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Forums > Social Chat > Incredibly worried for a friend HELP

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Ash Blackstar
Ash Blackstar

Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Member Since: 1st Sep 2001
Total posts: 177
Posted:Very recently I saw one of my best friends for the first time in almost six years. I thought she was doing well. About two weeks later, once she and I had both gone our sperate ways, I found out that she has been cutting herself.

This deeply disturbs me, and I don't know how to deal with my own feelings on the subject. I used to cut myself back in my suicidal days, and then tried to kill myself, failed and said **** it and stopped.

This is tearring my up inside
I know that her parents are taking care of it, but I feel so helpless and I want to do something besides pray, but I know I can't.

What is the best way to cope with the stress and the feelings of guilt about not doing anything?

I really need to advice

Ash Blackstar

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, But Whips and Chains excite me"
"Only way to deal with Drama, heavy weaponry and a strong does of grow the Hell up"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own" Adam Savage - Mythbusters

Location: Victoria, BC Canada
Member Since: 18th Sep 2003
Total posts: 1
Posted:My advice to you is, If you feel guilty the only way to properly deal with that is to confront the situation.
Regardless of how well you know this person or how long it's been since you've seen them. You obviously care for this person.
So in my opinion you need to talk to your friend and they obviously need a friend to talk to. And you have two advantages over her parents, One your a friend and they'll listen to you in a different way than they would their parents, second of all you've been there before so you have the ability to identify with this person.
But at the same time don't tell them that you know better, most people don't want to here that, just talk them and listen to what led them to the same place you've already been to. So if you truly care for this person you will not stand idly by and watch them fall deeper in the hole you almost never came out of.
I hope this helps.

Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:Write to her


100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:I know exactly what you are going through. Please PM me.

It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

Location: the world at large (mainly UK)
Member Since: 27th Jun 2002
Total posts: 60
Posted:i had this problem recently with some one i care about alot.
if the parents are doing something hopefully it is getting your freind to see a councilor, this is the best way normally as long as the person wants to talk to the person.
my friend didn't and was stuck in a situation that made it hard to get out of the rut. all you can do is be there for the person and be a friend and an ear to listen! most importantly don't push, its very hard not to do, but let the person know you know and then let the person open up to you! its agonizing and hard but once started the person must do the contacting because otherwise it is not them dealing with it mearly you pushing your nose into there world. they are living in a black void and they have to crawl out themselves, you can show them where toi head but you carnt go in and get them.
as you said you have come out of it yourself, try and remember how things were for you and just keep an eye out for her,just be there!

hope that things get better soon, good luck!

What you don't know won't hurt you? well i intend to get to know as much as possible so that i can make sure no one else has to so they carn't get hurt.


Cinnamon Girl
Location: Hfx, NS, Canada
Member Since: 22nd Aug 2003
Total posts: 191
Posted:I used to cut my arms, so did several of my friends. Since we were so close, it was easy to relate to one another. No one ever just told me to stop, but as we all helped eachother we gradualy saw the light, and let off.
Since you said you hadn't seen her in 6 years, I'm assuming that you don't live too close. But even heartfelt e-mails and phonecalls help.



Location: Melbourne, Australia, Earth, M...
Member Since: 7th Mar 2002
Total posts: 433
Posted:It's a tough situation to be in as a friend - to watch someone you care about physically hurt themselves. And it's a situation many have probably experienced as it's really much more common than people might think.

I think the most important thing you can do is to try to understand why your friend is self harming. People often mistake it as a failed suicide attempt, or a suicidal gesture, but it above all else is simply a coping mechanism. A physical way of dealing with extreme levels of emotional pain. You need to find what is causing that emotional pain.

Also, simply attempting to convince them to stop is really not productive, and is actually counter-productive - from the self-injurers perspective you just become another person who 'doesn't understand'. You also need to be careful not to imply that they are doing anything 'wrong', as this only increases the shame which they no doubt associate with their self injury, therefore further isolating them. What you do need to do, is talk to them to try to find the underlying problems, then try (together) to find an alternative means of dealing with the problem. Which will be hard, as self injuring is such a fast, easy, and very effective coping mechanism.

But ultimately they need to make this desicion to stop themselves, you can't force them. The best you can really do let them know you are there for them, and that if they'd like to try a different coping mechanism then you'd be willing to work through it with them.

Also have a read through www.thehelpline.net/selfinjury.html for more info.

-As angels debate chance and fate-
i was riding through melbourne on a midget giraffe, things were peachy.

Location: Cornwall/ Brighton, England
Member Since: 27th Aug 2003
Total posts: 71
Posted:Please please dont let this become all your friendship is, i used to self harm and once friends started finding out it became who iwas and how i related to them which is extreamly counterproductive... as you probably know having been there. I foudn having my friends to talk to was good.. but it was also great when they where able to just be friends with me and not have what iwas doing enter the scene for a bit. Thats what i found i needed - to be treated normally. which can sometimes be seen as not doing anything but can be doing everything.

Its got to be enough that your just friends with them and accept them for who they are whatever. Because your not their counsellor and whatever your experiences in this you can sympathise and understand to an extent but your not responsible for them. You just care.

Im finding talking to a friend who still harms hard because tho i understand her to an extent and she's very clear about her thoughts sometimes its also very triggering and i find i have to keep a mental gap between that and other parts of our friendship so i dont become to caught up in it all. She says tho that its sometimes enough that im just there cause she knows i understand but its not what our friendship is all about.

i guess im just trying to say dont let this drag you too far back into that world of thought, its great yuo care enough to want to get invovled but be carefull of yourself too. Dont feel guilty about this situation its not in your hands.

Matthew B-M
Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds
Member Since: 9th Jul 2003
Total posts: 605
Posted:Self-harm is a pretty horrendous thing, and can often be about the most selfish thing someone can do. I do appreciate that it sometimes seems like the only option, as either some kind of self-punishment, or way of coping with situations, but I speak as someone who had to deal with a (by then) ex-fiancee who did this. I nearly had a nervous breakdown as a result, and I've never looked at it in quite the same way since.

What went very wrong for me was that out of the two boyfriends she went out with subsequently to dumping me, neither dealt with it in the way that she obviously needed. The first one thought that it was nothing special, as he knew several other people who did it, and so basically ignored it. The other threatened to dump her if she did it again after the first time he saw her do it. My reaction was to try and shield her from the world, but this wasn't helped by the fact that I still basically worshipped the ground she walked on.

None of these was really a sensible course of action, the only sensible one at the time should have been to send her to see a counsellor.

I would advise trying to get your friend to seek professional help, purely because they'll be able to deal with it much better than you will in general. If you have any kind of emotional attachment to the person who is DSH-ing, then you're leaving yourself open to all sorts of hurt, a professional can detach, and hence can be a bit better at dealing with the situation. It will also depend on quite why your friend is cutting themselves (what they think it is supposed to achieve). Helen used to cut herself because she felt guilty about the way that she treated me, (or so she claimed), and when she felt she was under-achieving (we were at University so there was a large amount of pressure).

I don't know what else to add other than to wish you the best of luck in dealing with it, and to try not to let it affect you too much (I know that sounds cold, but it's better for both of you in the long run, IMHO).

Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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