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Is my presence making her depression worse?



New member
Jan 12, 2015
A girl I know is suffering from heavy depression, mood swings that reduce her to tears in seconds and occasionally makes her lose her temper, and mild paranoia. She hates her parents who were very cold towards her. As a child she and her sister were beaten by their father with his belt. I won't go into details except to say there was no fondling or molesting, but at some point her father was clearly looking at her as a sexual object which obviously irrevocably changes that relationship.

I met her last year and I went out with her 2 weeks before she was due to return to her own country. We spent time as friends and when she made some moves I rather un-romantically made it clear that I couldn't offer a long-term relationship, that this would strictly be a "holiday romance". She agreed and we had a rather torrid relationship though the day she left she challenged me on my lack of feelings for her and left in tears.

She mellowed after a while and we chatted on Facebook. A few months later she said she wanted to come back here to finish her studies but had some visa problems. As her only point of contact on this side of the world I helped her solve them. I know the obvious thing after she left would have been to sever all contact so we could move on, but chatting with her I learned she suffered from deep depression and had no other friends here, and I couldn't just abandon her as I've been in the same position. It also turns out she felt humiliated after I said I could only offer a holiday romance and slept with me because she was too prideful to admit how hurt she was. Her sexuality alternates between her saying how cheap and dirty she felt for giving her body away like that and saying "I want your **** in my mouth".

She came back and tried to start up the relationship again but I was a very definitive "just friends". It made her depression even worse and I keep asking her to see a professional counselor but she refuses because of the stigma. She also thinks it's inevitable that any records of her problems would leak and ruin her life.

Things have fallen into a pattern. After her loneliness builds or problems pile-up she'll phone me for socialising. I will try and oblige her as much as possible but eventually she'll push the boundaries of our friendship as far as they can go and it'll all end in tears and another depressive funk. Fact is there is no good answer for "why don't you like me enough to go out with me?"

Now it's her birthday on Wednesday and she wants to go drinking with me and will again attempt to push things into a romantic relationship. I don't know what to do. I keep seeing how my presence is provoking upset feelings from her, but if I freeze her out entirely that could send her into her worst depression yet. As I said, I've been in her position several times and know that spending a birthday alone and rejected can make you depressed for literally months.

I've always been upfront about my level of feeling for her. Every time she goes through depression I try to get her to see a doctor or counselor but no-go. I've been in the same positions she has and I know that being completely alone is terrible, but also how repeated contact with someone who spurned you is like picking at a scab. Am I just enabling her?
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

Well-known member
Oct 23, 2014
Hi zzz89 and welcome to the forum

You sound very caring and considerate but I think ultimately you need to realise that you are not responsible for your friend or her 'depression'.

You have placed strict boundaries on the relationship and stuck with them. She is the one who constantly tries to cross those boundaries and push things further. I do not see that as you enabling her.

I just wonder, have you been meeting up with her because you can empathise and feel sorry for her, or do you really enjoy her company?

Perhaps you need to sit her down and talk this through properly. Explain that you value her as a friend but that her behaviour is making you very uncomfortable, is affecting your friendship and has to stop.

Obviously this is just my opinion. you sound as though you have been a good friend so far and doing all the right things but it might be worth remembering that it's very difficult to help someone who won't agree to get help.

Take care.