By Erin Osman
“Someone I know had their heart broken nearly a year ago. But they aren’t able to get over it. Therapy didn’t work, and their anxiety is skyrocketing. I want to be there for them but every time anyone tries they get pissed off at them. As a result, they are cutting themselves off from everyone. I have no idea what to do in this situation.”
Experiences of heartbreak are different for everyone. Some can genuinely get over a break-up in a matter of weeks, others might still lament the relationship years after it ends. Heartbreak also manifests itself in a number of different ways: anxiety, depressive episodes, lack of motivation, loss of appetite. The effect heartbreak can have both physically and psychologically is very intense and very real.
I’d say the best thing you can do for your friend is to be there for them. This is probably the most basic advice going, but then again probably the best and most effective. There is nothing, realistically, that you can do to make that person feel better in the long run. But you can be a good friend to them. By letting them know you’re there when they need you, you will be doing so much more than you think.
You don’t necessarily have to do anything drastic, just letting them know you’re there is enough. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to try and ‘save’ them – people can only save themselves, at the end of the day.
Without sounding too patronising, keep an eye on them. I can totally understand your worries about their levels of anxiety and their cutting ties with people. This must be really sad to see, and it’s very difficult to help someone when they are rejecting that help.
So again, just be there. Let them know how much you care about them and that you’ll be there when they need you. Try and suggest activities that the two of you can do, without even mentioning the heartbreak. They might not be up for a night out, but try inviting them on a walk, for example, or even a study session at the library.
Kisses, Aunt Angela x
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