I'm going to try to be brief here. I've got a friend whom I know rather well, and she is a very sweet girl most of the time, with nothing but the best of intentions.
However, in the past few months I realize that she suffers from some kind of very severe mental illness. Being a person in treatment for Schizophrenic Bipolar, I am a bit more sensitive to recognizing these things.
She says she has extremely violent dreams with consistency.
She, recently, has begun to have miserable self-esteem.
She is so afraid of the dark that she won't go out in it, and so afraid of sharks that she won't go into water.
She's stabbed her boyfriend with a pen. (In regards to her boyfriend: He seems capable of pacifying her, but lives in England now and returns only once in a while...)
She can't sleep.
She's obsessed with studying the Holocaust to the point where it interferes with her life.
She worries about everything, including but not limited to family, friends, her job, school, having her teeth ripped out, falling from a great height, etc.
Despite being afraid of blood, she can't stop watching horror movies and writing prose that is basically nothing but descriptions of gore.
She complains of chest pains.
She has no capability of standing up for herself, and because of this creepy men hit on her at work.
Of course, I'm extremely concerned with my friend. I can tell that her constant worrying and violent thoughts are ruining her. I'm afraid that she might hurt herself.
But there's a limit to what I can do for her. I listen to her for hours on end, and I try over and over to tell her to seek professional, outside help, and she agrees that she needs it. She puts more trust in me than anyone, outside of her boyfriend, and I can't help but feel a certain responsibility for her.
I told her to talk to her mother about getting help, but she's so cripplingly timid that she can't confront the woman. When she finally did, her mother told her it was just her imagination, that she was being bad, that it was her fault.
I then spoke to her mother directly, listing the concerns above. Her mother told me that I was getting in their business, that I was making her act this way, and that she was a nurse and knew better than me. (This is strange- she is a nurse that works with therapy patients.) I think that maybe she attaches a stigma to the whole thing.
So, what can I really do? Is there anything I can do, or do I have to let her sort it out for herself? She's so meek that she will let anything happen to her. I know that I can't be her guardian angel or anything, but her family is not going to help her, her boyfriend is gone, and she's incapable at this point.