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"Friend' wants to be my therapist.........bit of a rant really!

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Doitforfree, May 16, 2012.

  1. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    People like this really wind me up! I have a friend who does something similar, though not in relation to depression. If I mention anything I'm interested in or that's a problem she tries to take it over and offers lots of unwanted help. But she's a lovely lady so I've got quite adept at ignoring her or steering her in another direction. If she offers to do things I don't want I just never fix a date or I find I'm always too busy. I think it boils down to her having problems of her own.
  2. Sort of. When I went back to work after a work place stress related illness (I don't wish to be more specific than this on here), one of my colleagues told me that he didn't understand why I was signed off and had therapy because as a Psychology Teacher, I should have known how to manage my stress and shouldn't have needed it (the therapy)! I was absolutely incensed and flabbergasted! To begin with, I argued the toss by explaining that there's a difference between academic and experential (first hand) knowledge, to which he concended that I had a valid point, but he still had a 'I know better than you attitude'. At that point, I realised that he was ignorant about the nature of my illness, how my work situation triggered it and about mental disorders in general and decided that I wasn't going to waste my energy on arguing with such a person anymore, so I changed the subject.
    A few weeks later, I was more specific about the nature of my illness and what prompted me to see my GP. Of course, he was then full of 'oh, I didn't realise it was that bad! Why didn't you tell me? In my culture we share everything (his culture is different to mine-his is non western) blah blah' but by then I'd had enough! I never discussed it with him again and since leaving the job, I've never been in contact with him since, as his attitude added to my problems!
    In short, I'm saying to you that your health is your business and no-one else's and what you 'should' say and do is what you feel with at a particular time.
    From what you've written, it sounds like your new 'friend' is waiting for you to tell her how good the bach's remedy was (no substiture for proper medication, I found) and how much her counselling has helped you to feel better etc, so what I (I as in me not I as in you must) would do is to say thanks very much, it was very thoughtful of you to give me the bach's stuff and to listen to me but, the bach's is not doing anything for me and when I spoke to my GP (or whoever you see), she/he told me not to mix it with my meds. I don't know why, she/he just said that they don't mix. Also, no offence but I don't really want to talk about the depression etc anymore because I get upset it about when I talk about it which makes me feel worse (this is what I said to people and they backed off immediately),
    if she persists, I would keep saying as I said, I don't want to talk about it anymore and change the subject. I might even ask your OH to talk to his friend (her OH) on your behalf and ask him to ask her to lay off a bit if she doesn't get the message from you.
    We also disagree on depression. She thinks that holistically I'm causing my own depression, with negative thoughts, but since I go through these highs and lows, that don't actually coincide with what is going right or wrong with my life, I disagree. i have a medical cyclical mood disorder, which I think I cope with extremely well!
    She clearly knows little about or has misunderstood the nature of depression as a disorder. One of the symptoms of depression is the triad of impairments (negative thoughts), so to claim that the cause is also the result is a flawed argument, especially as the type of depression that you describe is more biological than psychological in nature (as you correctly stated). How do we know this? Because as you said, it often has no apparent cause which suggests that it can't just be psychological factors alone (e.g. negative thoughts as your 'friend' said). Of course, there is a criticism of this argument too but I'll spare you the A-level Psychology lecture on evaluation of explanations of depression ! LOL!
    HTH and let us know how you get on!

  3. Lol! Actually, now that you've mentioned it, i realize that she did that when we first met too, offering to help with some house projects...... I think she might be a bit lonely. Anyway, thanks for replies/advice. I'll keep fobbing her off, and say something if she keeps pushing the point. x
  4. Thanks abjfan... sorry I spent so long typing my last post, i missed yours. She did actually ask about the Bach's and I did exactly that, told her that I really appreciated it, but to be honest, within a few days of taking it, i was feeling worse. She offered to make me another one... I nicely declined, and said that I was going to go back on medication (not true! I use CBT, and just muddle along as best as I can as I don't like the side effects, and at least when I'm depressed, I know what I'm dealing with and how to deal with it)

    We're having dinner with them and a few others this weekend, so I'll post back!
  5. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Could you try and problematise her interest in and obvious fascination with your depression, and try to counsel her? I wonder whether you could explore with her why she is so interested in this sort of issue, why the need to try to 'fix' it? Where does this come from.... childhood issues? Trauma?
  6. Thank you! This made me smile! Might be worth a try! [​IMG]

    She does honestly seem a bit over-interested. I think she's trying to be 'kind' but I do find it a bit condescending, especially since we don't know each other that well. Her attempts to 'help' me, i see as her putting herself in a superior position to me, whereas, those of us here who battle with depression/cyclothymic/anxiety I think have developed an inner strength to have to try to deal with these issues, and still work and function in the 'real' world. I don't see my illness as a 'weakness'. I do wonder how one of these apparently 'normal' (I use the word very loosely!) would cope with one of my worst days.....

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