I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

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I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Braveheart Godsend » June 28th, 2012, 11:42 am

I have this friend who I met last April. She is an adolescent girl, and is turning 14 this year.
And this June, I have developed an attachment to her. In truth, we've confessed our feelings for each other. So there we go with our fast-paced romance.
No commitments yet, since we promised to make it official when we meet again next month. [I forgot to mention that we just talked through phone (and confessed) after our first and second real-life meeting]

The thing is, I never knew much about her even after we've confessed. Now that we're under the stage of mutual understanding, I've been slowly finding out about her.
She is someone who others tell their feelings to, but when it's her friends' turn to ask, she hides what she feels. At first, I thought she was just strong enough to be doing all the concealing.

However, just a few nights ago, I was overwhelmed by what was happening when she called. She was crying, asking me to sing for her [yes, a form of comfort for her]. But since we promised that our relationship and conversations will be kept secret from everyone else, I wasn't able to grant her request for my parents were there with me. Right after the call ended, she sent a text message wherein she was saying goodbye to me, and told me that if suicide wasn't a sin, she would've done it a long time ago.
I shook during those times, and crazily sent messages to stop her intention. When things calmed down, for a moment, I thought twice whether it was a joke or not. But no. I reassured a solid 'No'. Based on experience, most adolescents ranging from 12-14 are the most emotional ones because even I went through this stage [but did not reach the point of having suicidal thoughts] and I have witnessed my own classmates and friends do the same. Also, another factor was that she was having a conflict with her friends, wherein she felt that, "If I wasn't there in the first place, then things wouldn't go that way, right?"

After the incident, I've been talking to her more often than usual and is always checking her condition. I try as much as possible to let her have someone to talk to, and some time ago she mentioned that it cheers her up when we talk. She even told me that she has a diary, but lately she didn't write much since she had me to talk to.

Basing on the information I've gathered about her through phone conversations, she is a pessimistic, self-blaming, lonely girl longing for love and care.
She lives in her grandmother's house, and is with different people who she is seemingly indifferent to. She is separated from her mother and brothers. Her father works overseas and has left the country since she was in elementary second grade. What surprised me is that when I asked about her brothers, she told me that she doesn't know/remember their names and ages, and she had lived in her grandmother's side since she was 3 years old. She mentioned that what she had been seeing when she was young was nothing but fights. She appears to be detached from her family, lacks parental guidance and family support (moral and emotional).

Another thing, she admitted that she was mentally disoriented. She told me that she screams when she can no longer take things, destroys what annoys her, or hurts herself because she 'doesn't want to get anyone/anything involved.' She feels like someone's killing her from inside and someone's shooting her head repeatedly when she experiences mental stress. And it happens mostly when she keeps everything, and additionally, her chest hurts and so she hits herself.

I moved on to asking some personal questions such as "Are you lonely?" or "Do you feel any anger against your mom or family?". Usually, she answers, "I don't know... Maybe. Or maybe not."

Ever since I found out about her situation, I wanted to be a personal guide/psychologist for her. However, I do not know how to start counseling her and how I will get her to fully open up to me. I need tips, sir and madame.

Btw, I'm 17 years old... and a persistent optimist.

Thank you for your understanding and your replies. :)
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby mitchellbravo » June 28th, 2012, 3:55 pm

You are not a psychologist, it's not a good idea for you to act as one. If she's having serious problems she needs to seek help from someone who is a professional. There are also various hotlines and things that you can call to see what you can do, but I think you need to put to rest this idea of her depending on you as her therapist. It isn't going to be healthy for her or for you. It's nice that you care about her and want her to get better, but you're too attached to her (and vice versa) to be able to do the job properly, ignoring the age thing completely.

Encourage her to seek professional help. Offer to go with her if it will make her feel more comfortable. She obviously has a rough life, but you can't be her substitute friend/parent/sibling/romantic interest all at once. Like you said, lots of kids her age go through such a stage, but if there are real legitimate mental and psychological issues, they're out of your reach, despite your best intentions.

I wish you both the best of luck; please keep us posted.
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Guest » June 28th, 2012, 4:54 pm

Try to advise her to talk with her mother or father to get someone to help her or consult the psychiatrist.
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Lapsang » June 28th, 2012, 5:44 pm

I don't have much to say except to fervently second what mitchellbravo said. I have a very close friend with depression who has been suicidal in the past and, if there is one thing I have learnt about this issue through knowing her, it is that it really is an illness and must be treated as such. By which I mean, seek medical help. She needs to talk to a professional.

