Virginia Ironside

Virginia Ironside is an agony aunt, columnist and author. She writes the weekly Dilemmas column for The Independent.

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Reader dilemma: How can I help my unhappy 90 year-old friend?

"Dissatisfaction is her natural setting. It’s her comfort zone, and where she feels safest."

A helping hand? A change in the law would mean that doctors could provide lethal medication for terminally ill people to self-administer

Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death

Reader problem: How can I give up alcohol when all my friends drink?

"Trying to stop drinking isn’t good enough. You have, simply, got to stop. End of, as they say."

Reader dilemma: how do I stop being needy?

"You remind me of the story of Greyfriars Bobby, the dog whose memorial in Edinburgh immortalises the end of his life, as he waited on his owner’s grave until he died himself"

Reader dilemma: 'He says that he’s ready to die'

"You can’t force him to want to live, to find sources of energy to make him welcome chemotherapy"

Reader dilemma: My friend puts her son down all the time

"It could be that she feels, at some subconscious level, that she’s performing an important role in the play of her son’s life"

Reader dilemma: My girlfriend wasn't over her ex - so she dumped me

"To get back on friendly terms after being so badly treated doesn’t reflect well on how you think about yourself"

Reader dilemma: My friend's short temper is causing problems between us

"They seem to think that shouting and then imagining that it has all blown over after five minutes is a morally superior way of behaving"

Reader dilemma: I'm 52 and single, so my parents treat me like a child

"Try to see things from their point of view. They see you (wrongly, perhaps, but that’s their interpretation) as lonely"

2. Fermanagh Northern Ireland

Reader dilemma: Should we return home to Northern Ireland?

"It partly depends on your accent and your circumstances"

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