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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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A friend of my daughters is having a hard time. She suffers

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A friend of my daughter's is having a hard time. She suffers from anxiety and possibly some other disorders. She had been on meds, however she does not want to go back to her doctor as even tho she is 19, apparently the dr. shares info with her mother. I believe their relations are rather strained. What does a friend do under these circumstances?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say that your daughter's friend is fortunate to have you and your daughter on her side. This is very unfortunate that the doctor is unwilling to maintain her patient confidentiality. In the US the doctor's actions to reveal what the patient says in confidence to anyone the patient does not give permission for would be both unethical AND illegal.


And this is actually the key to my answer to you. I don't know the privacy laws in Canada but I imagine they are similar. And an easy way to find out is to confer with your doctor and ask him/her whether she can expect more confidentiality from other doctors. If so, then that is the first step for her: to secure her own doctor and a psychologist or psychotherapist.

And this brings us to the specific case here. A book on anxiety is not a bad idea and it can be useful for her. But I am concerned by your statement that she self-harmed. That is not a typical behavior associated with anxiety disorders. It now brings other, more difficult problems to the table that must be examined and dealt with.

She needs to be evaluated and treated by a psychologist at this point as well as a psychiatrist. Why?

Because the self-cutting is pointing to some trauma based behavior on her part. And she needs to be evaluated for disorders dealing with that. So this is something you need to encourage for her. You need to be encouraging that she CAN feel better and whole. She can feel like a whole and healthy person. Encourage her to feel that this is possible. That she needs to take the steps to get there. And those steps begin by seeing a psychologist that she feels confidence in. Offer to help her interview psychologists so that she feels confident.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

For Dr. Mark,

Thank you for your advice. I do not know much of her past etc. I have a younger brother who lives in a Group Home, he got into drugs years ago, and was diagnosed as a Manic Depressive. I have only met him a couple of times, however I was informed by other family members that he did not hurt other people, only himself. Although my daughter is only 19, she is very good with people, however I am somewhat concerned about her safety.At this time I believe her friend is crying out for help not knowing where to turn. She is keeping in touch with me.Other friends however are not as understanding and have been very manipulative and cruel and have been putting things out on Facebook etc. Any suggestions on how to handle her friends who are being mean and manipulative. This is part of what is causing her to be so upset and having panic attacks etc.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.
The situation you are reporting sounds very tragic but I can't address it as she will have to address it in therapy. The interpersonal relationships with friends is so volatile at that age that for me to try to address it from a distance will only be counterproductive.

You are correct to monitor the effect on your daughter. So far you are reporting kindness and caring and that is good modeling for your daughter. However, you are correct that if the situation becomes too destabilized and your daughter is too involved and it is not healthy for her, then you will need to intervene.

Until then, though, being a help is a wonderful thing. But don't try to answer ALL or even most of the questions that she, the friend, will have to work on and make healthy in her life. That is something she will have to do with her therapist.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX
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