Author Topic: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?  (Read 8530 times)

ambimammular

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 418
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Indiana
Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« on: January 21, 2015, 07:54:59 AM »
An old acquaintance sent out a mass email recounting his financial woes of the last few years, his fears of rent being raised, and his reasons for quitting his most recent tech job. Every problem was about how he's being screwed out of one thing or another. He's depressed and I feel for that.

Then he followed up with pleas of money for rent (higher than the cost of my mortgage), and an Amazon wish list filled with high end phone and tech items and processed food ala Dinky Moore/Chef Boyardee, candy fruit snacks, flavored rice in individual boxes, and chunks of fruit in syrup.

I'm thinking bags of rice, dried pinto/black beans, and spaghetti noodles.
I'd like to lay some Mustachianism on him, but think the depression would just make anything sound insulting.

This is a guy who had a big inheritance a while back and immediately quit his tech job. I'm guessing all that is gone.

The mental issue is not his fault, but some lousy choices sure are.
Send him food and a face punch?
Criticism and a face punch?
Save the face punch for my insensitive self?



Grid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
  • Age: 7
  • I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 08:01:33 AM »
He hasn't learned the crucial life lesson of living within his means.  I would say go about whatever method is sensible to see that he learns that lesson, but personally I think that would not entail giving him something for nothing.  That is exactly what he has been trying to get from the world thus far.

vivophoenix

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2015, 08:03:05 AM »
dried food and a book about personal budgeting.


i say food cause clearly he needs it,  and is denying a guy  a bag of dried rice and a can of beans,  really worth it in the name of  'teaching him a lesson'?
the book would make the hint less harsh

Adventine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1561
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Manila, Philippines
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 08:18:05 AM »
Cheap food (rice and beans), some good books about personal finance, and most importantly, a gently-worded letter of encouragement. It's clear that you want to help, but since you mentioned he's suffering from depression, facepunches will only be counterproductive. Something like "Here's a short-term solution (the food) and a long-term solution (the books) that I hope you find useful. Take care of yourself and hope things work out soon." Better if handwritten, so it's more personal.

He clearly doesn't know how to handle cash, so don't send him any. You'll have to walk a fine line between helping him get back on his feet and enabling his self-destructive habits.

GetItRight

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 627
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2015, 08:19:08 AM »
... his reasons for quitting his most recent tech job. Every problem was about how he's being screwed out of one thing or another.

He quit his job, and did not have another job lined up while not being FI... Sounds like he got what he asked for. The rest, yeah maybe bad luck and one blow after another but he made a choice to make it worse. Heck at least if he was fired he could collect Funemployment for a year or whatever.

I'm thinking bags of rice, dried pinto/black beans, and spaghetti noodles.

^This, if you're feeling really generous. Maybe invite him for dinner so he doesn't starve, and since he'll likely vent about his circumstances you can toss in some financial advise when he gets to the parts he created like quitting his job and luxury spending while not having a source of income.

vivophoenix

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2015, 08:27:49 AM »
i always find it funny they people feel the need to give financial advice. he didnt ask for advice, he asked for money and food.

he cant handle money, but being a human being,  its easy to see the argument to give him food( nothing expensive, nor unhealthy)

but there always seems to be this undercurrent of 'fixing ' peoples financials situations, and giving unsolicited advice( facepunches, if you will  [i actually, thanks to this site, now hate this term]

 sometimes people come off kinda cult-y.

it almost seems like you wanna drop off necessities and ask has he heard the good word.


greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2015, 08:41:51 AM »
Honestly I would ignore that, Any close friend of mine knows what I think of money, and it just wouldn't end well.

If they came to me individually, I could gage their mindset and ask them if I could give them advice.

But ignore is what I would do.

