DEAR ABBY: I am friendly with a married couple. The husband, "Grant," is my best friend and we talk about everything. He married "Sharon" last summer.
I have known for a while that Grant didn't want to get married. Sharon, however, was elated. Now they have been married for nine months, Grant tells me he can't continue on, that he is unhappy.
I have begged him to level with Sharon. He keeps making excuses. When I talk with her, she tells me she has the feeling he doesn't want to be married anymore.
I want to let Grant tell her, but I feel I should say something because he hasn't. What should I do?
- Caught in the Middle
DEAR CAUGHT: Step back and keep your mouth shut. It is Grant's job to find the courage to tell his wife he made a mistake by marrying her. While it may be painful for her to hear, it probably won't come as a shock, from what she's telling you. You help neither of them by letting them discuss their marital problems with you instead of with each other.
DEAR ABBY: When I was 15, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, severe anxiety and social phobia. I am now 20 and have been on countless medications and tried different forms of therapy. I am exhausted from trying my hardest to feel better internally only to find myself where I started.
What's your best advice for young adults dealing with crippling mental illness? How can we live our lives without fear of being shunned for our illness?
- Frustrated in Washington
DEAR FRUSTRATED: There is still ignorance, stigma and fear about mental illness mostly because it is misunderstood. However, 50 percent of adults will have a diagnosable mental illness at some time in their lives. You need to find a mental-health professional you can trust and confide in, and have another thorough evaluation done.
In recent years newer drugs and therapies are being used that may help you, so you shouldn't give up. In a case like yours, a combination of medication and talk therapy can be helpful.