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05-14-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default Worried about my friend?

So... I found out that my friend's emo. I don't know where else to post this, but I really want to help her out and I don't know how.

Today's Monday, so I asked how her weekend went. Her reply went along something like, "Oh, it was good! (she usually says it was normal/boring/just ok) I'm glad I'm going to get therapy again."
That was when I kind of stared at her. She doesn't seem to need therapy, she's a nice girl and usually sunshiny and happy most of the time. I asked her why, and she said that she suffers from depression and mental issues, and showed me the cuts on her arms and legs. She added that she's been to several therapy sessions in the past, which worked, but after a while she goes back to cutting. I'm guessing it's some sort of short-term fill of sanity.

Now I'm just really bothered by this. It's the first time someone told me they cut and show me what they do to themselves.
I don't know what to do..should I even do anything? I've only met her this year, it would be awfully nosy to poke my nose in her situation, since it's obviously a big deal. But then again, this is sort of a big deal for me; she's truly an amazing friend.
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05-14-2012   #2 (permalink)
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The best bet is to try to make her happy at hobbies or something that she likes and make her mind get off from Reality for a bit.

You may need to poke your nose about her life a bit more then to get to know her more better.
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05-14-2012   #3 (permalink)
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I assume her parents know? Since she's going to therapy and all.

It really is a complicated situation, and there are heavy consequences if you choose to confront or avoid it. The only advice is I can give you so far is, spend as much time with her as possible, be there for her, monitor her behavior. Depression is very erratic and there is no telling whether she decides to cut off her life too, you better take care of her and watch closely to see if it gets worse.
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05-15-2012   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you.
Her parents know, but they don't know what to do. I'm thinking they're part of the depression since they're divorced and may cause big problems from fights or other things.
I''ll try to spend a lot of time with her :x..hopefully this therapy session will actually make a difference like it's supposed to..

Talking with you helped me a lot as well. Thanks aura.
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05-15-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Lol. Emo, what a horrible label to use. Although I'm sure you mean well..

My understanding;

Emo = Someone who pretends to self harm and be angsty for attention.

Depressed Person = Has a genuine mental illness and may use self-harm as a coping mechanism.

So to call a person with a mental illness is kind of.....insulting/demeaning? Belittling their condition?

Even though you haven't known each other very long it shows that she feels comfortable and trusts you enough to tell you about it.
The reason she told you about it, is because she wants you to know. Maybe it's her roundabout way of asking for help and/or support whether consciously or subconsciously.

Do you want to help your friend? For this I applaud you. Try and educate yourself a bit on the subject.
I'm going to speak generally. Mental illness and self-harm are complex issues and I don't know you, and I don't know your friend so forgive me if I'm off the mark...

Everyone deals and goes through depression a little bit different from each other. Depression in a nutshell is when a person faces an obstacle or situation where, they just cannot cope or deal with. So they may resort to self-harm, like cutting.

People usually cut or self-harm because they have no other outlet or coping mechanism to employ. It's usually triggered by something, might be an event, something somebody said, something they thought off that made them upset~ When they self-harm, apparently there is a feeling of relief whether psychological or from the endorphins released in the brain (physiological).
This image from Wikipedia explains pretty well in an easy to understand fashion



It's good that your friend is going to therapy. Hopefully the therapist will arm your friend with the tools she needs to overcome or come to terms with her troubles. But, it's hard to go it alone. So support and encourage her where you can, and try to suggest her parents go along with her to the therapy sessions (if she's comfortable). This way the therapist, (if they're good) can give them the tools and knowledge to help her. Doesn't have to be for the whole session, can be half.

As a friend you could help her out by being there for her, being supportive and not judging. For example, if she feels the need to self-harm, maybe you can let her know that she can call you (if you're comfortable) and just talk her through the moment. Sometimes, people lose perspective and build up their problems in their head. It's like, they more they think about it, the bigger their 'problem' gets. These moments have their peaks and troughs, and they don't last forever.

Another way you can help is by sitting down together and helping her come up with a list of alternatives to self-harming. Here's an already made list.

It may not be easy. Depressed people generally tend to be negative people, and sometimes they can lash out! Also you may get sucked into the vortex of their negativity. Misery LOVES company. So be aware of your own boundaries, needs and limitations.

Darn I think I wrote too much...oh well, maybe other people will stumble across this, and it'll help them out...
If you have any more questions feel free to ask~
I wish you luck.
 
05-15-2012   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esperetta
Lol. Emo, what a horrible label to use. Although I'm sure you mean well..

My understanding;

Emo = Someone who pretends to self harm and be angsty for attention.

Depressed Person = Has a genuine mental illness and may use self-harm as a coping mechanism.

So to call a person with a mental illness is kind of.....insulting/demeaning? Belittling their condition?
I'm obviously not trying to make fun of her or insult her in any way. It's poor choice of words on my part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esperetta
Even though you haven't known each other very long it shows that she feels comfortable and trusts you enough to tell you about it.
The reason she told you about it, is because she wants you to know. Maybe it's her roundabout way of asking for help and/or support whether consciously or subconsciously.
That's kind of strange. I started to ask questions and attempt to comfort her but she zips her mouth and doesn't speak.
I should add that we talk about life issues all the time. Bullies, trends, snobs, teachers, having a job, living by ourselves in a few years, etc. It's never really about what we're doing on the weekend or if this dress makes me look fat. Depression relates to these issues more, so I'm guessing that's why she said it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Esperetta
Everyone deals and goes through depression a little bit different from each other. Depression in a nutshell is when a person faces an obstacle or situation where, they just cannot cope or deal with. So they may resort to self-harm, like cutting.

People usually cut or self-harm because they have no other outlet or coping mechanism to employ. It's usually triggered by something, might be an event, something somebody said, something they thought off that made them upset~ When they self-harm, apparently there is a feeling of relief whether psychological or from the endorphins released in the brain (physiological).
Relief? Gosh, I couldn't imagine how that would calm someone. I understand how she can't help the fact that her parents fight, but never imagined it could get this bad.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Esperetta
It may not be easy. Depressed people generally tend to be negative people, and sometimes they can lash out! Also you may get sucked into the vortex of their negativity. Misery LOVES company. So be aware of your own boundaries, needs and limitations.
Bleh, it's okay. I understand anger. Even if I'm not in her situation I know it's only her emotions and she will probably not mean all the insults she throws at me. The thing I'm more concerned about is if she will talk to me about her situation. If she told me she harms herself... why not tell me her situation? I doubt she wants attention, she's not one of those girls.

Thanks for your help. The links helped as well.
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