Sasha Answers: I am my roommate’s caregiver

April 24, 2012 18:43:44 Posted at April 24, 2012 18:43:44
Sasha Posted by Sasha

I am a University student and I live with 3 other girls in residence. Three of us have been together in this room since the first day of school but M came into the picture in October when she had a falling out with her previous roommate. As she started to settle in, we became close and then I got to know the kind of emotional and psychological issues she's dealing with in her life. She's on a heavy dose of anti-depressants and sleeping pills and when she takes them she's okay. Fine. But then about a month ago she stopped eating and stopped taking her suggested dosages and started self-medicating, mixing heavy sleeping pills with weed and alcohol. I've been trying so hard to take care of her through all of this, it's totally consumed my life to the point where all I think about is how I can make her better. Then fast forward another couple of months. Over reading week, she broke up with her long-term boyfriend and expected things to start right away with an ex J. They didn't. He told her that he never felt that way and that he didn't know where she got that idea. That sent her over the edge. She put a gash in her wrist and my friend and I took her to the hospital immediately. M's problem is that she is never totally honest with health professionals. She doesn't tell them that she starves herself, makes herself throw up, sleeps all day and thinks about hurting herself all the time. The next day I went to our residence advisor and asked her what to do because I cannot continue to parent her. She then proceeded to tell me exactly what every other person has told me. They can't do anything because she's 18. I am so lost and have no one else I can call. I don't think she should be in residence because she is incapable of taking care of herself. And I have to stop being the one trying to take care of her. I'm a teenager, I'm too young to have my own kid.

This is super heavy so let me get straight to the point:  You need to get a hold of her parents/family.  

This situation has gotten way out of hand and she needs to be under the stable supervision of a mental health professional who can treat her properly.  So I need you to call her parents and tell them everything that has been going on.  Now be prepared: your friend might get really upset with you for doing this, but do not for a second think you’re selling her out.  She’s clearly not in a healthy state of mind to deal with her troubles on her own, so as a good friend the best thing you can do is take yourself out of the equation and have her parents and a professional deal with this.  

Please tell me you’ll make the call right now?

D, as for you. I know how hard it can be to have a friend who is troubled; it wears you down big time. So it’s really important for you to try and detach from this so that you can get your emotional strength back.  This is not selfish - it’s essential. This way you will be ready to provide the ongoing support your friend will need in the upcoming months.   

Let me know how things go!  I’ll be rooting for her!

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