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09 Mar 2004

Concerned about my friend
Hi there Cybershrink

I have known this friend of mine for over 9 years, I think I am her only real friend, and even our friendship is strange, in the sense that during those 9 years she will sometimes just drop off the face of the earth, withdraw into her own world and does not seem interested in maintaining friendships. Now I don't take it to heart cause I feel that she really does need somebody, or at least to know that there is somebody out there.She lacks confidence to such an sxtreme that sometimes she cannot even make eye contact with me.She says she hates herself and cannot see anything good in her, she does have a good job, but I think that it is a struggle for her as she doesn't feel deserving of anything. There is a lot more info that I could give but that would take a while.

I would just like to know is there anything specific which could cause this, like past experience, I have noticed that she really does not like talking about her childhood or family etc. And what I can try to help her.


Answer 384 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Buddi,
She sounds like a woman who (a) is lucky to have a good and thoughtful friend like you, and (b) who really, really, needs to see a shrink for some in-depth counselling to sort herself out, to lose all that undeserved self-hate, and to reach the happier life she deserves.
Actually, what "caused" this state is much less important than you might think, as cure or at least major improvement does not depend on the results of an archeological dig into her past ( to the extent that the past is relevant, it will enter discussion with her counsellor in relation to its impact on her present ) ; but on attention to her current problems, the automatic thoughts and attitudes she has derived from the past, the extent to which these are actually illogical and unhelpful in practice, and the extent to which she can reject those that test out to be fruitless, and replace them with more fruitful and helpful conclusions.
If you can encourage her to see a psychologist, to work on her problems and their relief, that would be truly helpful. From your description, she should be able to do well, but would need more skilled and complex interventions than a good and sincere friend could provide on his/her own.
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