how to be a good friend?

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JM81
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/1/2009 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all,

I wish I had found this forum six months ago. My best friend and I have been friends for two years and roommates for one year. She is one of the most upbeat, fun, loving, caring, and kind people that I know of. We go to the same church and have a lot of the same friends. My friend has always been very sensitive about certain issues, and if her nerve is "hit" by someone accidentally she usually goes into a negative spell that lasts for a day or two. However, in the past several months her overall mood has gotten more down, with more frequent and lower spells. Very often I myself am the one who sets her off-- one time during a vacation I deleted pictures she had taken on my camera when I needed more room; another time I was clumsy and dropped her open contact lens case on the bathroom floor. When things like this happen, she gets extremely upset and verbally berates me for being "stupid," "useless" and "mean." I try to be patient but at times I snap back when I lose it. Then things get worse and she tells me that I'm not her friend, I don't understand or care for her, and that she is on the verge of depression and doesn't want to do anything at all. Mornings are the hardest for her because she doesn't want to face the day, so I wake her up and get her breakfast ready. She is constantly worried, terrified actually, that her friends, even good friends, don't like her, and I think she believes that they don't care, even though I feel that it is the opposite in reality. It took quite a while, and many arguments before I slowly realized that she is mean to me because she is so unhappy, and that she doesn't truly mean it. It is still very hard for me to accept it when it happens.

Both of us don't have family in the area, and her family is in another country, so we're kind of like adopted family to each other. I suspect that I am the only one who knows that she is depressed, as she shows a happy side to other people, and doesn't tell her family anything is wrong. She might be getting counseling but I am not sure. I don't know if she has accepted the fact that she is depressed; she might not be there yet.

I'm not sure if what I am doing is the right thing, if I am being supportive, or enabling her, or doing too much as a friend. I often feel underappreciated because I feel like I have to patiently listen, encourage, and if I mess up one time there are dire consequences. When things go bad I feel like she makes it seem like it is my fault for not caring enough or being a good enough friend. I love and care for my friend but from what I've been reading here, it sounds like there is no real end to any of this. I feel like a lot of people would tell me to just cut off this friendship and let her figure it out but I don't want to be that kind of friend. But can I live with being told how bad a person I am, when I feel like I'm actually doing more for her than anyone in her life right now?

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/1/2009 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   

JM81,

Welcome to HealingWell and the depression forum.

You may want to read the thread already posted re how to help a loved one.  Here is the link and it is post on the first page of this forum.

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=19&m=1578477

Just click on the link.  :-)

First of all I think it is important that your friend see her Doctor to receive a good physical exam and to find out if she has depression?  There are many other reasons for why she might feel the way she does right now and reacts the way she is.

You asked "But can I live with being told how bad a person I am, when I feel like I'm actually doing more for her than anyone in her life right now?"

Please try to remember this is about helping your friend.  If you cannot live with her behavior then the best you can do is get her help and leave it to the professionals to work with her. 

I know that sounds harsh but as soon as you make someone else's illness about you then you may become ineffective as a support person and harm yourself.

Again welcome to HW,

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40567
   Posted 9/1/2009 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I think what you are doing is really sweet, but as Kitt has pointed out, you have to take care of you too. Try to get her into counseling as soon as you can. And remember that you are a good person and worthy of affection. One day at a time is my motto. Live in the now.

Best wishes to you and your friend.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18743
   Posted 9/2/2009 5:31 AM (GMT -7)   
by helping your friend get real help, this is you being a true friend. in time she may realise this. at the moment you-we are still unaware of a dx, thus getting your friend to a doctor would be truely benefical to your friend. remember to take of you too. with compassion. jamie. thx for posting your situation, all the best.
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