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My Cousin told me she has depression, what can I do to help


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We were on the phone and She asked if I was alone, and I said yes. She told me that she's been crying and she feels that no one loves her, so then I said "but what about us in england, we love you" (She lives in Spain with family, I live in England with family), And she said that there's something in her head that says that people dont love her. She told me to keep it a secret from family in England, so it doesn't make them worry, as they are hardcore worry warts. We usually dont talk, its usually just the adults through phone. What can I do to help?

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Tell her you are there for her and that you're not allowed to keep it a secret if she is feeling like she is depressed.  Just like you wouldn't be comfortable keeping it a secret if she was refusing to see a doctor for an infection.  See what she says.  You're very thoughtful and caring and good job asking for help here.

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

that you're not allowed to keep it a secret if she is feeling like she is depressed

Her family in Spain know, and they probably didnt want her to tell me or my mum and aunt because they worry alot. Should I still tell my family?

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11 minutes ago, yesmomno said:

Her family in Spain know, and they probably didnt want her to tell me or my mum and aunt because they worry alot. Should I still tell my family?

If she is not an adult yet -or a young adult -then for sure yes - tell them so together you can help her get the help she needs -even telehealth.  

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Posted (edited)

Point her in the direction of resources in her area. Be careful not to become enmeshed in someone else's mental health issues. It's good of you to be there for her regardless.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, yesmomno said:

 she said that there's something in her head that says that people dont love her. 

How old is she? How old are you? Why did she call you about this? What exactly does she mean by this? It's quite vague. You're assuming she's depressed, but then state you don't really ever talk to her.

If you are both under 18, then she needs parental approval for seeing a physician. Do not play therapist. Kids shouldn't be diagnosing and treating other kids. Since her family knows she can ask them to take her to a physician. 

Listen empathetically. Why tell your family when she specifically asked you not to? Her family already knows so you gossiping to your family when she confided in you is inappropriate.

What you can do is tell her about free mental health hotlines in her area. Advise her to talk to a trusted adult, perhaps a teacher or other adult relative. But most of all don't betray her confidence and gossip. 

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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18 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

You're assuming she's depressed

She told me shes depressed, and I said that we love her then she said that there was something in her head telling her we didnt.

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Be careful.  My cousin was fraught with depression due to uncontrollable personal problems, entrapped marriage, her husband's very bad autoimmune disorders, bad relationships with her parents and misery galore.

Even though you want to help as I did, never place yourself in "hero mode" because her problems become your problems, her stress spills over to becoming your stress 24 / 7.  Enforce healthy boundaries.  You can't rescue people. 

Know that you can't wave a magic wand to make her life better.  People the world over are responsible for their own lives. 

All you can do is be a good listener but don't become her crutch and at her disposal 24 / 7.  You're not her therapist nor psychologist.  Some people take advantage of other people's good will or take advantage of their time, labor and resources so beware.  Never be on call nor standby. 

Don't over do it with correspondence or communication with your cousin because you'll change your dynamics with your cousin.  It will go from a cousin relationship to too intimate, too personal and unfortunately, some strong opinions will be inserted and will backfire.  Eventually, arguments ensue.  Don't get tangled up in other people's problems. 

She needs to take care of herself as do you. 

Tread lightly otherwise you'll become too immersed into her life and give yourself unnecessary stress and her baggage. 

You can still have compassion and keep her in your prayers but know your realistic limits.  Getting too personal in other people's problems often times has very negative, harsh, painful and regretful consequences for you. 

Been there, done that.

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