I am a high school student. I have many friends and acquaintances whom I dearly hold dear. However, this year I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, both of which have affected my relationships. I have. If a friend is sad, I will do my best to make them feel better (I have been assigned the role of “therapist’s friend”), but no matter what the outcome, I always feel sad. If my friends are happy, I am happy too. If my friends are depressed, so am I. My therapist described me as an “empath” and a “sponge”. I have yet to find a way to live my own independent life. I’m tired of feeling how I feel because of other people. what can i do? — Struggling in the Northwest
You are already working with a therapist. That’s good news. Now that you know what your diagnosis is, there are people out there who can help you manage your emotions so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Your therapist can help you find tools to accomplish this.
** ** **
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.Dear Abby Contact www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
** ** **
Order “How To Be Popular” for a great guide to becoming a better conversationalist and social person. Please send your name, mailing address, and $8 (US funds) check or money order to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. It is an inclusive price.)