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My Friend? - April 14th 2011, 12:35 AM

Okay, so, I'm kinda new to this website, so forgive me if I misplace this.
I have this friend, and she is... the BEST friend you could EVER have. She's fun, likes to have fun, but the best part is, she ALWAYS listens to you. That's what I love about her. She really lets you know who you are. It's what she's good at.

However, I'm worried about her. A lot.

You see, she's going through SO much right now, it's literally driving her into madness. It has a backstory, so I'll explain. I'm not going to say names or anything, so I'll just use letters.

Okay, so my friend (J), goes out with B. But the thing is B just got back from his suspension. He was suspended for five months because he hid drugs in his locker. They broke up like, two days later though. J told me it was because she did some really... hardcore things with him that she's not proud of.

And now, a month after that, all the boys were in the locker room (I heard this from a guy friend) and somehow, B told JH (another guy) who told N (J's new crush) that B and J almost... did it. And somehow, that got out to J's parents. And her parents are EXTREMELY nice, but I can't stress enough how STRICT and FORMAL they are. So that's pretty bad.

And now I get to the scary part. Just today... and she was absolutely fine in the morning! But at recess I felt something collapse against me, and I look and J's clinging onto my arm with a smile on her face. And she kept saying, "Oh, I'm going to kill B. I'm not kidding, Morgan. You know that?" And she kept laughing to herself. Like, hysterically. So I asked my friend L what was wrong with her because J wasn't telling me anything. And N came along and asked me, Oh god, what's wrong with her now? And he just walked away and J murmured to herself, "shows how much he cares, doesn't it? And then J's old friend, S, just walked by and then she laughed, "S just ignored me, too. She just left me alone in the dust, just like everyone else." And it was starting to creep me out. She kept laughing hysterically for no particular reason, and she wouldn't answer me when I talked to her.

So please, I'm worried about her, please help? I just need something to say to her. Thank you SO much!
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Re: My Friend? - April 15th 2011, 06:26 PM

Normally, I try to avoid overgeneralizing a situation and jumping to premature conclusions... but I've been thinking about situations similar to this in my own life, and I'm honestly having a hard time coming up with any other answer. So here goes.

The hysterical laughing and refusing to answer could be due to one of two things:

1. She was having a psychotic break. This means she could be suffering from a mental disorder and needs help. You can support her as a friend, but you can't help her with the bigger problems. Therefore, I would tell a guidance counselor about your friend's situation (losing friends) and odd behavior (hysterical laughter). If she was suffering from a psychotic break at that moment, then you definitely cannot afford to ignore this. You need to help her get help.

2. She was being a drama queen. I hate to sound cold, but if she was behaving in that manner and it WASN'T due to a psychotic break/mental disorder, then that means she SHOULD have been capable of behaving and responding in a more "normal" manner. Failing to do so would indicate that she was "faking it" or "playing it up" in order to gain sympathy, attention, etc.

If I were in your position, I think I would do the following:

Pull her aside and talk to her. Bring up the previous day and ask her if she would like to talk about it. Say that you are worried about her, and that what she was doing the other day wasn't "normal". Don't make it sound like you are accusing her of anything... just say something like, "Hey, I was trying to talk to you, but you were laughing hysterically and not responding. I'm really worried about you. Can you please tell me what's going on?"

If she behaves and responds "normally" from this point on, then I don't think you have anything to worry about. If she continues to shut down on you, however, behaving erratically and refusing to answer, then I would tell her that you are truly concerned, and want to help her get help. "I really want to help you, but the way you are acting is worrying me. If I can't help you, then I think it may be best if we went to see the guidance counselor together. I want to be a good friend to you, and this is the only way I know to help you." Hopefully, she will agree to come with you. If she doesn't, you can always go on your own time and urge the guidance counselor to call your friend into the office during one of her classes in order to discuss the erratic behavior.

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Re: My Friend? - April 16th 2011, 02:51 AM

Given the circumstances, the most likely reason is she's very frustrated and stressed but is being very dramatic about it. She may be depressed but presents it in this manner due to the stress. She was with N who now ignores her, as are other friends, while the only person there is you. I think she does want attention but is also getting depressed. If she was laughing for quite a long time (i.e. 25-30+ minutes), I would then be more inclined to say stress-induced mental break because laughing for that time while being in a right mind is damn near impossible since it gets very tiring and extremely taxing on the body. If she keeps laughing in such a way and doing this, she may not have a mental illness but it's a sign she's crumbling pretty fast. If a guidance counselor or teacher sees her like laughing for a long time without being able to get her to stop, I'd be thinking about involuntary admission to the psychiatric unit as well as checking to see if her general health is fine. Certain pathological diseases could do something like this, such as hypoglycemia but even then, laughing for a long time is abnormal and unhealthy.

I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
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