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peteylove's avatar

I got this friend with a big problem?

Asked by peteylove (232points) September 1st, 2008

My friend cuts herself. She told me and our other friend about it last year when she started. She started seeing a counselor on campus then went on to see a psychologist off campus. Eventually she just gave up and stopped going. My friend and I told her hall director about it last year (it’s a grad student who kind of watches over the students in the dorm). He talked to her a few times but it didn’t really go anywhere. Now she doesn’t even seem to care about what she’s doing to herself. She won’t talk about it with us, just shrugs it off. Her mother knows and has tried to help, but still nothing. I just don’t know what to do for her. I’m so scared that one day she will end up killing herself. Is there anybody out there who has any suggestions on what to do?

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6 Answers

Bri_L's avatar

This is way out of my league.

If there is any way you can get her to keep going to the professional help I would. This is big time serious.

marinelife's avatar

Cutting is difficult to deal with. It really does require professional help. i would suggest someone with some expertise in this area.

Look at the section on cutting (scroll down) on this Web site. It suggests some techniques to use and some good books. Maybe you could get together with her and talk about it.

I wish her well.

whatthefluther's avatar

According to this description, persons with the condition are usually not suicidal. There are a variety of self injury methods and motives but it appears professional treatment is recommended in all cases.

russellsouza's avatar

Cutting is oftentimes used as a coping mechanism for underlying depression or nervous anxiety. Cutting presents an emotional release for some people, proof to themselves that they can still feel and experience pain. Whatthefluther is right, cutters usually aren’t suicidal. It’s still an incredibly serious problem, however, and one that indicates an even bigger psychological issue. If you call Health Services or the mental health service at your college you can talk to a professional (specifically one who has dealt with college students dealing with the same problem) about next steps. If her behavior escalates and she starts withdrawing completely from you and other friends/teachers, report her to the psychiatrist on call and stage an intervention. Here’s some additional background:

Keep a close eye on your friend and monitor her from any changes in behavior. I commend you for taking this so seriously and being a good friend.

peteylove's avatar

She actually is suicidal, or at least has thought about it before. I’m not sure if she still is, because as I said earlier she doesn’t really talk about that stuff with us anymore.

Jax's avatar

I have a friend that had the same problems, cutting and suicidal thoughts. This manifested during puberty and it came down to this; She hated herself. At least that was her explanation.
The pain from cutting and the attention she got trough it helped her, not hating herself for a while. But it’s an endless circle once you done it you soon need to do it again because she needed to feel that pain again.

It’s tricky business, especially when you’re a close friend. Simply ignoring it sometimes helps, but it can also make it more severe. But there is “a silver lining”. Often they grow tired of this behaviour, accepting that cutting isn’t going to solve anything. This may take years. When your friend is still in her teens, it is reasonable to assume this behaviour will fade away by the time her puberty is done toying with her emotions.

Sometimes a new experience, a little thing can trigger her emotions positively. Most people around her are afraid of negative triggers. But this form of cutting isn’t attended to kill themselves. When I talked to my friend she knew exactly what was needed to cut ones wrist correctly. Instead of sorry slashing herself permanently she liked to seek the danger zone to confirm herself she had control over her life.

She went trough various stages during her puberty, also went for professional help. That gave her medication, she became like a zombie all emotions were numb and it made her slow and sleepy. So she stopped taking it. Now she regrets cutting herself, the scars are not pretty. But she snapped out of it. Full of life and even I had to adjust to it, I was full of disbelieve thinking this was all an act, to make me stop worrying about her or something.

But now almost 8 years later I can seriously say she did snap out of it, and goes trough life in a normal fashion. with normal ups and downs. So in a nutshell;
Support her but don’t provide her (tricky, it’s hard to know what upsets her, most never talk). And hope for the best that she doesn’t cut herself too deep on accident (Most known casualties were accidents).

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