I with you both well.
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Annausagi2 » June 28th, 2012, 5:58 pm

Most of what I wanted to say has already been covered, so I guess I'll just add my own thoughts of the matter. (Excuse me if my English lacks, it's late D: )

You've done her a great favor by being there for her, but, as mitchellbravo said, you can't also be her professional therapist.
From what you've written, it seems to point at her having depression (as in the medical term), which means she'll need medical and therapeutic help to get her mindset "on the right track".

I suffer from depression as well, but I've gotten a lot of support and help, both from friends and from people working with these things. I think I must've been her age when I actually reached out a hand and asked for help, thanks to my teacher sending me to the school therapist.
Don't be discouraged if she seems hesitant at first (just like I was, I didn't even understand that depression was a disorder until years later), try and explain to her that these people are there to help her get through this (they're not gonna put a straigh-jacket on her and throw her into a padded cell, or anything) ... and that you'll be there to support her, as well.


Sorry, I'm new, and my English is god-awful tonight, argh.. either way, good luck to both of you; keep us updated.
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Braveheart Godsend » June 30th, 2012, 2:18 am

Okay, thanks for the tips, sir and madame. :) I do understand now that my abilities are limited with regards to the issue.
About the professionals, though, I'm going to have trouble finding them. I do not know anyone who can bring me to a psychologist/psychiatrist. Second, I fear of offending her if I'd tell her to have herself checked up by a psychiatrist. Though I really feel that she should get medical help anytime soon..

With regards to contacting her parents, I do not know how to begin with it. I have no contact with them, not even Facebook.
Actually, after the attempted suicide incident, I tried to contact one of her best friends the next day. Unfortunately, she caught me messaging her best friend on Facebook. She then messaged me and asked me to not contact anyone she knows. I gave her the favor, but then I told her that I will contact them without her permission when things come down to worst. But then, I still have the urge to get in touch with her other best friend. Hopefully, that one would not mind keeping a secret between us even though we've never met IRL.

At this point, everything seems 'fine'. For the past three days we've talked twice per day. Yesterday, she asked me, "What would you do if I broke our promise?"
The promise was something we made after I won a deal with her. As the winner, I had made her promise to not hurt herself anymore. Even I knew that it was difficult for her to accept it, and she didn't promise it to me. Instead she told me, "I'll try my best." I didn't answer the question. I felt somewhat disappointed, but then I just told her that I'll feel sad and such, but then I couldn't answer her with anything else because I was mentally blocked.

Wanting to give her some emotional support, I thought of different things to help her be uplifted, though I'm sure it's not the best way.

  • Send her inspirational quotes (and some about God)
  • Read her some nice/deep stories.
  • Send her some songs that may help her relieve stress and also inspire her (or tell her that I'm there for her)
  • Give her some movie titles that have relation to her life/just simply have some lesson to teach
  • Play games (online) with her
  • Ask her to hang out sometime (Though this is pretty hard to achieve since we're always not that available thanks to schedules and our distances)
  • Visit her house (Another one that's hard to achieve because my parents might know, and I am also not familiar with her place)

Anyway, can I ask some good stories and movie titles that I can offer to her to help her in this situation?

Also, do you guys know any movie title that's revolves around how other people struggle to live even though no one seems to care about them because they still have a dream?
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Annausagi2 » June 30th, 2012, 7:47 am

I think there are different ways to get into contact with professionals, like how I got help by just going to the school nurse, who then helped me get into contact with BUP, a big project in my country where children and teens can get therapeutic and, if needed, medical help. Perhaps there's a similar thing in your area?
Don't be afraid to ask around; if you're in school still, ask a teacher that you trust or turn to the school nurse, if there is one. They should be prepared with ways to come into contact with a professional psychiatrist/psychologist.

Then again, you'll most probably need your girlfriend's permission before you do this. If you're afraid that she'll get offended, try to explain to her that, just because a person is in need of a psychiatrist and/or psychologist, it doesn't mean that they are completely crazy, like people in those old-fashioned mental hospitals that you see in movies. :,) Most of them are normal, ordinary people, that just needed a hand to help them deal with whatever issues they had.

Not to mention, if she has the medical term of depression, it's because of a lack of a substance in her brain, which you can't fix without medical treatment.

Since you're not able to contact her family, I guess the only option is to try and convince her to reach out a hand, herself. Perhaps she can get into contact with someone who has been through the same (or similar) hell as her, and then gotten help? She should know that she's far from alone. :)


I can't help much with inspiring movie titles or music, sorry about that. XD Although you already have a good list of things to do to keep her uplifted.

