Stories

Helping a Friend

By June 30, 2020No Comments

This is the second time I’ve come here, and once again, I’m writing for an important friend of mine. This person is going through a really tough time, and he suffers almost every day with thoughts of depression, self-harm, and suicide. His family doesn’t really help either. If anything, they only contribute to the issue. Currently, his mom and dad are working on getting a divorce, but don’t have the money for the mom to move out just yet, so things are chaotic. Along with an older brother, their upside-down family values are constantly forced onto my friend, who is having a lot of trouble with himself, let alone putting up with other people. Some of the things forced onto him include a restricted diet of about 1 or 2 meals a day, football practice that he decided to do when he was younger and isn’t allowed out, even though he really does not enjoy it and has a hard time physically keeping up, and his family often invades his privacy and yells at him for superficial things such as eating too often or being antisocial with the rest of the family. He’s explained a lot about how he’s tried to get help but no one can get into his parents’ heads and help them understand that he’s not emotionally stable. Child Protective Services have even gotten involved before but didn’t do much to help him emotionally. His parents hide behind the excuse of “we’re just trying to help you” and “we care about you”, and have even dismissed my friends cuts and cries for help as only seeking attention. If anyone could give some advice to him, or even words of encouragement, I would be extremely thankful.

 

HELP YOURSELF:

  • Thank you for trusting Teen Central with this story and also being empathetic for your friend and what they are going through. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help. Thank you for being a voice for your friend.
  • Check out the LEARN tab to read more about Suicide, Depression, and Self Injury. Having more information may be helpful to both you and your friend. You can also look at other stories to see that your friend is not alone. The words shared for others may also be helpful for you and him. If you look under the TOOLS tab there is a resource called How to help a friend who may be suicidal. This may be helpful for you to identify if your friend is feeling suicidal. Remember- do not go at it alone! You always want to get them help those situations.
  • Under the HELP tab there are numbers and resources that may be good to share with your friend. There are resources for him to reach out to via phone, website, or text should he need to talk to someone. If your friend is thinking of killing himself or needs immediate support, please contact the Crisis Textline, 24 hours a day by texting 741741 or call 911.
  • We also strongly encourage your friend to reach out to a trusted adult about their feelings of sadness, self-harm, and depression. Discussing these important issues with someone can really help decrease the intensity of these emotions and eventually get some more consistent help. Speaking to someone like a counselor or therapist may be something you can suggest to your friend. Don’t be afraid of having that conversation with them.

CONSIDER THIS:

  • Self-Injury is dangerous and may cause more harm eventually. Many times self-harm is used in difficult situations and to express unpleasant feelings. What other outlets can your friend use to express his feelings? Journaling could be another way to express the feelings and thoughts he has. He could tear up the pages after to “get rid of” the negative or overwhelming feelings. OR he could use his journal entries as a way to bring up his feelings to his family. Sometimes writing down what you would like to say to someone is helpful. For example he could write his feelings about football and continuing the sport. Or how the divorce is making him feel? How can his parents help him?
  • What activities would your friend enjoy doing? Having an activity to can help elevate his mood and give him purpose. Perhaps art, yoga, or volunteering? Can you do an activity together? This will help him stay socially active as well, which can help him feel better and provide him someone to talk to if needed.