Ask an expert

06 Feb 2013

Friend a victim of crime
A friend, who is also a work colleague was a victim of ''smash and grab'' late last year. A week ago, she was threatened and robbed of her cellphone whilst in peak hour traffic on the highway close to Johannesburg CBD. She is in a bad way, but refuses to seek counselling. She has now found another job in the south of Johannesburg (we work in the north) as she believes that it will never happen to her again if she moves away from the northern suburbs and the highways surrounding us. Her anxiety is rubbing off onto other staff members and apparently is now also causing problems in her marriage as she refuses to go anywhere without her husband accompanying her! I am actually getting annoyed with her as she becomes frantic when a black male even walks close to her or my car when we go out at lunchtime. I have told her that she needs to speak to someone about it. Her fear is rubbing off onto other people. We all know that we live in a crime-ridden country and that we can at any time be a victim. She waves her hands around, becomes red in the face and feels physically ill when it is time to leave the office in the afternoons. I have also been in a situation where my neckchain was almost ripped from my neck, but I have taken to not wearing gold jewellery, leaving all my bags in the boot of the car and my cellphone hidden in the compartment in my car door where no-one can see it. Maybe I am being harsh on her, but she needs to deal with what happened. She cannot go through life hiding in her home and not going anywhere because she may just become a victim of crime again. Advice please, how do I get through to her to make her see the importance in speaking to someone about it? Thank you.
Answer 335 views

01 Jan 0001

Its always sad when someone whol very obviously needs help, such as counselling, refuses to accept it. From the sound of it she is showing really clear signs of post-traumatic stress problems, needing and likely to respond really well, to proper treatment, and needs a careful assessment from a good psychiatrist and a discussion of treatment options.
Apart from very clearly explaining that her obviously distressing symptoms are naturally unpleasant for her but are also disturbing other people, and that there is highly effective treatment available which you urgen her to take advantage of, there's not a lot more you can do.
Has she a husband opr other family who could be approached and enlisted to help re-inforce this message ?
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
31% - 9520 votes
69% - 20870 votes