Jump to content

Is it Wrong to Get Upset with Friends with Mental Illnesses?


Recommended Posts

Hi, everyone.  This is the first time I've ever tried to use a forum.  I don't know how these things work quite yet, so please forgive me if I do something wrong.

A lot of my friends suffer from mental illnesses.  This sometimes makes interactions with them a bit tricky, but all in all we've gotten accustomed to each other.   But is it ever wrong to get upset with someone with a mental illness?

I sent my friends a picture that I thought was interesting.  I forgot that one friend was very sensitive to some material, and it triggered her; she exploded and told me to "**** off."  She gets mad whenever I make a positive remark about her; she's said that people need to 'learn how to deal with her,' and she's very critical of herself and everyone else.  She's made negative comments on my weight; when we were younger, she used to ask me if her thighs were smaller than mine and make comments on how she ate less than me.  She's mentioned that she enjoys being smaller than all of her friends; whenever I call myself fat or ugly, she winds up agreeing.  When I get upset, she just says that she's telling the truth, and that I said it first.  On a social media site that we both used, I found that she mentioned that she sometimes wanted to hurt her friends, and she knew 'just how to do that.'   I know that she's dealing with depression and an eating disorder, but I can't tell if her behavior is just a byproduct of her mental health, or if it's really a reflection of her character; I can't tell if I have any reason to be upset with her.  She's helped me get through some serious things in the past, but recently interacting with her has felt toxic and draining.  

I have another friend who's suffering from very heavy depression.  We sometimes talk about it, but it's becoming clear that I don't know how to help her.  A few nights ago, I told her that I thought she needed to speak to a counselor because I couldn't help her with everything she was going through.  She packed her bags and left the room angrily; a few minutes later, she sent me a text saying that she "came to me for comfort, and  told [her that she] needed help."   She's generally a great person to be around, bt gotten angry and snippy with me several times in the past, and I honestly don't know how to help her cope with her situation.  

Whenever I speak to my therapist or other people about my friends and how they impact my emotional health, they tell me that I just need to be patient with them and understand what they're going through.  But I try to do that; I try to ask what's wrong, and how I can help them; but they get angry at me and say that I can't understand.  Other people have told me that I'm just oversensitive and that I'm too fixated on my own feelings.  I can't tell if I have a right to be upset with them, because I know that they're dealing with mental health issues, and I wonder if they aren't critical, I'm just too soft.  They're not awful people, but sometimes they say and do very, very awful things to me and the other people in their life; the support is rarely returned.  I hate to say it, but interacting with them is starting to get exhausting.  I'm so used to being contracted and scolded that I don't expect new people and friends to treat me nicely.  I honestly don't know what to do.

Am I wrong for being upset with my friends?  Am I doing something wrong?

I know this is probably a mess, but I honestly cant think straight right now.  

Edited by z_n
removing italics, adding/fixing detail
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all; you did nothing wrong in posting this.

Second; it sounds like your friends are the guilty ones, and even though they might have a mental illness it doesn't give them an excuse to be so mean to you and make you feel bad.

That's all I can really say, just wanted to tell you that you are not the one to blame in this situation.

Best Wishes,

-Jalen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been on both sides of the issue.  What it came down to for me was - as it sounds like you're expressing - how much can I handle?  Frankly, I just had to let some people go and let their problems be THEIR problems.  In the same way, I've learned to accept that some people won't like me.

Edited by MarkintheDark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, guys; your words gave me a lot of comfort.  I'm still learning how to identify toxic relationships from healthy ones, and it's especially hard to do when those friendships have lasted years and involve mental health.  I just don't know how to approach it.  Do I confront my friends?  tell them how their actions impact me?  I'm not really comfortable with dropping a friendship or ignoring people; I don't know how to let people go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, z_n said:

Thanks, guys; your words gave me a lot of comfort.  I'm still learning how to identify toxic relationships from healthy ones, and it's especially hard to do when those friendships have lasted years and involve mental health.  I just don't know how to approach it.  Do I confront my friends?  tell them how their actions impact me?  I'm not really comfortable with dropping a friendship or ignoring people; I don't know how to let people go.

