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My Friend Is Spiraling and the Situation Seems Helpless

I’ve been friends with this person for a long time and her mental health has deteriorated in the last few years. Last year my friend ended up in a mental hospital for extreme depression and anxiety. They put her on medication but when she got out she stopped taking it because her family can’t afford it. I feel that her condition has gotten worse. She started attending school again this year but she faces extreme anxiety. She believes her face is ugly, and just recently started feeling a lot of negatively about her body. Her doubts have stopped her from attending social events, etc. I believe that her home life worsens her condition. I don’t know everything, but I know that she spends a lot of time in her room and that her dad does not show a lot of affection. I believe that depression runs in her family but also some sort of abuse has occurred in her past. Her family can’t afford any sort of treatment for her. I try to support her where I can but there is only so much I am able to help and I don’t want her to get worse. She has so much potential. She is so intelligent- possibly the most intelligent person I know. She has the potential to go and do great things. Please let me know anything I could possibly do to help her.

Your friend is very lucky to have you as a friend. Your concern and desire for her well-being are the very essence of what is needed to help someone. I admire your compassion and care.

I would recommend you talk with your high school counselor about services and activities you can do together and things you can recommend to your friend. It is important to remember that your friend needs professional help beyond what you can do. You might go with her to a clinic or to an appointment with the school’s counselor, but your friend sounds like someone who is going to need help from professionals. The guidance counselor is a good place to start.

Sometimes the best we can do to help someone is to let them know we care and that we can be there with them when we can. She is lucky to have you as her friend.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

from Ask the Therapist

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