View Full Version : I feel like such a bad person

10-03-11, 03:46 PM
... and maybe I am?

My best (and only) friend is going through some serious depression just now. She frequently self harms and talks about drinking, self harm and suicide. She's been on anti-depressants for a while now, she's also been signed off work, and only seems to be getting worse.

She was doing pretty well, or at least I thought so, but them at the weekend - bam - lots of self harm, talk of suicide and an urgent referral for psychiatric input.

I've always tried to be really supportive, have suggested resources she can try and use to help herself, have tried to stay involved and keep her occupied to take her mind off things, encouraged her to open up, if not to me to someone, I see her almost everyday and I text her all the time and she starts to question me when I don't respond to a text. At times she seems really clingy and selfish, wanting me to fix her problems. I know I can't blame her for the way she feels, but after months of dealing with this I'm really starting to struggle.

I feel so useless, I also have a lot of anger and guilt directed towards her which is so hard to keep undercover. This situation is causing me a lot of stress and adding to my own problems. I want to be there for her, but I'm starting to feel like I just can't anymore :'(

10-03-11, 04:11 PM
Those are classic signs of clingy-ness and insecurity. It's not your fault at all. I would feel the same will slowly drive you mad.
She really needs to stop relying only on you and learn to be more responsible for herself.

This might help you:

10-03-11, 04:16 PM
You can't be everything for anyone. She sounds like she needs more help than you can give. If you can get her to depend more on other friends and on trained professionals more, like a therapist or a psychologist, maybe you won't feel so drained.

Don't feel bad. It isn't being a bad person to have limits.

10-03-11, 04:17 PM
I feel you have been an incredible source of support for your friend and you have given much of yourself. And that need not be a problem, provided she is able to make use of the support you are providing.
I have seen examples of both situation with on the one hand people who were able to positively use the support provided and on the other those who just used it as an enabling resource to continue their old behaviour.

The latter seems to be the case here. You run the risk of digging in ever deeper and deeper with no meaningful progress and even the risk of a very unhappy outcome.
So perhaps it is time to leave this situation for someone else to deal with as you are clearly reaching your limits and exceeding them will do neither you nor your friend any good.

I am not saying you should withdraw but you need to set clear limits on how much you are willing to do and be prepared to defend those limits.

10-03-11, 04:29 PM
You are definitely NOT a bad person!!!!

It sounds like you have been a terrifically supportive friend. However, someone who is needy, like your friend, can be mentally and emotionally draining.

The reality is this, you have done everything that you can for your friend. You are not a therapist, a psychiatrist or a doctor. You can only do so much for her. She needs to get some professional help. It sounds like you've been great with helping her. She still has to work on this on her own. Right now it's probably very easy for her to go to you for help because you will try to fix things for her. That's an easy way out of trying to fix things for herself.

I realize that she is in a very serious state emotionally and mentally. You can only do so much, though. At some point she is going to have to try to help herself and work on herself. She may not be in a place to do that. If that is the case, then she needs to get professional help.

As long as she is acting needy and clingy and you respond, her needs are being met by you. There is no reason to seek help elsewhere. Needy, clingy people can be suffocating. The reason you feel useless is because there isn't anything else that you can do to help your friend get better. I mean you personally. You can take her to the hospital, you can sit with her and make sure she doesn't try to harm herself. You can't make her get better. You can't make her help herself or want to help herself. You feel bad because you want to have a life and manage your own problems, but she has somehow enmeshed you in hers. She makes you feel bad for not being there for her when she 'needs' you. I look at that as manipulation. Maybe she's not consciously aware that she's manipulating you, but it really sounds like she might be.

I think that you are feeling resentful because you are doing everything that you know to do and it's just not enough. That's totally understandable.

There comes a point where you have to start looking after you. I'm not saying that you need to abandon your friend. She clearly has some serious issues. As long as she is turning to you for help and you are helping her, she won't seek to work on getting help herself.

Your friend does need help. It's one thing to help your friend find professional help and support her while she's getting help. It's another thing for your friend to use you as her means of help instead of getting what she needs from a professional.

I may be way off base here. If I am, I apologize. Your friend does need help. It just sounds to me that if you carry on being her 'help', you will grow to ultimately hate and resent her. The friendship will be over then.

10-03-11, 04:38 PM
Good advice here. I had a friend once who was going
through some tough stuff and I tried to be supportive
for her. But I was giving all the support and getting
none back from her. Eventually I had to tell her that
because it was so one-sided it wasn't something I could
continue. The ball was in her court and she could have
put forth some effort to work on the friendship, but she

10-04-11, 06:28 AM
Fantastic input all around. Feel like I should challenge your perception a bit. Codependence is a very slippery slope. Ask yourself if you could be getting close to the "enabler line."