I think (and I'm no expert) that confronting them and telling them how it makes you feel is probably the best thing you can do. 

I respect you for keeping up these friendships even though they've been bad to you.

Best Wishes,

-Jalen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey z_n,

I took a mini course once on conflict resolution and what i remember from this seminar was that sometimes, when someone comes to you with their problems, we don't always know  what to do. The advice we got was that we should always ask what is expected of us. The person coming to you might only need someone who listens to them and that is all. Or they might want your advice. Or maybe they just need a hug... The important part is communication and being honest.

For me, what depression does (and I'm only speaking on my behalf), is that you often project negative feelings and insecurities onto other peoples reactions as well as events. But, as mentioned above, you have to clarify these with your friends.

i might be wrong, but it feels like you have neglected your own mental health, which is as important as theirs. So please make sure to take care of yourself first!!!

NHZ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, NHZ said:

Hey z_n,

I took a mini course once on conflict resolution and what i remember from this seminar was that sometimes, when someone comes to you with their problems, we don't always know  what to do. The advice we got was that we should always ask what is expected of us. The person coming to you might only need someone who listens to them and that is all. Or they might want your advice. Or maybe they just need a hug... The important part is communication and being honest.

For me, what depression does (and I'm only speaking on my behalf), is that you often project negative feelings and insecurities onto other peoples reactions as well as events. But, as mentioned above, you have to clarify these with your friends.

i might be wrong, but it feels like you have neglected your own mental health, which is as important as theirs. So please make sure to take care of yourself first!!!

NHZ

I'm going to keep this in mind going forward.  I never considered that.  Thank you so much for your input.

As for my own mental health, I really don't know how to take care of myself, and I wonder if it really is important.  I feel like everyone else has problems that needs to be addressed, and that mine will just go away.  I honestly don't feel like most people care or think that the things I worry about important enough to talk about; they feel silly the second I talk about them.  I feel like I'm actually very selfish and self-centered, and that that annoys a lot of people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NHZ

Thanks for your post, I totally agree with what you wrote, I've many years of experience - on both sides. But getting experience takes time, many mistakes, misunderstandings, helplessness, anger, and so much more. My best friend is my husband, we are far beyond the point that we are afraid of hurting the other. Critic is as necessary as putting yourself in the other's shoes. (German expression). I don't know what's more challenging, being ill or being the partner of someone with clinic depression. Communication, understanding, and given each other space and/or the above mentioned hug is crucial. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On ‎2016‎-‎11‎-‎21 at 0:31 AM, z_n said:

I'm going to keep this in mind going forward.  I never considered that.  Thank you so much for your input.

As for my own mental health, I really don't know how to take care of myself, and I wonder if it really is important.  I feel like everyone else has problems that needs to be addressed, and that mine will just go away.  I honestly don't feel like most people care or think that the things I worry about important enough to talk about; they feel silly the second I talk about them.  I feel like I'm actually very selfish and self-centered, and that that annoys a lot of people.

Dear z_n,

from what you wrote, you do NOT seem selfish at all!! 

You are putting your friends problems  first and your are helping them deal with their mental health and by disregarding your owns problems and mental health, your are being selfless!!!

And just to clarify, a self-centered person would not even pause a second to wonder whether they are self-centered, because they would think too highly of themselves and will always be talking about their own issues, which you are clearly not doing!

I believe there are plenty of material out there for the friends and family members of those who are affected by any type of mental illness. I strongly recommend you spend some time reading these material. As mentioned above, you need to take care of yourself as well! This will only benefit you, but it will also give you a better idea on how to deal with your friends.

From a person suffering from depression, I can only thank those people like you who take the time to educate themselves on the subject and who are continuously supporting their loved ones.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...