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Concerns About a Friend

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I'm not going to say who it is or go into specifics. My friend is a really nice guy, but he has a lot of problems. Like many people, he's had a rough life. He is definitely not unscathed by it, and he suffers through episodes of mental illness. For over a month, he's been symptomatic, and I have not been in contact with him in several weeks. The mental illness makes him a very different person, and the last time he did contact me, he wasn't very nice. I realize it's not how he is deep down, but it's been hard on me nonetheless. I've tried to contact him since then to see if he's okay, but those attempts have been fruitless. I wish I could do something, but it seems truly hopeless. :(

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I'm not a clinical social worker but it seems to me like sometimes you just gotta leave a person alone for a while.

Your friend may or may not be ok but there's not much you can be beyond letting him know that you'll be here for him if and when he needs you. Pressing into it will push him away and irrite him more and I've come to realize that offering help to people who aren't looking for help is extremely counter-productive. Give him time to come back to his senses, however months it may take. Unless he's clearly heading into a position that's endangering himself or people around him, don't meddle.

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The only thing you can do is be there for him when he needs you. Now we all know that you are grumpy and mean and sarcastic, but that's only on the outside. You're a good friend. Take the crap from him and give love back and he'll keep coming back because he knows your there for him, taking the knocks, no strings attached. In the meantime send him positive thoughts and try not to worry because that sends you off balance. If you believe in that sort of thing... or maybe even if you don't light a candle in the window to light his way back.

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