Help please - I think someone is about to have a breakdown

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Nosha123 | 13:36 Sat 20th Mar 2010 | Body & Soul
15 Answers
Someone I barely know has contacted me as we have a mutual close friend.

She was very upset - and admitted she is in therapy but her councillor is on holiday now for 2 weeks.

She burst into tears and said she doesnt know how she will get thru next 2 weeks.

She has sent me multiple texts and now several calls. And this morning she called The Samaritans.

I'm worried she is going to do something stupid. She's on anti depressants and spends days in bed.

I called her Husband and he was concerned.
What is the sensible next step? I suggested he call their GP and get him out - as he may be able to sedate her.
Was this right?
If her therapist is away - who would be able to help her if she is spiralling down? I worried this woman (in her 50s) might do something stupid


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Shouldn't her husband be dealing with this?
if her husband is about then surely he will stop her doing anything silly
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I'd suggest you call these people and ask for advice. hope she is ok x
You have called her husband. That's it.
You barely know this person, he will know her much better.
I know it is difficult, but try not to get any further involved.
If she's in therapy, the therapist would have arranged cover if they thought she was a risk.
Calling her GP out is a perfectly sensible way to proceed, though on a Saturday it will be the out of hours service. They are trained to deal with these emergencies, you are not.
Just repeat the advice to contact the GP/out of hours service. That really is the best you can do.
Question Author
thanks all.. Her husband.. is.. how can I say this politely... a little naive I think.. and admitted this situ is completely alien to him.
This has all spiralled thru some rows amongst family and bitching and story telling.. and each day seems to escalate further with the Hubby wanting to bury his head in the sand.
I really dont want to get dragged into it already - our mutual friend already is too - but I do feel sorry for this woman who clearly isnt well.
Apparently there is no cover of therapist for these 2 weeks - but I dont think she would have thought her at risk
am wondering if the fact she knows she cant see her therapist is whats driving her down further.
I promised I would call her later and know she has someone with her at the moment as somebody called a friend of hers as they too were concerned.
Question Author
does anyone know what the signs are for a nervous breakdown?
I'm not saying depressed people dont do it but all the people I've known that have 'done something silly' never showed they were depressed, never got help, and if you knew them they were the life and soul of the party. This woman knows she has problems, has got help and many people that 'do something silly' dont go for help.
Question Author
thanks everyone!!
I wish you all the best Nosha. A friend's husband called me once to 'talk' to his wife who he said had gone mad and he didn't know how to deal with her (not that I have experience with this.) She kept crying and crying and trying to make words and sentences, she would point at the door and then her throat, basically she was having a nervous breakdown, she was trying to say that the word 'door' is stuck in her throat and she couldn't pronounce it. She was frustrated at her inability to retell what had happened, that her husband had been violent with her.

A person who has a nervous breakdown can appear to be confused and non-sensical. If she is lying in bed she may just be very depressed. As long as someone is with her she will probably be ok. Maybe the husband just needs to be told to be around?
Her local A&E Department should always have emergency mental health cover available in emergencies.
Even if she were to see a therapist tonight they would not be able to offer any 'first-aid' - she needs to see a doctor or go to the hospital (as the others have said).

I have on-going mental health problems and can really feel for your friend - even waiting an hour to see a doctor or psychiatrist feels like an eternity. Her world is spiralling out of control and it may get worse before it gets better.

Best wishes to all concerned.
You are clearly a kind, warm and intelligent person, and I think this depressed person has sensed that you will assume responsibility for her. While I am sure you would do anything in your power to help, a lot of what you describe seems to me to be beyond your power to influence.
Having experienced depression I would hesitate ever generalise, but I have come across attention-seekers who use depression as a string to pull and attempt to control others. This lady has access to skilled volunteers via the Samaritans and professional help from her GP service, plus A&E if she chooses. How can you do anything to improve on these avenues of help? You have played your part well, feel no guilt and accept that the responsibility you feel is part of your kind nature.
I think you did the right thing and her husband could have taken her to A&E and presented there as well if he thought she was a risk to herself.
I have to deal with this alot in my job and it is hard at times to know the best course of action.
Sounds like she is crying out for help and needs support from her G.P and other professionals x
Question Author
To everyone - thank you for your help and advice!
And to Mosaic - yes I think you are very right! And I think she does hone in on certain people and some of this has been dramaticised as things are going her way!
Thanks you all again - I am going to try to kindly but firmly distance myself from her now - as I really dont want to get involved... it is for her family and real friends to provide the support she needs - if any.

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