Grid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
  • Age: 7
  • I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2015, 08:42:26 AM »
My reservation with buying him any of the standard cheap but healthy staples like beans and rice is that he doesn't know how to use them.  He might feel the food is beneath him, and it might spoil before he decides to use it.  He may be so stressed right now that he doesn't even have time for a book or even time to be receptive to anything you have to say.  It all depends on the person you're dealing with.  And, well, you'll be better at gauging that than us.


trailrated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Bay Area Ca
  • a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2015, 09:11:39 AM »
Cheap food (rice and beans), some good books about personal finance, and most importantly, a gently-worded letter of encouragement. It's clear that you want to help, but since you mentioned he's suffering from depression, facepunches will only be counterproductive. Something like "Here's a short-term solution (the food) and a long-term solution (the books) that I hope you find useful. Take care of yourself and hope things work out soon." Better if handwritten, so it's more personal.

He clearly doesn't know how to handle cash, so don't send him any. You'll have to walk a fine line between helping him get back on his feet and enabling his self-destructive habits.

+1 worded perfectly

zephyr911

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3624
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Northern Alabama
  • I'm just happy to be here. \m/ ^_^ \m/
    • Pinhook Development LLC
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2015, 09:19:35 AM »
i always find it funny they people feel the need to give financial advice. he didnt ask for advice, he asked for money and food.

he cant handle money, but being a human being,  its easy to see the argument to give him food( nothing expensive, nor unhealthy)

but there always seems to be this undercurrent of 'fixing ' peoples financials situations, and giving unsolicited advice( facepunches, if you will  [i actually, thanks to this site, now hate this term]

 sometimes people come off kinda cult-y.

it almost seems like you wanna drop off necessities and ask has he heard the good word.
So, you reject the old adage about giving a man a fish vs. teaching him to fish? That's fair enough. Personally, I prefer this one, because it lends itself to a hilarious and highly relevant play on words:

Build a man a FIRE and he'll be warm for a few hours... but set him on FIRE, and he'll stay warm for the rest of his life!


mbl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2015, 09:20:00 AM »
To the OP:  Ignore his requests for $/stuff and MYOB.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1699
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2015, 09:31:52 AM »
If you're going to give him anything, then I'd go with dried spaghetti and a pre-made sauce. Not rice and beans - because that will just get thrown into the back of a cupboard and treated like non-food. That's a waste. And frankly, if he's depressed, then he's not going to take the time to learn how to cook something new.

But personally, I don't think you can facepunch someone out of depression. It probably isn't the right time to try to change him.

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
  • Location: MA
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2015, 12:13:54 PM »
Ugh...so much misunderstanding about depression in this thread. 

1) Depressed people don't think clearly or rationally.  Your brain actually shrinks while suffering from depression. 

2) If the depression is very severe, you don't have the energy to pull yourself out of it.

3)  The best thing to do for someone with depression is to lift them up.  Start small.  Get them out for a walk and get them eating some healthy food.  Take them to therapy or a meditation class. 

4) The worst thing to do to a person with depression is to criticize them - whether they "deserve it" or not.  It is just meaningless because the depressed person turns a criticism into "I am a worthless human being."  Trust me, anything negative you want to say to a depressed person, they are already thinking times 10.   

hunniebun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 491
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2015, 12:58:13 PM »
Ugh...so much misunderstanding about depression in this thread. 

1) Depressed people don't think clearly or rationally.  Your brain actually shrinks while suffering from depression. 

2) If the depression is very severe, you don't have the energy to pull yourself out of it.

3)  The best thing to do for someone with depression is to lift them up.  Start small.  Get them out for a walk and get them eating some healthy food.  Take them to therapy or a meditation class. 

4) The worst thing to do to a person with depression is to criticize them - whether they "deserve it" or not.  It is just meaningless because the depressed person turns a criticism into "I am a worthless human being."  Trust me, anything negative you want to say to a depressed person, they are already thinking times 10.

+1

Agreed. People who are depressed need support from their friends. He is clearly reaching out and a friend would offer help.  Maybe not in the form of money, but in helping him find resources to improve his situation.   Face punching someone with depression is like face punching someone with cancer and telling them to get their shit together. 

