Supporting A Friend Who’s Supporting A Friend

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I just caught up with Amanda for a drink and a chat. She’s been having quite the rough time of late. As it turns out, it’s been more stressful for her than I’d imagined. She’s just found out that her cousin, who she used to be close to before he moved to Europe, has been diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease.

Apparently, the cousin has had confirmation from a neuropsychologist that this is in fact what’s happening, and that the condition, while not very advanced, has been percolating for some time. Now Amanda is feeling pressure to get over to the Netherlands or Finland (or wherever the cousin is currently), but feels she has too much on her plate what with the new baby and the company and all. This has been causing her significant stress and anxiety, and affecting her sleep. 

My thoughts are that Amanda should get some psychological assistance herself – there’s nothing to be gained from her neglecting her mental health, after all. There are plenty of good psychologists on the Mornington Peninsula, right? Some counselling, at least, seems in order, as far as I can see – there’s a lot to process.

I recall this being something that benefited my mother when both of her parents were suffering significant health crises. Actually, I think it might have been a psychiatrist that she ended up seeing; she was experiencing pretty severe insomnia, and ended up going on a treatment plan that involved a couple of courses of medication. I wonder if I should pass on the details of the Mornington psychiatry clinic my mother went to.

I don’t know, though. Part of my feels like I shouldn’t try to offer Amanda solutions so much as be supportive of whatever she determines is best for her. After all, I’m no mental health professional, nor can I pretend to understand what she’s going through.

Having said that, I do firmly believe that the value of getting professional psychological assistance at times like this cannot be overstated. It won’t solve Amanda’s problem, but it may give her access to resources for dealing with it.