Anxious Self-Centered Friend

I have a friend who has a few issues. She has been seeing a therapist for over 8 years now and she has some anxious tendencies. She cannot sit still, she starts shaking her legs when she is sitting, sometimes she starts walking in circles around the house if she missed taking a pill. She's had to deal with alot in her home life- I have known her for over 12 years. She can never seem to keep a guy around, she has no life- she is either with her child or at her job. All of a sudden she has these tendencies and she was put on 3 types of pills. I know a well informed answer cannot be given, but am I wrong in thinking she may be faking it? She says she's always thinking and she can't stop. She says she needs to constantly be busy and she doesn't know how to stop. She allows people to speak down to her, but she will constantly text them and argue with them until She has the last word. I feel like she does all of this for attention. I have anxiety as well, but I do not broadcast it like she does. She makes it seem like she's the only one with problems and no one else can talk about their own. I have to listen to her for hours, but when I need to vent for 5 minutes, I get alot of crap for it. I like to think I am a good friend to her - I listen to her problems, I let her cry, and I am always there for her. I don't feel as though she is for me. I feel like she takes advantage of me or just walks all over me. Am I wrong?

Ben's Answer:

You are not wrong for feeling used, or feeling that this relationship is imbalanced. Your friend may be so used to be a nervous wreck that it has become her identity. She may simply not know any other way to be.

This can seem overly dramatic or manipulative - and may very well be just that. But you can't underestimate another persons inner pain. I've seen plenty of people with that sort of overwhelming mental and emotional chaos - and worse - and I believe it can be very real. Even the medication intended to treat some of these issues, can sometimes cause restlessness, cloudy thinking and other side effects that contribute to the problem.

If you're worn out by your friend's neediness and aren't getting anything out of the friendship, maybe it's time to set some boundaries with her, and limit your time with her. It's important to take care of yourself and not sacrifice your own peace of mind for your friend. It only will lead to resentment and hurt.

Take Care,

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