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When Your Friend Ruins Your Mental Health

August 4, 2022 Natasha Tracy

Recently a friend ruined my mental health. Well, a friend combined with preexisting bipolar disorder, ruined my mental health. I don't believe in blaming people for mental health problems, per se; but, sometimes people do things that are so damaging, a change in mental health really is pretty much their fault. So, what do you do when a friend ruins your mental health?

Friends Affect Your Mental Health

Normally, friends are very beneficial for your mental health. I love my friends dearly for that and so many other reasons. The thing is, though, that because I love them so much, they have the ability to hurt me dearly as well. People who are close to you have that power. And sometimes, they do just that. In this case, someone I was incredibly close with cut me out of their life. There was no preceding argument. There was no conversation about it. There was nothing. They just did it one day -- total and complete radio silence. I had known this person for more than a decade, I was used to speaking with them every week, and then they were suddenly gone. It felt like someone had cut off a part of my body.

Friends Ruining My Mental Health

Years ago, I wrote about something similar happening when I was left because of my bipolar disorder. Someone told me that it was not possible that someone who loved me would just leave me without warning or explanation. Well, it's pretty much happened again; so it seems entirely possible to me. This second situation is a bit different in that the door has been left open a crack (in the distant future), but other than that, it's a very similar situation. So, of course, this new situation brings back all the pain from the previous situation too. (And believe me, I grieved last time for more time than I care to admit.) In other words, I'm experiencing historical pain and current-day pain.

It's not surprising that the weight of all of that has destroyed my mental health. 

What to Do When a Friend Ruins Your Mental Health

Many platitudes apply when a friend ruins your mental health with such pain. For example:

  • You're better off without them.
  • They didn't deserve you.
  • Their absence in your life just makes space for someone better.
  • They don't know what they're missing.

The platitudes go on and on. And while there tends to be a kernel of truth in a platitude, I tend to think they are close to useless. If one speaks to you, that's great, but generally, I find they're there to invalidate or minimize your feelings of pain, so you just "get on with it."

That doesn't work for me. I'm a little smarter than a platitude.

 What I think you need to do when a friend ruins your mental health is this:

  • Feel the feelings around what has happened. Don't ignore them. Therapy can help with this.
  • Work on improving your mental health overall.

Because while your friend's actions may have ruined your mental health, it's still up to you to get it back. It's an incredibly horrible and painful situation, but life and life can be like that sometimes. Work with the things you can control like food and water intake, exercise, therapy, medication, doctor's appointment attendance, etc. And just know that while you can't control the pain of loss, what you can do is work through it. Your mental health doesn't have to stay ruined forever.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2022, August 4). When Your Friend Ruins Your Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2022/8/when-your-friend-ruins-your-mental-health



Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Soulful quotations
August, 5 2022 at 2:36 am

Really , good friends are hard to find, there are toxic people everywhere. But when you find good ones don't leave them.

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