How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Keane Your Own Question
Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Keane is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A dear friend whom I love very much has vacillated over the

Customer Question

A dear friend whom I love very much has vacillated over the years between what seems akin to 'my reality' to an altered state. In 'my reality', we are the best of friends, communicating well, vulnerable, honest, open and helpful to one another. That's when I experience a wonderful closeness and kinship. When he switches to an 'altered state', he is cold. He hears voices, believes others are out to get him and capture him, including me. He believes that I am manipulative and controlling and communicates with me as if I am a longer his best friend, love and family. Then he cycles round and round again. As do I, in response to the drama. It's been a stressful 7 years to say the least. I'm co-dependent and he's schizophrenic. Labels aside, I still love him, I care for him, and it just hurts. I've spent many years trying to understand him, and me in this dynamic psycho drama. How do I break away?
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 in a Q&A format. 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 using JustAnswer. I am very sorry that your friend is struggling with these symptoms of his Schizophrenia, I can understand how distressing this can be for him and you as well. Codependency is a difficult issue to overcome, and nearly everyone cannot overcome it on their own given that their are many underlying issues that cause the codependency. Have you every tried therapy or willing to undergo therapy with a psychologist that specializes in Codependency to help you break away? Have you read any materials on codependency to help you try to break away?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have tried all ... I am well educated on the subject, also on mental health issues. In my work I'm often sought out by attorneys and psychologists to help explain aspects of mental illness, in terms of how different personalities play out in family court dynamics. I'm well versed, and helpful to others...but the stark truth is, labels aside, symptoms aside, education and experience aside, buzz words aside, I love my friend, I love my family members (many of whom are also quite ill...ergo some of my personal experience). Real love is deep. There are no pat answers. Looking for purpose and understanding beyond the norm.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

So if you have tried it "all" than there is not much else you can do to break away. Loving someone is completely different than being codependent as your codependency is a element of an unhealthy relationship that is typically one-sided and possibly destructive for you. Codependency is where you give up your individuality for the other person and the relationship, which makes it all the more difficult to break away because part of your identity will be taken away too. This is why you must continue with more indepth therapy as this is a systematic process of treatment. In addition, you may also want to consider group therapy or support groups as well as the addition of that to your treatment regimen can be more helpful for you. Researching it and knowing how codependency works is not enough,as you have to start treating the issue with therapy to help you break away.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well...thanks for the reply. Truthfully, I don't find your responses very helpful. I was seeking more compassionate feedback, with less presumption. Your suggestion seems pretty flippant to me. I may be codependent, and in process, in treatment, sad and in group, working with a therapist...but I am honest. Wish you all the best.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry you feel that way. I understand how difficult this is for you, but there is a limit to this forum as it is only a Q&A forum, so I was only doing my best to answer your question of how to break away. Its impossible to provide a step by step plan as this is deeply organic issue that will evolve over time and that is why you need to seriously consider more indepth therapy for treatment and to help you break away. I wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, though honestly I'm not appreciative of your advice. Quick stock answers for deeply personal issue. My mistake. Feels like a waste of $34.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Like I said there is a limit to what can be done in this type of Q&A forum. I understand that you want something more indepth, but you have to admit this is a complicated issue that has spanned years so a simple answer for that is nearly impossible. As I stated before there is no step by step plan on how to break away, and the only viable answer to your specific question is that you need to consider more indepth therapy and a more focus on breaking away and following through with that. I am sure you can write a novel about your experiences with this individual, which just shows how complicated this is and why a simple answer to this complicated issue is near impossible. You may have possibly misunderstood the nature of this website as we only provide specific answers to specific questions and with mental health treatment it is not so cut and dry like that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am absolutely sure you are right in all you say ... but to suggest I enroll in an in-depth therapy program to deal with my issues is not original, helpful, compassionate or particularly astute. I will request a refund.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Its the only viable answer unfortunately and the only thing that will work for you. Good luck and i wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is not the only thing that will work for me. You don't know me, haven't asked me any questions. You do not know that this is the only thing that will work for me. Seriously, your statement is your opinion - you do not know. Nobody knows. Good luck to you as well.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

You stated that you have "tried it all" and then you explained how well versed you are in mental health and codependency. So any materials or research I provide for you would have only been redundant. Therapy is dynamic and can be individualized to the specific person, which is why it will be helpful to you and that is a professional opinion. I wish this forum provided therapy, but unfortunately it does not so all i can do is suggest it.

Related Mental Health Questions