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How Do I Help a Friend Who Is Acting Strange?

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From a young man in the U.S.:  My friend is totally different from 2 years ago he had a job was friendly fun and other things then all of a sudden he was different

he curses anyone out spits at people that he doesn’t even know one time in Wal-Mart he asked this boy that wasn’t paying him no mind what he looking at and almost got in a fight with him this happened many of times to the point his family rarely takes him anywhere

he does stuff that he should know is not right he lost his job from acting like this one time I caught him in his room talking to like five people but no one was there he talks to his self mumbled to his self he doesn’t like care about grooming his self no more he goes on rants just saying stuff that doesn’t make sense he wears these dark shades every where even in the house all day

his parents put him out because he cursed them out and got into a fight with his father he wouldn’t stop smoking in there house after they told him over and over he moved with his sister and her boyfriend his sister said he be okay then just switch he cursed her out called her out her name because she told him what to not do in her house it’s like he’s a kid he can make you very angry fast somehow from what he does and stuff he says like he just stares at the boyfriend then just laughs then start talking to his self

he sleeps in the basement which has a full bathroom in it he still goes all the way to the bathroom all the way on the third floor when it’s even a bathroom on the second floor she said he might light his cigarette right in front of her and she ask him what you doing you know I don’t allow that I have kids and he says I do what I want then goes on a rant and curses her out he sometimes just ask the boyfriend which pays him no mind, what you trying kill me what you trying get me and then go to the bathroom and come back and ask him can he drive him to the store like he don’t remember what just happened just trying to see what’s really wrong.

How Do I Help a Friend Who Is Acting Strange?

Answered by on -


It sounds to me like your friend is in very serious trouble. He needs a mental health evaluation. Scolding him, putting him out of a house, or giving in to him isn’t going to do a bit of good. People who love him need to get him an appointment for a mental health assessment ASAP!

This is serious enough that I think the family should talk to a local mental health clinic about whether there is an option for an involuntary hospitalization if he refuses to go for an evaluation. (You can look up the regulations for your state on the internet.) From what you report, he’s so out of touch with reality that I worry he may be at risk of hurting himself or making himself sick – or even burning the house down with his smoking habits.

I’m very, very glad you wrote. This young man deserves treatment, not judgment. I hope you will follow through and advocate for getting him the help he desperately needs.

I wish him well.

Dr. Marie

How Do I Help a Friend Who Is Acting Strange?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). How Do I Help a Friend Who Is Acting Strange?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2020 (Originally: 9 May 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2020
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