Anyone who has dealt with a mental illness knows how frustrating it is to not feel understood. Sometimes befriending another person who struggles with a mental disorder makes you feel like someone finally relates to you. But beware that not everyone is seeking treatment, but simply looking for someone to share all of their problems with. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping others work through their troubles, but when you become a therapist for that person, it is time to set boundaries.
It is exhausting having to deal with another person’s problems on top of your own. I am not saying to completely stop helping your friends, but when you have done everything to try and help but they won’t listen, you have to advocate for yourself. You can’t fully recover when your friend is constantly complaining about their life. I am the kind of person that will help anyone before helping myself. I find joy in making sure my friends are stable and living up to their potential. This has come with a cost though, considering I have yet to reach my full potential.
All of my friends depend on me, and it can be extremely stressful. When I am at my lowest point in life, I don’t want to pretend everything is alright to please the ones I care about. Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with friends reaching out to me for help, but refusing to take any of my advice. I know that not everyone heals the same way, but if you refuse to seek treatment and continue to always be negative without trying to fix your problems, it is tough to be helpful. I currently have a friend who constantly puts himself down, and refuses to seek help. He tries to make me feel bad for him, and it is draining to give advice to someone denying everything you say. I am so scared that something will happen to him, and I have already had to call a suicide hotline for him. I begged him to get help or at least call the hotline, but he refuses to do it. I finally stood up for myself and told him I can’t continue to talk to him until we have both recovered from our disorders.
He did not respect my decision at all and kept contacting me with all of his negativity. I refuse to block someone who is struggling so much, in case something were to happen. I need space from him, to have the ability to full recovery. He kept trying to make me feel guilty for needing space, and that is when I realized he doesn’t want help, he just wants me to feel bad for him. A few times he made me so worried that I would have a panic attack. I am not a professional therapist nor am I trained to give life advice, but I still tried my hardest to help him. I now realize it is not my job to fix him. I want everyone to know it is okay to need space from negative people. I am not saying you should unfriend them, but make sure you are helping yourself before attempting to help someone else. I want everyone to be happy, and live a life without a mental illness, or even a draining friend, weighing you down.