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I had a really good friend (let's call him X). We were the kind of friends which teachers would call inseparable.

We went to the same school, the same private tuition and then hung out for some time. We were practically apart only when we were sleeping or doing homework (that can't be done together).

Last year we had a group of 5-6 students, who attended the tuition in our slot. We all got very close over time and became good friends. There was a girl too in that group. She was very pretty, and X had a crush on her. They met on Facebook and eventually got in a relationship. I was happy for him...but we spent no time together anymore, barely an hour a day, and in that time he used to talk about her. I mockingly used to ask him to just stop talking about her, he did. I never complained, and made most of the time we had.

Things got out of hand when he was close to flunking out of class. (We were straight A students, sorry for bragging.) His parents found out about them, and gave him another chance. Next time, he barely passed the exams, so parents made sure they never met. They still talked once in a while on borrowed phones. I was always there for him, but he never appreciated that I still supported him. He never wanted to see me anymore, and this time I was annoyed.

We talked sometimes but not like before. A few days ago, he called me at 3 in the morning about how he feels towards life and it has no meaning for him. I sensed the situation and tried to console him. We were on the phone for like 2 hours.

I am worried for him. How can I make things right again? Basically, how can we start hanging out again just like before?

For reference I am a 17 year old Indian.

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    Can you add a few words about your age and culture? Answers will be very different for 30 years old in the US or 16 year olds in India. – Erik Sep 3 at 8:31
  • @Erik did that, thanks for suggestion – Baba Yaga Sep 3 at 8:37
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    Heh, I was closer than I had expected with my two options... thanks for the edit ;-) – Erik Sep 3 at 8:38
  • I didn't understand "He never wanted to see me anymore, and this time I was annoyed." Why did he not want to see you anymore? – weird-person'' Sep 5 at 10:16
  • @technastic_tc he was simply not talking to me, I tried very hard for a week maybe – Baba Yaga Sep 5 at 11:13
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You have to take care of two things right now:

  1. Your friend's mental health
  2. Your friend's marks

If your friend doesn't come back to normal mood, he can take wrong decisions (maybe feel like stopping studying, becoming isolated, etc.). Your friend is in the dark now and you need to guide him towards the light.

Start talking to him on a regular basis. Talk about all his feelings. If the conversations between you and him are open and deep, you'll understand his current situation even better.

The worst thing that could happen to a person (who is feeling sad) is not being able to express their feelings to others. So let your friend express his feelings to you. If your friend doesn't want to share his feelings, don't force him. He might share it some day if not today. But, just assure your friend that you will be there with him in tough times. It will mean a lot for him.

Your friend called you at 3 AM in the morning because he trusts you and values you. Make sure that trust remains intact.

The fact that your friend is staying awake until 3 AM in morning is not good for his health. Sleep plays a very important role in life. Make sure that he sleeps and wakes up at regular timings. A peaceful sleep will always improve mood.
Ask him about his dreams as well. If he is getting any nightmares, then it's not a good sign.


Now, let's talk about your friend's marks. Your friend's parents stopped all communications between X and X's girlfriend, because his marks went down. Now X is feeling depressed. X might not focus on education as much as he might used to do. This can lead to even more worsening of marks. Then his parents can take extreme decisions like sending him to hostel or never let him talk with friends until he improves his scores. To avoid this possible situation, he must start studying like usual. Help your friend in studying. Do combined studies or spend more time with him in tuition. But, make sure that he doesn't feel stressed. If he feels stressed, studying will become irritating and boring.

May the dark clouds pass and the sunlight shine!

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I've been in a situation where I was a good student going a bit bad and threatening to drop studies because of depression. I have a mental illness which usually strikes in teenage and spike in early twenties. While I am unsure if our two cases relate since little is known about your friend real problem, I believe I can advise on a few pointers on how to help.

I would first advise to take the case seriously. Depressed people are hard to care about and capable of the worst. Sometimes the cause is a difficult breakup, difficult situation in the family, sometimes the cause is inner like mine.

Provided you can't send him straight to a professional, the important thing is to be there where he needs like you did on the phone. Isolation usually worsen depression. Altered self worth might make him feel he doesn't deserve your attention, try also to offset this feeling by recalling him from time to time he counts for you.

The remaining is more hypothetically helpful, but it could also be more efficient if it lands well.

If you know his family well and believe they can treat the situation in an adequate manner you could also warn them something is going wrong. They could on their turn also try to break isolation. Be careful to not break your friend trust doing so, however.

You could suggest him to see a therapist if such things are adequate in your culture and are practicaly accessible. I know that many would take offense for being suggested that so take some care choosing your words; try to relate to undeniable facts that lead you to believe he could benefit.

Among the activity you could do together, sports can also be helpful in fighting negative thinking.

This is what I would have benefited from, in some of my worst periods and I hope it can help you taking care of your friend.

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