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Thread: Not sure how to help a friend

  1. #1
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    Not sure how to help a friend

    I have a coworker at the store I work at who has become an increasingly good friend of mine. I am 21, she is 17 (I'll call her "N"). She is dating another coworker of ours, who is 18, who I am also very good friends with (I'll call her "A").

    N says she struggles with bad anxiety, OCD, and depression and is taking medications for these, but no one at work of course has seen her take any kind of meds. Her father left her and her mother years ago and he is no where to be found (she doesn't remember him/hasn't met him). She was also in an abusive relationship on and off for 3 years with someone before A.

    N and A have been dating for about a year now and I am worried that N has become a little too attached/dependent on A. A's ex is still in the picture because she shops at our store and it drives N insane to the point where she punched a wall once at work.

    N also gets very... moody, I guess is the word for it. When N, A, and myself hang out outside of work, N is almost always a downer about it. It seems that if A gives more attention me or I pay more attention to her, N starts to become very quiet and she won't act like herself the rest of the time we're together (N and A are both females by the way). An example of this would be over the summer, N, A, and I went to a concert together. We had all been talking for months about how much fun it was gonna be and how excited we were. On the drive to the concert, everyone was perfectly fine having fun and all. Then we get there and not even halfway through the concert, N gets quiet. She seemed to be angry, so we tried asking her what was wrong sand she kept saying "nothing". A and I would try singing to her to get her to cheer up or to laugh and she would just look at us and say "stop" or "calm down". So, we gave up and just decided to have fun and sing to the music. Once we stopped paying attention to her, N suddenly jumped in with us and started singing and became all happy again.

    Also, as I said, A's ex is still kinda in the picture, as she shops at our store and will still contact A sometimes. N and A have gotten into countless arguments about this in the 6 months they've been dating. N gets upset and she will come to me to talk to. She has gotten so upset sometimes that she starts telling me she is worthless and is stupid and isn't good enough and that she doesn't deserve to be here because she thinks she only messes things up and that A doesn't need her and so on. She's also threatened to cut herself or kill herself if A ever left her because A is "the only one in life for her".

    An issue with N though is that no one knows whether or not to take her seriously. She acts extremely goofy at work and goes out of her way to annoy my coworkers because she is one of the youngest people working at my store. I have had coworkers tell me that they don't believe she has anxiety issues, they believe she has issues not being the center of attention. Before her and A started dating, she was talking to her ex (also a female), A, and a male coworker of ours. She led all 3 of them on for months and caused a lot of unnecessary drama before she finally settled for A. Because of that, my other coworkers think she just feeds off of attention and likes to create drama and is immature.

    N lives with her mom and her grandparents. She told me that she tried telling her mom and grandparents that she was a lesbian but her grandparents told her that it was just a phase. None of them know she is dating A. I have also asked her before if they know about her anxiety issues and she told me that her mom thinks it's just stress from school and work.

    N texts me very often (the last time she did this was 2 days ago) saying she's feeling down and that she's worthless and stupid and messed up. It's gotten to the point where I've said all I can to try to help her and I don't know what to say any more. And from hearing my coworkers say that they think she strives for attention, the more I look at it, the more I can also see that as an option too.

    I don't know how to help her and I don't know if she really has anxiety, OCD, depression, etc. I don't want to jump to conclusions about anything because she is my friend. But, she has been stirring up a lot of drama again at work recently and it's driving everyone crazy, including me. The other day I told her something out of confidence that she is my friend and wouldn't say anything to anyone else. Then, I go to work the next day and 4 other coworkers know about it. Then when I say something to her about it, she pulls the worthless card and makes me feel bad for saying anything in the first place.

    I guess my overall question here is do you really think she has anxiety/OCD/depression? Or is she really just that dramatic? How can I help her?

  2. #2
    Gold Member SkellyWoozle's Avatar
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    She probably does have anxiety and depression. Depression is a terrible thing - I've been there too. Maybe she also knows that she can and does use it to manipulate people into feeling sorry for her and making people feel bad if she says they've upset her. Maybe it's a cry for help. Only she knows this. As for her relationship with her girlfriend? it's really not your business. As hard as it might seem that you can potentially see a massive crash coming along in the future, it's not your problem to say anything - as even if you did, this girl may well not listen and play the drama card. That said, it might be an idea to suggest she speaks to her family about how she REALLY feels emotionally. (I had to speak to a friend's mother not that long ago to tell her just how her daughter was feeling as she literally had no idea just how bad things were)


    I guess you have to ask yourself the following:

    1. Can you/Do you want to invest the time and effort with this girl, help her to get help, to speak to people who care about her and help her to get well - if she wants to get well.

    2. Can you continue to deal with this friendship and see it through

    3. Do you really want all the drama - is the friendship/your job "worth" it?

    Maybe you could sit down and talk with her. Tell her she needs to listen to what you have to say and that you will help her. BUT she has to do her bit as well. Let her know how upset you were about sharing your details and make her understand that what she did was wrong - depressed or not. This girl seems to need help, whatever the reason. Be there for her by all means, but be prepared also for the fallout and the ups and downs. It could be of course that she also sees you as the only person she can talk to so you already have the upper hand - if she trusts you then you are more likely to get somewhere with her.

    Good luck. More people should have a friend like you X

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Rather than possibly lose your job or your mind, keep yourself very busy at work and keep saying you'd better get back to work etc.

    Do not be the office therapist for these teen drama queens. Hang out with people your own age. Have friends outside of work who are more mature and don't confide in a kid no less a drama queen and attention vampire.
    Originally Posted by sarahhh456
    she has been stirring up a lot of drama again at work recently and it's driving everyone crazy, including me.


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