To be honest, even if people might not show it, someone just talking to them, when they're sad, helps a lot. :)
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Nikkinoodles » June 30th, 2012, 8:19 am

I would suggest that you ask her to talk to someone professional about it. Even just the talking can help. You yourself aren't emotionally and professionally qualified to handle this sort of thing. If she won't do it for herself possibly suggest she does it for you or for her grandparents. There really isn't such a stigma attached to seeing a psyciatrist (sorry about the spelling I struggle with those words) as there used to be and I myself had meetings with one when I was in school. She is at one of the most emotionally unstable periods of her life, what with all those hormones racing around her body and so her emotions are probably all over the place and made to feel 10 times worse than they would be at any other time of her life.
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Lapsang » June 30th, 2012, 9:04 am

Braveheart Godsend wrote:About the professionals, though, I'm going to have trouble finding them. I do not know anyone who can bring me to a psychologist/psychiatrist.


Surely she/you must have a doctor? She could talk to an ordinary medical doctor and they will be able to pass her on to a psychiatrist or what ever they think is appropriate for her situation.

Your ideas about uplifting stories and other methods for cheering her up are a nice thought but, if she really does have clinical depression, are unlikely to have much effect. It's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and consequently external stimuli have very little impact on it. This is why it is so very important that she sees someone to find out if she does have it.

However, if she is just going through a rough time, as may people do at that age, being there for her could be a real help. But, and this is important, also encourage her to reach out and connect with other people as well, you becoming her one life is a recipe for disaster, especially as you live so far away.
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby radiostarkiller » June 30th, 2012, 9:31 am

I've been in your position before, and I have managed to help my girlfriend out just by being there for her, even if it was a long distance relationship. Unfortunately, this can't always be the case for everyone. As many others said, it's probably best to have her see a professional or seek some help more accessible to her. Just encourage her to give it a try, and let her know that this is a way that could help her out. Make that a very important point that you worry for her well-being, and explain things to her, and most importantly, encourage her. Be gentle and be patient, as it might take some time. Try to understand her worries or oppositions towards seeking professional help, and tell her that, yes, it might not be the most appealing thing to do, but these are people who are willing to help her out of depression. Seeking professional help sounds like your best bet at this point, honestly.
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Ronin356 » July 3rd, 2012, 12:00 am

Two good films to watch are "It's a wonderful life" and "Oldboy". I have been at that low point before. It's important for people to not feel like they are powerless victims but people who are control of their own lives. Everybody deserves to live. Please seek out help for her besides SJ. There are suicide hotlines and other services. Tell her that life is worth living and that you love her and it would hurt you deeply and other people would hurt as well if she took her own life. The old quote from Churchhill is "If you are in hell, keep on walking". Don't quit. Suicide is never a good answer. Never.

Best of luck and hope things go for the better!
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby Snuffan » July 6th, 2012, 5:49 pm

Trying to help her will actually make her worse.

You are not a medical professional, and you do not have the training and experience with psychological illnesses it takes to help her. Your intentions are good, but the outcome will most likely not be. This girl will develop a unhealthy relationship with you, depending on you for emotional stability... And that's the good scenario. In the bad scenario she will have conflicting emotions for you, because depressed people often react negatively to getting help.

You show by what you write that you are not able to handle this. I'm very sorry, but inspiring her to like life? That will not work. She will see other inspired happy people with beautiful lives, compare herselves with them and then feel even worse.

You are not capable of handling this. You can hurt her very very much if you keep telling yourself that you can. Please stop any attempts of being her psychiatrist or confidante.

I am not joking around. This is not a love story, it is not some heroic act of yours. She needs actual professional help, because she is ill. Ask yourself this: If she broke her leg, would you try and fix it yourself?
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Re: I need to help a suicidal [girl]friend.

Postby SoupCandy » July 10th, 2012, 1:55 pm

From my personal experience:

You can't help her. She has to want to get better and she was to want the help. Secretly trying to contact friends or family will undermine your trust in each other.

You can let her know that you're concerned about her, that you don't want her to kill herself, and that there's help, but it's her choice. It's better if she knows that, even if she decides not to seek help, you're still there for her.

If she gets a psychiatrist, she'll be able to get on an anti-depressant. The problem is that, she may have something that's similar to depression, but it may not actually be depression. Also, because she's under 18, her parents will be able to weasel and negate the confidentiality agreement, and because she's not an adult, the anti-depressant may work differently and may make her more edgy and suicidal.

She needs professional help and your support, but it's her life.
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