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How would you deal with this situation?
August 1, 2001
12:59 pm
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Eliza79
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September 24, 2010
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What can be done about a friend who is wallowing in depression and negativity? I've tried on numerous occassions to cheer her up, and it will work for awhile, and then she goes right back to her usual "the glass is half empty" outlook on life. I'm beginning to believe that her circumstances and mental state is a result of her constant self-defeating attitude. She's had abandonment issues in the past, and she's convinced that people will alwalys flee friendships and never stick it out through the tough times. No matter what my actions are, she keeps saying "Yeah right, I wouldn't be surprised if you stopped talking to me tomorrow." It's as though she almost wishes that upon herself. I realize I can't do anything to change the way someone perceives my intentions, but I'm sick and tired of her need for me to feel like I have to constantly prove myself to her. It's wearing on my patience. She's beginning to act unappreciative and it makes me want to think twice about helping her. She keeps challenging our friendship with such negative remarks about how I'll probably drop her and our friendship altogether before long, and I'm sick of it. That simply isn't true, and it seems no matter what I do there's no convincing her. She can always find a dark cloud to any silver lining.

I'm convinced that you make life what you will. If you want to sit around and wallow in self-pity and negativity, go right ahead. But don't expect fun, happy things to happen to you in that frame of mind. Even if they did, you'd find something wrong with it anyway. Sometimes you just have to find the little joys in everyday life to help you see that all is not lost. But her attitude is so consumed with hoplessness and "poor me" that it's impossible to get her to see anything worth smiling about.

I'm looking for some insight to the situation. She keeps saying "Why do you bother talking to me when I have nothing good to say?" I do so because I love her and she's my friend. But her words sound as if she WANTS the relationship to fall apart because she's convinced it will anyway.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. As for right now, I'm going to let her come to me when she's ready. She's too busy freezing out the world for me to keep sending emails and leaving answering machine messages that get ignored. And when I try to help, she gets very defensive and cold. Just what does she expect from me? I've asked her this before and she'll just shut me out with "Whatever. Nevermind." *sigh*

August 1, 2001
2:01 pm
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eve
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September 24, 2010
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Eliza, this sounds as if your friend has serious problems whith depression. This is an illness, and it can be very difficult for people around the depressed person to live whith this. Look up the links for depression on this site, and look up codependency fopr yourself. Make sure that you don't get trapped in this *she treats me badly but she needs me so much*.

Here is some advice for dealing whith a depressed person that I copied somewhere in the internet, don't remember where:

Listening can really help.

Avoid saying, 'pull yourself together' or other remarks that make the person think that it is their fault that they are ill.

If the person's problems do not sort themselves out in a week or so, suggest that the person seek professional help. Remind the person that this is not a sign of weakness or of being a failure.

Don't nag the person or try to get them to do what they normally would. Remember they are suffering from an illness.

Remind the person that they have an illness, that it is not their fault, and that they will get better no matter how hopeless they feel.

Try to help them avoid resorting to alcohol, which does not help the situation.

If the person talks of harming themself or committing suicide, take this seriously. Insist that they see a doctor. Remember that it does NOT increase the chances of a person committing suicide to talk to them about it.

Hope this helps. Eve

August 1, 2001
6:34 pm
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Molly
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September 30, 2010
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Eve is most likely right on, it reminded me of what my mother used to sound like. She was miserable, but did very little to change her lack of life, and involvement. My sis and I called her on it, often people get into a habit, and may not realize what they sound like, you didn't say how long she has been your friend, or how close the relationship is, but no one wants to spend time with a whinner for long. Especialy if they are not open to doing different. Is she by chance with an abusive partner?
it could be a subtle cry for help, after hearing verbal abuse, she could be wearing what she has been hearing?

Was she like this when you met her?

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