The Friendship Doctor

Send in your friendship questions and quandaries and get expert answers and solutions

Where Can My Depressed Friend Get Help?

I have a friend (for the past 20 years) who is extremely negative and depressed, impossible to deal with, irrational and who is completely draining me. Any and all suggestions I give to better her situation are repeatedly dismissed. Read More

Depression Help!

Professional help can make a big difference if the patient is ready to seek it from an experienced and reliable treatment provider. From my personal experience, I also feel that even spiritual help is essential along with professional aid for complete and permanent recovery from depression. Luckily, I have found one such source where a depressed person has shared his own experience on the same:http://www.dadabhagwan.org/gnan-vidhi-knowledge-of-self/experiences/read-experiences/himanshu-kushwaha/

Help?

If this friend wanted help she'd get help. She found her way to credit counseling, so if she wanted help for whatever ails her on a psychological level she could probably find that as well. This friend has no problem with being negative and depressed. Her hobby is ranting to Vera and complaining that world is playing a cruel joke. The result is Vera is left feeling frustrated, angry and in tears. Although, the friend might feel much better after a good rant.

Vera is the one with the actual problem. Insanity is repetition expecting different results. How many one-sided conversations about the evils of the world will Vera have before she realizes that she is a serious contributing factor to her friend's angry attitude.

have been there

I have been in Vera's shoes and briefly wondered if she was writing about someone I know. I have a friend who is almost 43 and from an alcoholic, dysfunctional family -- she lost both of her parents due to addiction-related illnesses by the time she was 30 and is mostly estranged from siblings. She has struggled with terrible employment, financial and relationship problems for the decade I have known her and never seems to pull herself out depression. Conversations with her are a litany of complaints, and nothing I have said to her over the years has made any difference. I have finally gotten to the point where I have distanced myself and see and talk to her only occasionally. While many of her issues are not self-created, she simply can't get to a healthy and productive place in life. I have tried to help but to no avail. I will not take ownership for her problems, so distance is the best thing for me.

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Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., is a psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. Her latest book is Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend.

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