Wednesday, January 10, 1996

How to handle people who complain about health but don't do anything for it?

I have a friend I've known for probably 35 years. She has some health issues and mainly the cause is her immune system is shot because she doesn't take care of herself.
She had her gallbladder removed a few years ago. She now lives on a diet of lunchmeat, pizza and pop (or soda as some call it). She doesn't take vitamins or exercise. She has problems with her skin and terrible arthritis but she's constantly telling me her stomach is upset or she's got an upper respiratory infection or sinus infection I'd say every other month. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard her say "I feel good."
I have told her over and over that she needs to eat better and get more sleep, stop eating garbage. It goes in one ear and out the other.
And you can't say she loves the attention from the doctor because she won't go to the doctor for any of her problems. I have sent her supplements, herbs, vitamins, to no avail.
I'm really concerned I'm going to lose a friend because she won't take care of herself. And by lose, I mean one day she's gonna die because she's let herself go. Yeah, i know we can all die at any time, but you know what I mean.
Unfortunately, it might take something like a "heart attack" scare to turn her around.
Any ideas how else I can try and help her? I'm at the point now when she tells me she's home from work because of upset stomach, I just say "feel better soon."

Answer on How to handle people who complain about health but don't do anything for it?

I know you care about your friend but everyone is in charge of themselves in this world. For a long time I was a chain smoker and I had to make the choice to finally quit. You can't make anyone do anything. I know this sounds very cold but, you should try and surround yourself with people who do take care of themselves and are not debbie downers all the time. You can still be there for your friend but try and make new friends who a little more upbeat and healthy too. Maybe your friend will get the message that others on the planet are living well and having fun and she can too.