One of my close friends has just broken up with her boyfriend of eight months and she’s completely overreacting.
She’s obsessive – I’d even go as far as to say she’s stalking him. She regularly parks around the corner from his house to see whether or not he’s in and she leaves him voicemails at 3am.
Since breaking up with him, she is so needy – constantly messaging and calling me and the other girls in our group of friends.
If we don’t reply within 12 hours, her parents ring us, shouting and demanding to know why we aren’t talking to her.
On top of all this, she’s claiming she’s attempted suicide twice and that she had depression but now it’s anxiety and it’s OK because she’s already recovered.
And this has all happened in the space of three weeks.
She’s desperate for attention from everyone, but none of us know what to do.
We feel like she’s pushing us away by telling people that we’ve stopped talking to her since we found out she was suffering depression.
I feel like I’ve given her a lot of my time during the past couple of weeks.
The conversations we have are always about her and about how lonely she feels. I feel like I’ve seen a new side to her and it’s pretty scary.
What should I do? Is it selfish to cut her off?
The next couple of months are very important to me because I’m in the final year of my degree.
I don’t think the way you’re feeling is selfish.
You’ve been a really good friend up until now, but when friends become emotional vampires, it’s very wearing and naturally you dread seeing them because you know it’s going to be all about them.
I don’t think her parents are helping at all and they’re only getting her side of the story.
Yes, it’s tough when you’re child is upset about something, but she has to grow up to fight her own battles in terms of friendships and needs to understand that if a friend doesn’t want to talk to her for whatever reason, she can’t force them to.
I don’t think you have to cut her off completely – hopefully she’ll get out of this phase as quickly as she got into it – but you can be honest with her.
Maybe next time you talk to her, explain that if she’s struggling with feeling low, she needs help from her doctor because you’re not qualified to help her with that.
And what you’d like to do, if she’ll give you the chance, is help to take her mind off things by hanging out together and having a laugh. Sometimes having things to distract you is the best medicine.
And, yes, think about yourself and your studies.
The most important thing for you right now is your degree, so don’t feel in the slightest bit guilty about telling her you have to do coursework or revise. In fact, that might be a handy get-out clause.
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems