I am writing to ask for advice about a friend of mine, let's call her A.
A and I have known each other since our childhood and have been very close for most of our friendship.
Recently there has been some tension. A is in her last year of dentistry school, completing an internship and having major exams. This results in her being very stressed and negative about life in general. I've noticed it and I have been there to comfort her and support her, however her coping mechanisms are leaving me frustrated, angry and not sure wether we should continue being friends.
The concerning behaviors I've noticed:
every chat that I have with her is negative
she has been yelling at her family - she says it happens when they try to comfort or encourage her
she has been bad-mouthing her roommate and colleagues
she performed a serious, unnecessary procedure on a patient to meet a quota.
For me, this is the behavior of a person who cannot handle stress. What I've tried so far when she is being negative is:
to remind her that there is life after university and to try put things into perspective - "A year from now you will have graduated and things will be better"
to bring up the past and the fun times we have
to distract her with something in the immediate future not connected with uni (like a trip or a movie)
While the above-mentioned do work, they work slowly and every conversation we have feels like square one. Additionally, they do nothing for the other concerning behaviors. This has been going on for 6 months now, but was present before as well - it was less of a problem since the exam times were around two months in length. If this continues much longer, I fear that:
I will lose my cool and start yelling at her to handle her stress better (rather ironic)
she will turn into a horrible person who does all sorts of sketchy things and then blames it on stress/other people
What I am looking for:
ideas for what to say / try that will make it stick that this sort of behavior is not acceptable
a fix that allows me to keep our friendship and my sanity
Thank you very much in advance for your advice!