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Could use some advice


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I'm not sure how to put this, so I think it's best to just type and hopefully I'll say something that may make some sense to someone.

Basically I became friends with someone a few months ago (a feat in itself as I'm wholly antisocial). I knew she had issues with depression/anxiety, but I've come to suspect she has something else going on, possibly a personality disorder.

Basically, this girl is obsessive. Obsessive over people, in particular men. She flits from man to man (ie one day she'll be in love with one person, the next it'll be someone else) though she seems to have several men she alternates between adoring and hating. She genuinely believes her and whichever man is the flavour of the month at that time are meant to be together and cannot be swayed. Gentle challenging on my part seems to do nothing- I can't get her to stand back from the situation and consider that maybe the behaviour she interprets as backing up her idea of them being in love with her is actually them concerned over the amount of contact she has with them (ie she takes any contact as them returning her affection). She over analyses every conversation they have and is borderline stalkerish at times. She also is a little mood-swingy (though she isn't BP) and has grandiose/self-important ideas.

I'm not sure I've explained the above situation well enough to convey the seriousness of it, but it is something that I believe will seriously interfere with her life if she doesn't get help. I found her constant calling and texting me very hard to deal with, especially as I'm such a loner, but am able to deal with it, I think due to the fact I'm MI. I know that the minute someone shows an interest in her romantically she'll drive them away because her behaviour is by no stretch of the imagination 'normal'; it is very problematic and difficult to deal with.

I suppose what I really want to know is if the behaviour I've described above could fit one of the personality disorders (I'm afraid I know very little about PDs), and if so, how I can help. I realise she needs to accept there's a problem and there may be nothing I can do, but I'm lost as to what to say to her- do I actively challenge/argue with her views, agree with her or just smile and nod along? How do I respond? How can I convince her she maybe needs some help? Is that even my place? I care about her and want to help, but I don't know how and I don't want to go blundering in and make the situation worse.

Hope the above makes sense. Any advice/insight/whatever very much appreciated  ;)

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well, since i've never met her, i cannot safely say what my opinion might be as to whether or not she has BPD or any other personality disorder for that matter.  unfortunately, it is easy to fall into the trap of seeing someone (or yourself) through a lens once you get the idea that the respective person might have a certain condition.  I don't know if that really made any sense the way i typed it, but my point is that i dont think it is safe to try and diagnose this since no one here really has the professional background to do so....

with that said.... is she currently recieving treatment for her depression/anxiety?  if she isnt, then maybe she should be seeing someone.  you are a concerned friend and i think that you have a right to let her know that you are worried about her.... but i also wouldnt go right out and say that you think she has a PD.  try talking to her (dont corner her, though) and see how she reacts.  you are her friend and you care about her well being...

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I knew she had issues with depression/anxiety, but I've come to suspect she has something else going on, possibly a personality disorder.

She also is a little mood-swingy (though she isn't BP) and has grandiose/self-important ideas.

.......

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would not be so quick to discard the possibility of BP.

http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/borderline.htm

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/...47.2004.00461.x

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I would not be so quick to discard the possibility of BP.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i never said to discard anything and, quite frankly, it is all besides the point.  No one here is qualified to diagnose your friend.  Keeping yourself informed is always good, reading up on things and such.  It isn't your job or anyone else's here, though, to deside here and now if she is BP or has BPD or anything.... As i said before, she is your friend and you are worried about her.  no matter what she "has" it wont change that you feel she needs help.  i think that trying to talk to her just as a concerned friend is your best bet for now and see how she takes it.  if/when she gets help, let the doc be the one to give the final diagnosis....

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I had a friend very much like this, she was contacting me all the time about her man problems, most of which were fantasy relationships, she flirted with any friendly man who came into contact with her, and then her behaviour seemed to frighten them away. I tried gentle suggestions, tough love, not answering her requests for advice, all the usual techniques. The last straw was when she hit on me (I am a lesbian) right when I was at my illest (she knew I was BPD and ill) and got very upset that I wouldn't have a sexual relationship with her. I had to cut off contact because she wasn't capable of looking at her life and really making any positive changes, and in the meantime was bombarding me with requests and questions.

Just bear in mind to protect yourself too. When you're MI and you see a friend suffer you do want to get involved and help, there's nothing wrong with that. But people are responsible for themselves ultimately, only they can seek help and make changes.

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Thanks for the advice guys. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to sound like I was trying to diagnose her- I realise only a doctor can do that- I suppose I really wanted to know if it were possible that a PD could explain her behaviour, and if so how I should respond to her behaviour. I'm not sure I explained that right. I'm not quite sure how to explain how I feel about it. I'm just worried about saying something really wrong to her and doing some serious damage. Like if someone who knew I was BP told me to just get over it and control myself or whatever it'd really hurt. I don't know if I need to be much more blunt then I have been with her about her behaviour, but then if it is down to a PD is doing that going to cause more harm then good?

She is seeing a pdoc for her depression/anxiety issues, and is apparently stable, but of course she doesn't see how she's behaving. I'm just worried about how it'll all end up. But then I do tend to think far too much. And I'm probably not looking at the situation with the clearest mind because a) I'm still fairly ill (which she doesn't recognise) and B) I can't do this whole close friends thing with someone and c) I'm shitting myself about going back to the NHS bitch therapist this week...and yeah. Anyway, this isn't about me.

Anyway, I appreciate that I can't really do much about it other then trying to be a supportive friend. I'll try and let her know I'm concerned without making her go off on one....and perhaps try and step back and tell myself if she doesn't want help, I can't help her.

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I know that it takes a lot for you to make friends and such, but could this be a way of distracting yourself from your own issues, or trying to fix them at one remove, by focussing on this friend?

This friend may not need to know the details of your MI, but she should be told that you have a limited resource of giving and what that  limit is, if you keep quiet in the name of friendship and let yourself get drained you're not being fair to either of you. It is okay to say 'I can't have this conversation right now' or 'maybe someone else (like your pdoc) could advise you better on this one.'

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..make friends ..

could this be a way of distracting yourself from your own issues

she should be told that you have a limited resource of giving and what that  limit is, if you keep quiet in the name of friendship and let yourself get drained you're not being fair to either of you.

It is okay to say 'I can't have this conversation right now' or 'maybe someone else (like your pdoc) could advise you better on this one.'

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

karuna

I just really liked the above

helps us who have a hard time drawing those boundaries to have some 1,2,3 cha cha cha steps

oh God I'm not making sense angain

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No no- her pdoc has explicitly said she's not BP. Which was why I put that, just because I thought maybe there'd be some confusion.

She knows I'm MI. When I was told I was BP (by a psych nurse, but I knew from the drugs the pdoc had me on and my reaction to ADs it was true), I told her and she said that they'd once suggested that for her and she cried her eyes out and thought her life was over. So yeah she knows lol.

Karuna- I think that's a really good idea about dropping it into conversation like that. I'm not sure if I am trying to distract myself from my issues. I probably am. It's not something I'd considered actually, but I guess trying to 'fix' someone else is easier then trying to fix myself. Oh I don't know. She's out on her own rampaging round town after some men and im worried she's really going to get herself in trouble. PD or no PD this can't carry on. God, I'm crap with people, I should know what to do/say.

Well, I suppose at least it's not just myself I'm confused about.

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