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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I have a friend, Gracie, who has had cancer and I have

Customer Question

Good evening, I have a friend, Gracie, who has had cancer and I have walked beside her and been there for her. My best friend, Bonna Jean and I like to help others and we help Gracie. Bonna and I have both suffered angst from darts and zingers thrown at us by angry words at times from Gracie. Bonna Jean and I feel like we're walking on eggs when around Gracie because we never know what will set her off. I heard something that made sense to me the other day and that is: lovers will be lovers and haters will be haters. Bonna Jean and i like harmonious relationships with people. The angst we feel concerning our relationship with Gracie is painful. Do you have any advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for your question. Unfortunately individuals with cancer can cause irritability issues...even the cancer treatments themselves can cause such irritability issues as a direct result from the cancer or treatment, or possibly as a result from a mood disorder (e.g. depression). It may be best for you and your best friend to try to give Gracie space and not try to be as helpful to her because some people with these irritability issues may prefer to be alone more. I know that you want to help her and be there for her, but sometimes giving someone space is helping. Also if Gracie is open to talking about her mood swings and irritability than you may want to suggest that she see a psychiatrist for a prescription of psychotropic medications or to see a psychologist/therapist to undergo individual or group therapy. Lastly you and your best friend are not responsible for Gracie's mood and irritability, only she is. So you and Bonna Jean must accept this limitation and that you can only help her so much, but if she chooses to not accept her mood issues, see a proper professional, or respond to you providing space than that is her choice on the matter.

I hope this answers your question and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.

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