I always chuckle at David of Seattle's skepticism. But, he's probably right about a lot of posts. But, BigMike has been on here for a while. Naughty, naughty if Mike is doing some sort of human-interest survey, lol.
Anyway, Mike, have you been showing or telling the forum suggestions to your friend?
Since he's down in the dumps now, maybe a little trip would be a good thing to boost him? None of us are qualified to diagnose a depressed state of mind or behavior based on words in black and white.
Anyway, going along with the quest, can your friend afford to take his guitar with him? Or, is that a no no because he may not be able to secure it properly. Yeah, if he stays in a hostel, it may get damaged or stolen. Nix it.
It was just a thought. If he could have done that, he could play (not for money) in a park or piazza (wherever his travels may land him.) Sometimes, being in a different atmosphere, away from the every day junk, can be a morale booster. Of course, he still must face his life upon return. He knows what he can handle. And, perhaps, his parents paying the airfare for him sort of feel the same way? To some, it may seem like a band aid, but your friend may surprise everyone, including himself, and come back refreshed from a trip? LOL. I don't know...just random thoughts.
Edited: Just re-read your post, and you mentioned drums. So never mind, lol. Unless he wants to take a bongo drum along.