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by Abigail Van Buren

Friend Wants to Be Ready When Man Asks for Help

DEAR ABBY: I'm watching the slow-motion destruction of a childhood friend on Facebook. There is substance abuse, infidelity, divorce, the whole lot. It hurts.

He recently admitted that he has struggled with depression for years, but insists he isn't interested in seeing a doctor or a counselor. It sounds like he's been burned in the past. I know I can't do anything until he asks for help, but I intend to be there when he does. What resources are available for someone who is clinically depressed and self-medicating? -- TRYING TO HELP IN THE WEST

DEAR TRYING: Support groups for people who are depressed and/or have emotional issues exist. But to join one, the person must admit there is a problem and help is needed. Because your friend is resistant to the idea of professional help, you might suggest a group called Emotions Anonymous. It was started in 1971, and its mission is to help people who are experiencing emotional difficulties. It offers chat, Skype and phone meetings as well as in-person groups. If you would like more information, you can find it at emotionsanonymous.org.