How should I handle my hunch that my boyfriend was abused as a child -- when I am unsure about the future of our relationship in general? [more inside]
I have a friend who is having a horrible life right now and I want to be supportive but I am also having a horrible life right now. How can I help but not put my own mental health at risk? [more inside]
Just over a year ago, I met this guy, let's call him A, via email. He got in touch with me requesting some of my tutoring services and asked if I were willing to teach him via Skype. This tutoring relationship collapsed after a few months due to a number of factors but he insisted we stay in touch on a more personal level. I quickly learned that he'd gone through a lot in life: abuse, estranged family, homelessness. I wanted to learn about his life and be there for him because it became apparent that he didn't have any fixtures of support in his life whatsoever. The nature of our friendship became more and more intense. All-night phone calls became the norm and it began to have a significant effect on my ability to function in my already hectic life. After several months of this, all of the following have happened: I told him that I felt our friendship was dysfunctional and that we should cease contact, he told me that he couldn't live without me and said he was in love with me. And then made a last-minute trip to visit me. I'm so confused and lost as to how to handle this situation and desperately need perspective. Big ol' wall of text inside. [more inside]
I share a house with my oldest and closest friend, and I have found out that he is in love with me and feels intense heartache and jealousy when I date. He is deeply depressed and emotionally dependent on me. We are both late 20s guys and I am straight. I don't know how to deal with this. [more inside]
I watch many people who I care a lot about suffer from depression. I would sincerely do anything to help them, and do whatever I can think of: conversations, little notes and random texts, hanging out, offering help with thinking through options if they want it, etc. But, as someone who is lucky to not have 'been there', it's hard to know when I'm crossing a line and what's really needed. In fact, I think most of my efforts translate to "I know you mean well, but..." even though I'm also one of the few people these friends go to when things get bad. On top of worrying and trying to help, I also spend (probably too much) time thinking about what they're going through and what would be most helpful. It's exhausting for me and stressful, but it's personally not an option not to care. I end up internalizing this stuff and it affects my normal activities, even though at the end of the day, I'm not the one suffering. I want to be as good a friend and resource as possible to these people I truly care about and also want to avoid falling victim to anxiety or depression myself because of it. Any tips from either the 'been there' - depressed and knows what's helpful - perspective or the sincerly-caring-friend side of this equation would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Hi, I have a friend who is incredibly heartbroken. His girlfriend and he broke up after a very long relationship, and I don't think it was a clean breakup, but he has not told me what happened exactly (I suspect she was cheating on him). Let us call him George to make this flow more easily. [more inside]
I'm sure that my friend (who lives cross-country) is dealing with un-diagnosed untreated mental illness. I'm 99% sure it's bipolar disorder, based on lots of information and evidence. I don't want this thread to be about diagnosing, but rather about how to help (I think we can agree that the steps I should take to help would be largely the same regardless of what he's grappling with, right?). [more inside]
I'm obsessed with my friend? (snowflake details inside). [more inside]
"Emotional affairs" and being a good partner to someone with severe depression: I need a friend, but this new friendship is moving fast and I'm about 99% sure that my partner will be massively upset if she finds out. What do I do? [more inside]
How to establish emotional boundaries but still help depressed friend? [more inside]
[emotional blathering filter] YANAT, but I need a little help untangling my jumbled feelings. How to deal with deep feelings of resentment and sadness and get back to focusing on what's really important to me? [more inside]
My extremely-gifted best friend halfway across the world was depressed and then recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Now she's nearly suicidal. I'm in over my head and I don't know what to do... [more inside]
"Is it the sea you hear in me, its dissatisfactions? Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness?"
How do I deal with my (very insecure and overly sensitive) friend's tendency to take things said in passing as deep, personal criticisms? I used to be able to take it in stride but his recent prescription steroid treatments have ramped this trait up to stratospheric levels. [more inside]
Do people prone to depression and similar illnesses tend to (unwittingly?) form social groups together?
Do people prone to depression and similar illnesses tend to (unwittingly?) form social groups together? [more inside]
How can I stop feeling broken and try to make friends without baggage? [more inside]
Should I try to reconnect with someone I went No Contact with? It's been a couple of months and the person is depressed and isolated. [more inside]
How do I deal with criticism from a friend? How do I ensure that said criticism is meant to be constructive and not just spiteful? [more inside]
Service plan for friend with clinical depression - what can we do? Last resort ahead. [more inside]
My friend is deeply depressed and is trying to cut herself off from me and her other friends. How can I try to help her? Key questions: 1) Any suggestions on how to try to convince her that I genuinely want to stick around and be her friend and it's not just out of obligation, and/or other other ways to respond to her trying to push me away? 2) She's given up on hope of any treatment or improvement-- I think she might be borderline and that DBT could be a good fit for her regardless-- any suggestions of what I could send her about DBT and/or BPD (or anything else) that would have the best chance of getting through to her and giving her hope that things can get better? [more inside]
"You hate your life; happy birthday!" Help me compose a message for a friend in need. [more inside]
What more can I do to help a very dear friend who suffers from bipolar disorder and is currently having a very difficult time, both as a result of his illness and due to outside factors? I am also bipolar, so I kind of know what he's going through. Lengthy but informative explanation of his circumstances and history follows. [more inside]
The New Year is approaching and I need some guidance on how to move forward with my life. [more inside]
Every night that he comes home and winds up browsing the internet for hours, I feel like I'm going to scream. Am I a nagging worrywort, is my boyfriend mildly depressed, or both? And what's the best way to work on it? [more inside]
What happened to my ability to trust in and connect with people? How do I regain it? [more inside]
What to do when depression disrupts your relationships? [more inside]
Okay, so my friend cried in front of me. This isn’t usually a big deal for me, but for some reason this little episode has totally unnerved me. A huge plate of overthought beans await inside. [more inside]
I told my friends I was considering suicide and they stopped speaking to me. Should I reach out to them?
I went through a bad depression and my two of my best friends stopped talking to me when I told them how I was feeling. Should I try to save the friendships? [more inside]
I had a shitty birthday today that seemed to confirm all my suspicions about my friendships, and my life in general, and now I'm not sure how to rebound. [more inside]
I’m worried about an old friend of mine who lives far away and has been going through some tough times. I want to be a good friend to her, but I fear that she might rely a little too much on my long-distance friendship. [more inside]
My best friend, who lives about 300 miles away from me, and I had made plans to get together for Christmas, along with our other best friend, for whom I paid 600 bucks to fly out here so we all could be together. Now 300-mile away best friend has e-mailed me with a weak excuse and cancelled his visit here. I know he's not adjusting well to his new home, and seems to be isolating himself from everyone, including me. I'm hurt and angry. How best to address this situation?
A very good, close friend of mine for at least 16 years, recently revealed something to me . . . [more inside]