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Friend With Mental Illness

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I have a friend who has been diagnosed with several mental illnesses. Bipolar, Personality disorder, Eating Disorder, Depression, ADD and the list goes on. She has a problem making friends because the first thing she does is bring up all her mental disorders. I love her to death, but I hate hanging out with her because when I do she is really pushy about everything. First, she lives far away and doesn't drive so I have to go get her and I am currently unemployed so I can't afford the gas and neither can she. Secondly, she gets really pushy about going to get alcohol and when we do have drinks she ends up having a mental break down the next day. She will have panic attacks and keep on saying she's weird and no one likes her. When I try to offer her words of advice she just says "I have a mental illness". She defines herself by her mental illness and I keep trying to get her to realize that all the therapy and medication in the world wont do anything for her unless she is willing to put for the effort to change things around. I can't stand it!! It's like she sucks the life out of me when I am around her. I feel so stuck with her because she uses these diagnoses as excuses to why she can't ever do anything with her life, much less just chill and have a fun time.


Just any advice I can get. I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know how to talk to her or how to get through to her. I don't know how to establish boundaries with her without her having a freak out on me, much less trying to harm herself.

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I know how you feel. I had a friend like that and

I didn't know how to get rid of her lol. This is life

and if you truly say she is your friend then you better

get use to it because there is nothing you can do, but besides

not being her friend in which that is kinda mean.


When you hang out with her try bringing extra friends along

so it will be more fun instead being just stuck with her alone.

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I know that you feel that she really needs you because you are the ONLY friend that she has, you feel obligated to stick it out with her. Actually, what you are doing is enabling her to stay in this stuck mode of not wanting to try to fix herself. You need to have a heart to heart talk with her. You need to tell her what you told us on this site. Then tell her you don't want to communicate with her UNLESS and UNTIL she gets professional help to fix herself. She needs the motivation to do this. Give it to her.

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I kind of admire her for instantly airing all her dirty laundry. Too many people are ashamed of what they're dealing with.


Like you said, professional help isn't going to do anything for her unless she is committed to making changes. She's not ready yet, it seems. You are not enabling her simply by being her friend - But you ARE enabling her by not having strong personal boundaries. It's your choice and yours alone if you want to continue on with the friendship. Boundaries are for you and you only - Her reaction to them likely can be very negative, but it isn't about helping her(you know you can't, right?) or getting her to do what you want or even respect that boundary, it's about preserving your emotional well-being and dipping out of 'fix-it' mode.


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