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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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justmeg Offline
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dealing with friends - February 27th 2012, 03:00 AM

i think this is the right category for this...

so two of my really close friends have been having a really hard time lately with stress and anxiety issues. one of them is one of my best friends from home. she's actually been dealing with major anxiety for a few years now (she only recently opened up about it). she's been self-medicating all through high school to keep her anxiety attacks under control, but she's just recently reached out to a therapist in hopes of dealing more directly with the problem. whenever she talks about about it, i want to be able to help, but since i really don't know all that much about anxiety attacks it's hard... (i think i've only had a minor one once or twice). i feel really bad because she ends up doing all this talking and i don't really know what to say to help/make her feel better...

my roommate has also been dealing with pretty bad social anxiety. it's the same thing really - she ends up doing all this talking and i really don't know what kind of advice to give because i dont really have to deal with social anxiety (i mean, my life is basically socially awkward penguin, but for the most part i dont get too worked up about shit like that).

i just feel bad that i end up sitting there and trying to care it's not that i don't care...it's just hard to empathize when i don't really know what they're going through. any advice on how to help them? i know sometimes it's just nice to have someone to talk to so you can get things off your chest, but it just feels like i'm not doing anything for them...
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Re: dealing with friends - February 27th 2012, 03:18 AM

You need to understand that you are doing alot for them! Sometimes all a friend needs it to have someone that will listen. So although you may feel bad that you don't have much to say, you are still saying something - but its not verbal. You are saying that you care, and are there to listen. Trust me, your Friend(s) understand that you are there and that you care even without you verbally saying it. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

So don't get down on yourself. Keep doing what you are doing - support them, be there for them, care for them, and most importantly just listen when they need to talk. Thats what a true friendship is all about.




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I hope you know that you deserve it all. The best, the most honest, the most beautiful purest love in the world. Not only to be loved by others, but to be loved by yourself. To look in the mirror and think "Yes, I'm exactly who I want to be". To speak up and be proud of yourself. To be brave and open. You deserve the nicest and most caring people to walk into your life. You deserve it all, you know. The whole world...
   
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Re: dealing with friends - February 27th 2012, 03:30 AM

I agree with Chris. Just by listening, you are already doing so much for them! Through being supportive, listening, and giving them that time to vent or get things off of their chest, you are probably helping a lot more than you realize. So, even if you aren't able to say much, I'm sure your friends are very grateful that they have such a wonderful friend who cares so much. Take care!



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Re: dealing with friends - February 27th 2012, 03:45 AM

Like Chris said, you don't have to solve your friends' problems by giving them the "answers" or "solutions." Oftentimes, the best (and only) thing you can do for a friend is to listen. You may not understand what severe anxiety feels like, but you can understand they are in pain. You know what pain feels like, so you can empathize with their feeling pain on a daily basis. You can show you'll be there for them, and that you care. =)

In addition to basic empathy, why not educate yourself on anxiety disorders? We have articles on TeenHelp about anxiety, resources/websites about anxiety, and you can always do a Google search or check books out from your local library. You don't have to understand the disorders on a professional/advanced level, but you can learn about the basic symptoms and forms of treatment. Your friends will be pleasantly surprised when they're talking about therapy, and you say something like, "Oh yeah, I read about breathing/relaxation techniques, I hope that works well for you!"






   
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Re: dealing with friends - February 27th 2012, 04:18 PM

I know when i speak to people i dont actually want the answers, more for someone to just get that im feeling awful. Listening does so much for people but also give them a hug maybe?
   
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Re: dealing with friends - February 29th 2012, 06:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemma. View Post
I know when i speak to people i dont actually want the answers, more for someone to just get that im feeling awful. Listening does so much for people but also give them a hug maybe?
understandable...i would totally give them a hug if i were there! i usually talk to my one friend back home via fb chat or text, and my roommate is hardly ever in our room, so same thing - fb chat or text...

thanks to everyone else for advice as well, much appreciated! hopefully things will work out for the best
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Re: dealing with friends - February 29th 2012, 08:05 PM

I'm going to close this thread now. If you would like it reopened feel free to PM myself or PSY; or just make a new thread!


Best wishes,
Chris


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I hope you know that you deserve it all. The best, the most honest, the most beautiful purest love in the world. Not only to be loved by others, but to be loved by yourself. To look in the mirror and think "Yes, I'm exactly who I want to be". To speak up and be proud of yourself. To be brave and open. You deserve the nicest and most caring people to walk into your life. You deserve it all, you know. The whole world...
   
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