MandalayVA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1571
  • Location: Orlando FL
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2015, 01:12:07 PM »
It needs to be determined whether this is actual clinical depression or what I call "situational depression."  When your life sucks and you realize that the reason it sucks is because of all the stupid shit you did, you're going to be depressed.  I am well acquainted with situational depression because of stupid shit I did in the mid-nineties, but once I started turning things around things got better.

+1 on the "don't offer advice unless it's solicited" and "it's better to buy pasta and premade sauce than beans and rice" things.  And DEFINITELY don't give this guy money.

Datastache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2015, 01:49:15 PM »
In response to just the subject line: no, unfortunately. I've been at both ends of that - trying to deliver well-intentioned facepunches to clinically depressed people, and having others try to deliver well-intentioned facepunches t me while I was clinically depressed. Never seems to do any good, as tempting as it may be to try. "Snap out of it" type responses seem perfectly sensible when you're not depressed and perfectly asinine when you are.

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1535
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2015, 01:56:22 PM »
"An old acquaintance..."

An "old acquaintance" would get nothing from me.  Unless you're actually close friends? They'd get my ignore list pretty quickly and get kicked to the curb if they persisted.  You can't fix this.  A bag of rice isn't going to fix it either.  I personally suffer from a Batman complex where I want to save everyone, but I've come to realize I'm no psychologist.  That ain't my job. 

eyePod

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
    • Flipping A Dollar
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2015, 07:44:45 AM »
Depression is a tough one. You just want to shake someone out of it, but they have to want to not be depressed which is really hard to want when you're feeling really depressed.

sleepyguy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 672
  • Location: Oakville, Ontario
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2015, 08:11:32 AM »
I don't know much about depression but giving him money doesn't help the problem at all I believe.

If he was indeed a friend while ago, I would call him up and talk to him.  Asked if he wanted to go out for lunch and you could give could offer him some life/fanancial advice on how to 'fix' his current situation.  If he declines... then well you tried.

Maybe even have a coffee at the local bookshop and buy him a couple of budgeting/lifestyle books.

An old acquaintance sent out a mass email recounting his financial woes of the last few years, his fears of rent being raised, and his reasons for quitting his most recent tech job. Every problem was about how he's being screwed out of one thing or another. He's depressed and I feel for that.

Then he followed up with pleas of money for rent (higher than the cost of my mortgage), and an Amazon wish list filled with high end phone and tech items and processed food ala Dinky Moore/Chef Boyardee, candy fruit snacks, flavored rice in individual boxes, and chunks of fruit in syrup.

I'm thinking bags of rice, dried pinto/black beans, and spaghetti noodles.
I'd like to lay some Mustachianism on him, but think the depression would just make anything sound insulting.

This is a guy who had a big inheritance a while back and immediately quit his tech job. I'm guessing all that is gone.

The mental issue is not his fault, but some lousy choices sure are.
Send him food and a face punch?
Criticism and a face punch?
Save the face punch for my insensitive self?

Perpetual Intern

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2015, 12:28:14 PM »
Short answer? NO

Long answer? I really like what golden1 said and agree with all four points. As someone who is currently living with clinical depression, I can attest to how hard it is to live like this. Giving someone with depression (or probably any mental illness) a face punch is highly likely to be one of the worst things you can do.

Depression makes you feel like you are worthless scum, like everything you do is wrong, no one cares about you, you can't (yes can't, you can try as hard as you like but thing you used to like doing is blah and totally boring) care about anything or anyone else, and anything positive you do is minimized or rationalized away as meaningless. Its very likely he knows he has made stupid choices but they seem so overwhelming to him that he can't imagine how they can be fixed. Maybe the closest imagery most people would understand is its like Groundhog Day. Even though every day is different, it all feels the same and so there is nothing to look forward to or be excited about. Anyway, this is one of my favorite explanations of depression I have found so far: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html  (and part 2) Also terribly funny.

