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What can I do with my friend with social phobia and bipolar disorder? She looks like she has down syndrome and is very short in stature and very large. She is afraid that people who see her will treat her poorly or think that she is mentally retarded.

Although your friend may be

Although your friend may be unattractive by most conventional standards, I truly believe there is someone for everyone. Very few of us look like the models and movie stars that grace the front page of popular magazines. The important thing is to feel good about yourself and have confidence, and if so, you will do well in any situation. If your friend is avoiding social situations because of her appearance, this is only going to make the problem worse because avoidance just increases fears. Seek out opportunities to socialize. If there are things you can do to help your friend present in a better way then by all means do them. If your friend needs a better wardrobe, take her shopping at some nice stores for people of al sizes. Get your friend a makeover. Maybe you two could even join a fitness club or diet group together.

Best of luck,
Dr. Williams

Monnica T. Williams, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist specializing in OCD

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