I have a problem concerning a friend that I don't really know how to characterise, so for simplicity's sake I'm putting it here. I hope this is ok?
I'm part of a fairly sizable online community of like-minded people, many of whom have suffered from depression at some point in their lives. For the most part this is a happy, comfotable community, but just recently I've been having trouble with a close friend that I don't know how to cope with. The girl in question is 16 years old, and (all this is according to her, btw) suffers from OCD and possibly depression (I'm afraid I can't be more accurate than that about it). Over the course of a few months I have grown close to her, as we understand one another very well - at least that's how I understand it. Just recently, however, she has become a very demanding friend, needing constant reassurances of affection and friendship, and worrying overly should I, for any reason, not appear on AIM every evening. I've tried to carry on through this, because it reminds me very strongly of my adolesence, when I suffered what can only be called 'attention seeking' and the rejections that resulted pushed me deeper into other problems. I certainly don't wish the same on this girl. (Incidentally, I have tried to raise the subject with her and she insists that it's not an attention thing. But I, and others, have noted patterns that we recognise in her actions that draw us towards this conclusion, and I don't really expect that someone who was seeking attention in this manner would confirm it, or perhaps even know it.)
In recent conversations with people who have known her longer, I have become aware that this is not the first time that such a pattern has been followed - at least one other person has been 'relied on' in this way by the girl. Unfortunately that relationship soured when the dependee found that the dependant was too much of a burden:
So, after wittering on about all of that, my question is does anyone have any advice as to how I can/should proceed? We have been trying for the longest time to convince her that she needs offline, professional help, but as yet there is no evidence of this. I myself am not anywhere near 100%, and I fear the damage this relationship, either in perpetuating or in a 'nuclear' fallout, could do both to me and her.
Any thoughts? *crosses fingers hopefully*[/quote]