Is my friend mentally ill?

Ask A Therapist OnlineIs my friend mentally ill?
Jonathan asked 12 years ago

Basically my question is, what does this sound like? because I honestly have no diea. This is from my friend’s diary: “I don’t know where I am again- I’m seeing things, I’m acting wierd again. I’m having another problem, the others keep taking control. How can I tell anyone? i dont ant them to think I’m crazy. I have to write this now, cause I will forget it later. My head is always hurting, badly. I remember things that never even happened. My family thinks I’m stupid, my emotions are not working. My O.C.D is horrible. I can’t stand to move cause I hear noises that scare me. I want to cry, but that doesnt work, and then I feel angry. if I just had some closure, if I knew what I am dealing with, maybe I could get better, and make all this stop. I wish I knew what I am suffering from. I try to dress like everyone else so people don’t think im crazy. School is about to start, and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know where I am sometimes. What if I write the wrong name or date on my papers? Sometimes I laugh out loud at what I hear in my head, and last school year I had to cope with that. See right now I can feel my mind slipping like it so often does. Starting to forget the things I was saying. I have to go before it gets worse. bye.” What do you think she suffers from? She is always distant, and sometimes she tells me the things she sees are to big, or way to small. Like plates and things. Her head is always hurting, and yesterday she said she was in Sleepy Hallow. Please help.

1 Answers
Best Answer
Insight Psychological Staff answered 12 years ago

I’m curious to know more about the behavioral aspects that you’ve noticed in your friend. How often does this occur? Was this a sudden change you noticed in her, or more gradual? Do you believe she is at risk of harming herself or another person? If so, seeking medical attention for your friend would be the main priority at this point. If you believe there is no risk currently, I have some further questions. Have you acknowledged your concerns to her?

Without knowing her history, it is difficult to say exactly what is going on with your friend. I’d be curious about any sudden onset of stress. Some individuals can experience symptoms similar to psychiatric disorders in response to stressful situations. Some individuals are predisposed to such issues and symptom expression can occur due to external/environmental factors. If this isn’t the case, then I would want to know more about her family history. Because there is a genetic component to some mental illnesses, it would be beneficial to determine if this would be a factor in your friend’s case.

I’m also curious about how the relationship with her other friends and family members are. Do they have similar concerns as you? How have they responded to her? At this time, I suggest having an open conversation with her, emphasizing the reasoning behind it. That is, your care and concern towards her. Perhaps by starting out with something like “I’m your friend, I care about you, and I’m worried. This is difficult for me to talk to you about, but because I care for you, I think it’s important.” If she can feel understood and supported by those close her, this may ease the process for her to seek professional help. I would suggest helping your friend with finding support in your community that she may be willing to try- whether this be therapy/counseling or an appointment with her family doctor.