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Helping someone with serious psychological issues
May 4, 2007
4:06 pm
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lightfree
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I will make this brief and hope for a quick response due to a delicate time.

I have a dearest friend who has Post dramatic Stress Disorder. I do not know if it is because of this he developed a codependency with a person who is not considerate of his serious psychological issues. Over the years the codependency grew out of control until it collapsed last year. From mid last year until February of this year, my friend has been going back and forth with this inconsiderate person.

After February this changes, because although he would still go back and forth with the inconsiderate person, he gradually became aware of what he was doing. He did end every possible connection with this inconsiderate person. About three weeks ago, my friend began living life as he should. He had plans(restraining order/ psychological help), wanted success and was ready to learn and teach.

Sadly, the inconsiderate person contacted him. They were going to begin to interact once again. I made the error of my life by becoming defensive, and confrontational to my friend. I asked him if he had forgotten about his plans of a restraining order and getting help. I believe I lost him and thusly he denied any of his plans and ignored his diagnosed disorder.

It has been weeks now since that occurred, he had begun trusting me again. But his codependency with the inconsiderate person is growing once again. I feel like my hands are tied because I cannot confront him with this. Yesterday I did try, once again I lost him. I decided to communicate to him I was done with trying to help him whether he needed help or not. I was going to be there for him and I would hope he did not get hurt. Yesterday it became clear he is now in a state of mind where he denies to any extend that he has a problem that is growing.

As I said, I feel trapped because I do not know how to help him. I could let things unfold with him and the inconsiderate person until he falls once again. But I am afraid that this might go on for months and I might lose him in the process and not be able to help him as it has occurred in the past.

I know that I shouldn't confront him, that is clear. But then, what do I do? Is there a way for me to help him end this without losing his trust?

Thank you,

-lightfree

May 4, 2007
4:17 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I think you will lose him if you KEEP pushing...more than if you let nature take it's course and let him work things out himself.

the more you push, the more he may push you away.

You seem to have a vested interest in what he does with this other person...and it almost seems like you are codependent on him...wanting to fix this for him...wanting to fix this situation and fix him...that can be codependent in and of itself.

Sometimes we have to watch the ones we love make bad choices...but in the end, it's their life and sometimes they need to learn the hard way.

The only thing you can do is stand by him no matter what he does - and accept him and his decisions....OR....walk away....you can't change his decisions or this situation.

You mention that you want to help him without losing his trust...how would you lose his trust? I'm not sure I see how this affects trust.

Your motives may be good ones, and your intentions genuine...but he may feel like you are interfering and it may destroy your relationship with him...if you want to preserve it, it may be best to let him learn on his own...otherwise, he may never learn...and keep repeating this same thing over and over.

May 4, 2007
6:41 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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My husband has a serious personality disorder. I can never change him more than he is willing to be changed and help himself no matter how much I love him. For years I cried and begged and had anxiety attacks all because I was trying to control him.
Care for your friend be there if he needs you, give him advice if he asks but let go and let him make his own decisions.

May 4, 2007
11:11 pm
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_anonymous
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It is not your responsibility to take care of your friends psychological issues. You are not responsible for your friends choice to interact with a dysfunctional person. You were being honest when you confronted your friend with your concerns. Your friend defended his stance and by doing so alienated you. Think of yourself first and stay away from your friend if his behavior continues to distress you.

May 5, 2007
2:38 am
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lightfree
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Thank you-

This situation is actually a bit more complex that I described. I do think I worry about him way too much, more than I should. I will surely focus on myself and let him live his life as it will unfold... and I'll try to be there for him without risking my own mental health.

Thank you all,

lightfree

May 5, 2007
4:52 am
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Anonymous
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begging and crying won'r help, as much as we wish it would.

How many shrinks does it take to change a Light bulb?

May 5, 2007
4:54 am
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Anonymous
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The light bulb first has to want to be changed.

Sorry for the old joke, but we need the reminder sometimes or we will need them to pass us their meds.

Wishing u strength.

P&L

May 5, 2007
9:09 pm
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gayle
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Very true P&L, very true

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