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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi there, My name is Sarah, and I have a friend who is experiencing

Resolved Question:

Hi there,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have a friend who is experiencing very debilitating depression and anxiety, more so than she has ever experienced before. She is very scared because she doesn't believe that it will ever end. While she is working with a therapist, she doesn't resonate with her very much. She has also working with a psychopharmacologist for a little over one week, but she is not feeling like anything is changing. She has her next psycho-pharm evaluation on Monday. She tried going to a day program at a local hospital, but the experience felt very irrelavent to since most of the folks there were experiencing some sort of psychosis, maina, substance abuse issues and most were homeless. She is open to going to a day program or even being admitted to a hospital as long as she knows that there would be others people there who she could relate to. She has a very supportive network of friends and family, and her father is a psychologist - he is assured that she will get better, and while she believes him, she is currently in an immense amount of psychological pain.

This friend has asked me to come and stay with her for a few days to help her out, but I'm not sure what I can do to help her besides just be with her, take her to appointments and be a compassionate cheerleader. Is there anything more that you can suggest I do besides just be with her and hang out? Are there private mental health facilities where she could possibly be more comfortable than in a public hospital? She lives in Boston.

Many thanks,
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi Sarah, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like your friend may need to find a new therapist. Often, finding a therapist you can work with is like finding a family doctor. You need to see a few before you can find one that works for you. Your friend can ask her doctor for a referral or if she attends church, her pastor can help. She can also look on line at


I assume your friend has been diagnosed. From what you described of her symptoms, it sounds like she may have a depressive disorder and an anxiety disorder. It sounds as if outpatient therapy and medications should be helping her. Sometimes, different medications need to be tried before one will work. If what she is on now is not helping, she should try another medication.


It sounds like you are doing a lot to help your friend. Being there to support her is one of the most important things you can do to help. Taking her to appointments helps too. She probably appreciates someone going with her to help her hear instructions and to talk with her about her treatment. Also, when you talk with your friend, she needs reassurance. Anxiety causes a person to feel nothing is safe and that they are in danger most of the time. Reassurance that she is ok and nothing is going to hurt her can go a long way to help her refocus.


There are some books you can get for her as well. One is called The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Edmund J. Bourne. Another is The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by John P. Forsyth and Georg H. Eifert. For her depression, she can try The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by XXXXX XXXXX, XXXXX Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. For you, here is a book to help- The Real Friend's Guide To Depression by Mr. XXXXX XXXXX. You can find these on or your local library may have them available.


I hope this has helped you,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Many thank. That is all very helpful to know.