Enabling is a sticky place to get into because we can be well meaning, but actually make someone's problems worse for them.

Your friend needs to be reaching out to professionals more.

10-05-11, 01:29 AM

I have to agree with every one of the poster's here. You're not a bad person, and you're not responsible for anybody but yourself. It sounds like you've been a really great friend to this girl, and you really have nothing to feel bad about. If she were aware that she was making you feel this way, I'm sure she'd feel like the "bad person!"

It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are .. great quote. I hope you realize that stepping back from that situation was the right thing to do.. for you both. I hope you're able to get to a better place with all this, and realize that she does need professional help. Even if you were there for her 24/7, it wouldn't have fixed the problem because her "needs" can't be met that way.. it goes much deeper than one friend could or should take responsibility for.


10-05-11, 05:58 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys, really appreciated. Taking steps to try and work things out because things need to change or I'm going to end up burnt out. I really value my friendship but I do feel that I am enabling her at the moment and I know she needs more help than I can give her. Thanks again.

10-06-11, 08:05 AM
I don't think you are a bad person at all. Not in the least.

You need some perspective here. We're not talking about having the 'blues.' It's not like she's bummed out because she missed out on a promotion, or ended her relationship. We're talking about some pretty heavy duty, major psychiatric issues. Although you should be commended for being so supportive, realize that the help she needs will have to come from professionals.

When you talk to her, bear in mind you are talking to a depressed person. They're not going to respond the way most folks do. She's probably going to be doing a lot of taking, and be very demanding.

Although you want to be able to 'do' something, you actually may be very limited. That's ok. Leave the heavy duty stuff to the professionals. This is also going to be the time where you'll be giving more than taking. That's just where she is right now. I think if you need to take a step back, that's alright and you shouldn't feel guilty for doing so. She probably isn't going to look it that way, and you'll have to be prepared for that.

I hope that your friend will get the help she needs. But you can't really take care of another person unless you take care of yourself first.

10-06-11, 04:22 PM
littlefidget have you called a local suicide support hot line? They will have steps that both you and your friend need to take! CALL NOW!!!!!! 1-800-273-TALK

10-15-11, 08:54 PM
It's been a rough week. My friend OD'd on her meds. Luckily she's ok. I'm annoyed that she got discharged from A&E the following morning with no additional support or help though! :mad:

However we had a long talk today and have set some ground rules for our friendship, so that she will accept the help she needs and I'm not enabling her. We don't have a perfect situation, but she's my best friend, and we'll get through it :) Thanks again for all your input guys.

10-15-11, 09:37 PM
littlefidget have you called a local suicide support hot line? They will have steps that both you and your friend need to take! CALL NOW!!!!!! 1-800-273-TALK

I have 1 person that I can call a friend like you and both of us have these numbers in our wallets. Have you called?

10-15-11, 09:38 PM
Wow glad to see your friend is ok.I wish I had a good friend such as yourself it takes a really special person to be there for some 1 whos struggling.I dont think your a bad person at all:)

07-15-12, 10:50 AM

Does she seem to suffer from fear of abandonment by friends and love interests?

Does she seem to have no emotional skin, and make folks feel like the have to constantly "walk on eggshells" around her (and very often even that isn't enough!) to avoid upsetting her and having her do more than one of the following - play the victim, lash out\rage at you, retreat from the relationship for a while?

Is she really Jeckyl\Hyde in relationships (not just talking about love interest relationships - ALL of her relationships) with black and white thinking\valuing liking\hating of the other person?

Does she put people on guilt trips all the time and make them feel or believe (noting the thread title, and first line of the post) that THEY are the one and fault and the bad one? Does she make others (like maybe people that are less skilled and experienced in (all types) of relationships) seriously question if THEY are the crazy ones, when it should be obvious that she is the crazy one?

Does she seem to be CONSTANTLY struggling to stay afloat in a sea of problems and demanding others fix her problems, yet nothing you do is ever enough, and when you throw her a life preserver to try and help, she rejects it?

If any of the above stuff fits, then check out this (, and the many other articles on Borderline Personality Disorder in the articles ( section of that site.

07-15-12, 01:44 PM
I worded a few things wrong in the previous post

to avoid upsetting her and having her do more than one of the following

to avoid upsetting her and having her do ONE OR MORE of the following

are the one and fault and the bad

are the one AT fault and the bad