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Old 11-04-2021, 12:00 AM   #1
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Confused Advice for Helping Encourage/Motivate a Friend

Sorry if this is wordy: I'm a writer, so it comes with the territory. A bonus sorry if this is in the wrong forum. I'm new.

My best friend is in college, and I don't know if it's burnout, stress, depression, or a cocktail of the three, but it's difficult for her to do homework and go to classes anymore. I want to help motivate her, but after a stint of depression or something that began two years ago (I basically had no mood for anything except watching Chuggaaconroy LPs), I feel like I lost any ability to motivate or sometimes even help her. (Granted, I couldn't even motivate myself during that time.)

I feel awful because I want to help, but I don't know how.
"Crying when you need to cry is another way to show strength." -Fai D. Flourite, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles
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Old 11-04-2021, 03:07 AM   #2
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Smile Re: Advice for Helping Encourage/Motivate a Friend

Hi Kaitoviolet, and welcome!

Have you tried to seek temporary counseling from your school's wellness center. many of them offer free counseling.

I'm no professional, but I have read up on studies concerning compassion fatigue, which can happen to anyone. Compassion fatigue is not always an outcome of caregiving or helping someone, but when the need is excessive, it can affect the helpers.

You might also have a lower threshold for helping others, especially if you have more coursework and more responsibilities these days. In this case, it may not be compassion fatigue, but rather just fatigue.

It might help to journal about this. Explore yourself, your stressors, your relationship with this person. You can also do a google search on compassion fatigue to see if it matches what you're experiencing.

You aren't obligated to help your friend. You can only do what you have energy and resources to do. You can set boundaries and limitations on how much you can help, or you can simply tell your friend that you care, but you don't know the best way to help her. You can also ask your friend to seek free counseling at the school's wellness center, or to utilize the healthcare that sometimes comes with enrollment to find a therapist off-campus. Your friend might need professional help that you can't offer anyway.

Hope this helps.
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