Helping you get through tough times

Ask the expert: Francesca McGuinn.

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<h2>Welcome to ReachOut.com’s Ask the Expert service</h2>
<p>Through this service the ReachOut.com team will be working with a group of professionals and experts with detailed and specialist knowledge of youth mental health issues such as anxiety and depression to answer your questions and address your concerns. The issues covered will be the same as those covered throughout ReachOut.com but through this service we will be able to provide valuable insight into more specific and personal concerns that you may have.</p>
<h2>March</h2>
<p>Each month we will concentrate on one particular mental health area and work, mainly, with one specific collaborator. Francesca McGuinn, from <a href=”http://www.teenbetween.ie/”>Teen Between</a>, was our featured expert for the month of March taking your questions about relationships or parental break-up, if you had concerns about yourself or someone else you know.</p>
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<h3><strong>Sophie<em> says:</em> </strong> <br /> I just kinda feel lIke everything I do is wrong I get a b on my history test so mum goes OH YOU COULD HAVE GOT AN A IF YOU CAREDENOUH I am moving back on the 12th bring it I really can’t wait I just have 3 bullies on my back so GET ME OUT OF BLOODY IRELAND please help …!!!;(</h3>
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<p>Hi Sophie</p>
<p>It does sound like you’re having a tough time and I’m sorry to hear that. There’s a lot going on for you too isn’t there, lots of changes – country , friends, school and, of course, the break-up of your parents. I can only imagine that your head must be full of worries, all muddled up together. I’m going to address the break-up of your parents if that’s ok? The conflict leading up to a parents’ separation, the separation itself and coming to terms with new living arrangements can be hugely stressful for everyone in the family, especially the children who can feel powerless and incredibly sad. Sometimes it’s hard for parents to be able to see things from a young person’s point of view because they are on such a rollercoaster ride themselves, they’re probably feeling sad, hurt, anger and guilt about what is happening in the family and find it hard to see their children angry and sad too. At times they may be too upset to listen to you properly and their comments may seem unfair or unreasonable. They sometimes forget that your head must be full of worries (especially if you don’t let on that you’re not ok) and a lot of young people in this situation find it really hard to concentrate in school. It sounds as if your family is right in the thick of it which is tough, especially if there is a lot of arguing, but it will get better. Although a lot is up in the air at the moment it will settle down. It sounds like you’re really looking forward to moving back home and I hope you have some good, supportive friends there as it’s really important that you have someone to let out your feelings to. Like Bodywhys we have an email support service too at www.teenbetween.ie if you want to carry on writing to me there. I really hope this is helpful and that things settle down for you Sophie.</p>
<p>Take care</p>
<p>Francesca</p>
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<h3><strong>Jer<em> says:</em> </strong> <br /> I have come to the conclusion that I am in love with my best friend of 4 years and would like nothing more than to get with her and make her as happy as she makes me feel. However, this is proving to be rather difficult and it playing havoc on my head. She has been hurt by men in the past and i’ve been there to comfort her and all that and recently we have gotten intimate on more than one occasion, but the day after she acts as if nothing happened. I have discussed how I feel about her, and how I just want to be the man she deserves. She has told me of her fears that something could happen that would ruin our friendship, to which I have reassured her that it wouldn’t, and even if it did, it wouldn’t change anything (I’m still friends with a few ex’s and she is well aware of that) because i’m not the sort of person to hold something like that against someone, yet she still continues to trap me in the friendzone, and see other men who inevitably end up hurting her and i’m the one to pick up the pieces again. Its like a re run of a bad tv drama and its really starting to annoy me. I’m fearful that I could lose her as a friend if this cycle continues. Advice needed.</h3>
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<p>Hi Jer</p>
<p>That sounds like a really frustrating situation to be in, to have found someone you really care for as a friend ( and it seems like you have been a great friend) and then to want the relationship to become more intimate. I have to say though that if you have made your feelings clear and she has not responded in the same way that she is maybe not in the same place as you. It seems like she really values your friendship and is desperate not to lose it but is not ready for a relationship. And you can’t force it even though you feel strongly about her as it’ll only jeopardize your friendship. If it really bothers you that she is choosing to be in disastrous relationships then I think you can only tell her that and say you find it hard being there to pick up the pieces. I guess it’ll be up to you to decide whether you’re prepared to hang around as just a friend or whether it would be easier on you to create some distance.</p>
<p>Good luck</p>
<p>Francesca</p>
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