Many people, too embarrassed to admit that the problem they are about to describe is actually their own, will often claim they are inquiring for a friend.
It's sort of like the person is fooling absolutely no one when he runs inside a pharmacy in a very big hurry, rudely cuts to the front of the line,
and slams a box emblazoned with 74 point type that reads, "For Those
Moments of Uncontrollable Incontinence" onto the
counter, claiming it is for a "friend" and he needs to get this to his friend really, really fast.
But assigning a humiliating problem to an imaginary other is often what is needed emotionally to transcend shame and burrowinig chagrin. So if pretending the problem is someone else's is
what it takes to cry out plaintively for help, so be it.
Yet once in a while, a selfless person will actually be inquiring for a
real friend who is in need and who is too timid or ashamed to admit needing the kindness of professionals or strangers.
Stepping in as proxy for another who is too insecure or incapable
of admitting that help is needed is indeed a selfless act, taken
on by only a true friend, who will risk being the unwitting target of scoffing and smirks from all in earshot as they
mumble sarcastically, "Yea sure, it's for your friend."