I have a Question

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by misstexas1820, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. misstexas1820

    misstexas1820 New Member

    I have a friend that is inflicking pain to herself. Not like cutting or something like that, but hitting herself with objects to cause bruising and I'm not sure what to do!!!!!!!!
  2. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    You don't say how old your friend is-----
    This situation requires professional intervention; it is way beyond what a friend can do. Encourage her to talk to a professional, offer to go along if that would make her feel more comfortable. It is difficult to give anything more specific because I don't have enough facts. I would handle it much differently if your friend is in grade school or junior high than if your friend is in college or is married.
    This is a very "slippery slope" because every action or inaction that you take has consequences. Your friend needs professional help.
  3. misstexas1820

    misstexas1820 New Member

    She's my age and it seems she mostly does it for attention. I'm really not sure. The other day I saw her hit her self in the head with a 16 oz. plastic coke bottle. We are both depressed women but I have never wanted to hit myself. I don't want to push her over the edge by confrontion her about it. Plus she had no family and is on her own.!!!!!!!!
  4. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    If this were easy, you wouldn't be asking for help.
    You can't go to her parents because she is alone and is 25 years old.
    You think she is doing this for attention. You may be correct; some people do not know appropriate ways to get attention. They act like misbehaving kids in a classroom. They do somthing that will get them in trouble because negative attention is better than no attention at all; they need someone to pay attention to them. Regardless of the reason that your friend is doing this---it is WAY BEYOND your capabilities as a friend to resolve this. I repeat, she needs professional guidance. I would probably take the following steps; only YOU know if they are appropriate for your situation.
    1. If you belong to a church, talk to the minister. Sometimes they also have additional education in counseling. If he/she doesn't, ask him/her for some phone numbers for free or almost free counseling help. I would probably call the public health dept. next. If they can't give you an answer, ask them if they know someone who could. It may take a dozen phone calls, but eventually you will get a lead.
    2. Do NOT confront your friend. I would carefully "ease" into the conversation and say something like, "It really hurts me inside when I see you deliberately hurting yourself. You are a dear friend, and I am concerned about you. (She will probably interrupt you at this point and make a joke about it or deny it.) She will probably babble on and try to dismiss the topic. Just sit there and look concerned. When she finally stops talking, just start over with your same phrasing---"It really hurts me inside when I see you_ _ _ _ _ _
    Don't be surprised if you have to go 5 or 6 rounds with this tactic before she allow you to get past the first 2 sentences. Don't be surprised if she then changes tactics and points out something about YOU that isn't the greatest characteristic to have. Say something like,"Yes, I know that I'm _ _ _ _, but it really hurts me inside when I see you _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . "I'm asking you, as my dear and close friend, to let me go with you to talk to someone about this." (There is NO confrontation in any of this.)
    If your friend refuses, then you have to decide what YOU are going to do. The only person you can change is yourself. You can change your RESPONSE to other people's actions and comments, but you CAN'T change the other person.
    You indicated that you also tend to fight depression along with your friend. How much can you realistically handle before this drags you down into a deep depression? You obviously have a caring heart or you wouldn't have posted this request for help. But, you also have to take care of yourself. The saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink", really applies here. You can get the name of a counsel to help her, you can offer to accompany her to the counselor, but you can't force her to go. To go, or not to go---that is her decision.
    If you choose to continue your friendship and she refuses to go get professional help, then you must immediately leave her alone (no matter where you are) the moment she begins this abnormal behavior. You don't say a word (remember negative attention is better than no attention at all)---you just leave. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. REMOVE THE AUDIENCE (you).
    As good as your intentions are, you must take care of yourself. You can help her find professional help, but you are not a trained counselor. You can be a friend, but it sounds as if you have enough to handle in your own life.
    You are obviously a loving, caring person. I hope this has helped. It is hard to give advice when there are so many more pieces to the puzzle than what just appears on the surface. If your friend refuses to go to the counselor, maybe you can keep the appointment and ask them for advice how to handle it from your perspective. May peace be with you.
  5. misstexas1820

    misstexas1820 New Member

    Thank you for the advice. I will try the suggestions!!!!!!!