There's an old BBS tagline that goes,

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

I've revised it, to better reflect reality:

Friends teach you to swim. Real friends let you drown.

Shit happens, and maybe your friend got pushed in and can't swim. Maybe life handcuffed weights to their ankles and they're sinking fast. But if you value that friendship, don't try to guide them to the surface, or show them how to swim, or offer them the key to the handcuffs. Not even if you've been there yourself and know the way with painful intimacy.

They'll thrash and fight to their last gasp -- against every stroke they don't discover on their own, and against anyone who tries to point the way up and out. And the end result is that they'll pour their energy into finding more ways to hold their breath, and use that last gasp to deny it.

So if you're a true friend -- don't do it. Stay on the bank. Let them drown.

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