Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

After I moved schools two years ago, my best friend is feeling lonely. She says no one in her family listens to her problems and she is getting more depressed with every passing day. She says she will die alone. This scares me, I don’t know what will happen to her? I don’t know what to do. I’m helpless. I can’t even take her to a psychiatrist. Please help. - CONCERNED FRIEND

It’s great that you’re still a good source of support for your friend despite changing schools two years ago. However, two years is a long time, and it’s unusual that she has not made even one new friend after you left. Perhaps there’s something deeper going on that is making her feel so upset. You’re right in that it is not going to be easy for you to tackle this on your own. If you were best friends, you must have some contact with her family members. Speak to her parents privately and tell them that you are worried about her and want to get her help, but are unsure of how to proceed. Then look to them for guidance on the matter. Continue to support your friend and suggest that she visit the school counsellor or talk to a teacher she is comfortable with. If she is adamant about getting help, tell her politely but firmly that listening to her negative thoughts has made you very worried about her wellbeing, and you will only be able to support her if she takes the initiative to get better.

Relationships, office politics, peer pressure, teacher trouble... mail your questions to nxg.nextgen@gmail.com. Mark "Good Grief" in the subject line.

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