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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman's Withdrawal Concerns Longtime Neighborhood Friends

DEAR ABBY: My neighbors and I are extremely concerned about my next-door neighbor of 38 years, "Anne." She was always somewhat of a narcissist, and her husband has always been an unsociable, passive-aggressive bore who thinks he's always right.

Since he retired, Anne has been drinking. She even asked one of our neighbors' sons if he had any marijuana. She seems to live in a fantasy world and tells stories that aren't true.

Anne never talks to anyone on the phone anymore and has become isolated from most of her former friends. When people ring her doorbell, she pretends she isn't home. She is always with her husband and only expresses his likes, opinions and thoughts. He apparently likes these changes in his wife, but the rest of us find them alarming.

When we ask Anne if anything is wrong, she says "everything is fine." Do you think there is anything we can do to help her? -- SAN CARLOS NEIGHBOR

DEAR NEIGHBOR: Does Anne have any children or siblings that you know of? If the answer is yes, contact them and let them know there have been significant changes in her behavior and that you and the other neighbors are worried about her.

However, if she doesn't, and because she insists that everything is fine, make sure she knows that you and her other friends care about her. Tell her you are concerned because you rarely have contact with her, but will be there for her as always if she needs you.