the problem then let him bring it up.
                              YES! I need to work on this, I'm thinking about taking him job hunting whether he wants to or not. I don't care if he wants to go to college as long as he is not sitting around on the couch all day playing video. Every time I bring up his job situation he either changes the situation, or does nothing about it but acts like he will start searching for a job.

                              ((More responses in the second post))
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