As for your friend I agree with everyone else that you should not give him money as he has shown he cannot take care of it. I really like the spaghetti and sauce idea; that's one of my go-to dinners when I'm just feeling too tired or overwhelmed, it has pretty minimal steps. Breakfast items like oatmeal and eggs might be good too as they last long and are filling and easy to make. Basically anything that you can easily cook or boil is a good start. I would also encourage him to see a health professional about this and consider going to therapy. Medication and/or talking it out with someone will hopefully help. Definitely encourage him in any way you can; seriously if he gets up, showers and cooks himself a meal that could be a huge deal depending on how bad he is. Focusing on the positive is going to be very needed. Walks are one of my favorite ways to feel a little bit better and get me out for a bit; definitely encourage him to get out the house for something every day, even if its just picking up the paper.

Of course all this depends on how much $$$ and time you want to spend on someone you might not consider a close friend. Even a little bit here and there would be something but do not promise/commit to him any sort of help if you are not positive you can go through with it. Going back on something you told him, even a small thing, will seem to him like an enormous deal.

tl;dr
It sucks but someone with depression is sensitive and not thinking clearly, they probably need help with basics and should discuss with a doctor. Encouragement over advice should be the goal.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3514
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2015, 06:38:03 AM »
Having experienced a good friend with depression, I can also attest to the idea that -- in the throes of the problem -- these folks aren't capable of making good decisions.  They don't behave rationally.  I think those of us who haven't gone through this can't quite grasp it.  We would pull up our bootstraps and move on -- it's not always so easy for a person suffering with real depression.  Medication can be a godsend for people with depression. 

Has the guy screwed up?  Yes.  Big time.  I've screwed up at times -- I'm sure you have too -- but this guy knows he's in trouble, and he's asking for help.  This may be the critical moment in which he's ready to hear a plan for a better life.

I think an old buddy is exactly the right person to step in and help.  After all, if you piss him off and he never speaks to you again, you haven't really lost much, have you?  You aren't close now.  But you could potentially do the guy a real service and set him on a good path.  The risk to you is minimal; the potential good is tremendous. 

I like the previously suggested idea of bags of rice and food . . . along with a book on budgeting.  Perhaps include a $10 rice cooker and instructions on how this little critter can cook not only rice, but also beans, grits and all sorts of simple and cheap foods. 

Under no circumstances would I give money.  He clearly isn't able to handle cash. 



kms

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 284
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Minion Money Hippie
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2015, 09:56:08 AM »
There's a difference between being depressed (aka sad, angry, unhappy) and a full-blown depression (speaking from a medical point of view). Frankly, I think that many people claiming to be suffering from depression one way or another are simply using the medical condition as an excuse to justify their own behavior. Sort of an easy way out but who I am to judge.

In my opinion there are two sides here:
If he's suffering from a full-blown depression there isn't much you can do - he'll need professional help.
If he's simply using it as excuse for his own misdemeanors of the past there isn't much you should do.

ambimammular

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 418
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Indiana
Re: Can you face punch the depression out of someone?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2015, 01:25:29 PM »
Depression is his self-diagnosis.

His best friend and that guy's 8yr old have moved in with him, thinking they could all do a better job of it together. I knew his friend a little in high school. Nice enough guy. He had a crazy girlfriend while serving in the military and decided to do the right thing for the resulting kidlet. I think he left military somewhat dishonored if I remember correctly, (so he may have forfeited benefits?)

I don't want to think about a hungry 8 year old. But I can totally envision him and his high school buddy playing video games all hours of the night, eating individual size frozen dinners, just like the olden days.

He (they) live many states away, so I can't pop over and teach them how to cook a healthy meal the way I'd like to. I suspect what my friend would prefer is a mother replacement. And that is not me!!

I think he's someone who hasn't grown up even though he's in his mid thirties now. He's an intelligent guy, so if he applied himself I don't think any of this would be a problem for long. I don't think he's known any other way to live.

I'd just wash my hands of it all, calling it a life style choice, if not for the kid.