How do you help someone who DOESN'T want help and avoids help at all cost?

Especially, if that person is a loved one. Do you cut them loose? Give up? Wait for that change that might not come? Continue to stand by their side? What can you do?

Honestly, I am going to talk about fictional people NOT realistic people. So, title correction, how can a character help another character who avoids help and doesn’t want/need it?

If you want to bring real people into this as examples, I shall allow it.

Thoughts and feelings?


I’ve been on both sides of this situation before.

Without getting too personal, the only way to help a character who 1) Doesn’t want help, 2) Actively rejects help, and 3) Is pushing themselves towards a self-destructive path they refuse to turn away from is… just offer your support.

To be completely honest, there is nothing you can do to help someone who doesn’t want help. You could force them into therapy, rehab, hospitalizations, you could scream and cry at them, you could leave them, stay with them, etc. etc. but nothing is going to actually change them until they change.

Best thing you can do is let them know you support them, that you love them, and you’ll be ready to help them when they need it–but not to be an enabler to their behavior. (I.e. if your loved one is a drug addict, not giving them money for drugs.)

Truth is, when you’re that far gone in your own mental state, it oftentimes take hitting rock-bottom for you to actually want help. It takes a huge amount of self-reflection and awareness to realize that you need help. And when self-hate is involved? That you deserve help.

You can only really be the one to accept help and get help for yourself. Loved ones being there to listen and to care for yourself once you’re ready is what is really needed.


How long can that last though? You supporting them and loving them, while they spiral deeper and deeper?

Well said :clap:

I had a friend who was getting so stressed at her job, she was getting sick, and she would complain over and over about it. Me and my other friend offered advice and everything and she would listen but never follow through.

Yet, still complain about the job.

After a while, both me and the other friend (without discussing with each other) slowly moved on from suggestions to just offering support or saying “oh yeah, that’s awful” or “aw, I’m so sorry”.

And then a long, looooong time later, that friend finally quit that job and got a new, better one where it wasn’t making her sick. Both me and the other friend were definitely relieved to hear that, but neither of us said “I told you so” or “you should’ve done that a long time ago”. Again, we didn’t discuss this beforehand. We just both said things similar to, “that’s awesome! congrats! So, what’s it like there?” and gently moved on.


To add, that friend was getting sick to the point of hospitalization, and yet, she was continuing to work at that job. Funny story, even her BOSS was telling her to quit, apparently. She had to deal with a lot of angry customers complaining over the phone and it was mentally affecting her.

And yet, she stayed in that job for MONTHS.

Me and the other friend were, of course, quite worried about her. She could end up in the hospital again. Or, it could spiral to the point of an even longer time at the hospital. But she wasn’t responding to our suggestions.

I sometimes wish I knew why. She just wouldn’t follow through. The job was hurting her health!

The only thing we could do was just say “we’re here for you if you need to talk”. And we were.

She had to get herself out on her own. Idk what prompted her, but she did.


Oooh, I have a character just like this! He has prolonged grief disorder after the death of his wife. He just can’t cope with her loss, and turns to the bottle. The more he drinks, the more abusive and irrational he becomes, and his sister’s terribly worried about him.

Unfortunately, his behavior has estranged his two sons from him, and when he tries to murder one of them for threatening to expose his crime to the authorities, he winds up getting shot dead with a dueling pistol. Take that, you abusive @$#&! (>‿◠):v:

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The balance is:

  1. Support
  2. No enabling
  3. Self-preservation
  4. Protection of the weak

like @Akje did, sometimes, to protect the weak, you shoot the person on a downward spiral, before they take down others with them.

We already know that much of this is cyclical. Most bullies are bullied. Those who are on drugs sometimes have emotional damage that makes the drugs easier. That never excuses emotional damage put on those who would support them. If the supporter is an autonomous adult, it’s their problem to handle how much abuse they can take without enabling. If it’s a child, well, that’s what law is supposed to protect, isn’t it?


So, his wife died, did he had any children with her or no?

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Yup, two boys, one of whom is the main character. ٩(˘◡˘)۶

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Wow, that’s an example of a person who doesn’t know how to be a single parent. Parenting is hard enough, but he didn’t even try, just wallow in sadness over his wife who is probably pissed in the afterlife.

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Yup! She’s a ghost who appears to her sons every now and then but not to her husband, and he’s the one who really wants to see her. But he tries to keep her buried as if she never existed hoping he can forget her, and ghosts are memories, as they say. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯

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How did the wife pass away? What killed her?


She died in childbirth with her youngest son, whom the father blames for killing her.


Yeah, that is a classic case, and because that is a classic case I doubt he would do great as a father if he is willing to blame the child for the mother’s death.

Death by childbirth is already a serious thing, I don’t even need to experience it.

So, the wife had her heart in the right place, but the guy wasn’t the one…at all.


Lay the shit on the line, and walk away… Let them stew on things and see what they choose to do.



In my personal experience, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. There’s a difference between not knowing how and not wanting to. Some people are, as sad as it sounds, happy in their misery.


In real life, you cannot force someone to get help unless it’s an absolute emergency. At least that is what I have seen.


So, if they truly wanted to change then they will, yet if they don’t then you still move on?

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If they don’t want help, there’s literally nothing you can do so you really have two choices: Either waste time helping someone who doesn’t want it or get on with your life



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