My friend self harms, what do I do?

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My best friend recently told me that she has self harmed. I really want to help her, but I don’t have any idea what to do, and I’m one of the only people who know. Sometimes I see scars on her legs and I’m not sure if they’re old ones or new ones, and I don’t know how to stop her from doing it again. Do you guys have any advice?

Tags: asked December 9, 2013

5 Answers

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I, myself, have had issues with self harm. It is a scary/touchy subject if you are the friend who doesn't really know what is going on. I would say, talk to her about it. If you are the only one that she has told, then she trusts you. That is really important. If you think it is getting worse, tell her that you are concerned. It is important for you not to make her feel like she is a bad person, though. Don't threaten her with things like "You need to stop or I'm going to tell your parents/a teacher/the police" because those things will just scare her and give her more anxiety. Maybe ask her why she is doing it, and what it does for her. Show her this website: http://www.adolescentselfinjuryfoundation.com/page11 It may help. It certainly helped me.
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BE THERE, BE THERE, BE THERE. Self-harm is tricky, and the person who self harms could be very stubborn, and not want to accept anything you have to say (or at least appear like that.) I used to self harm, and all I wanted was for someone to tell me my feelings were legitimate, and help me find resources to feel better. I would say make sure the goal isn't "make her stop cutting" but the goal is "help her feel better about herself, and eventually she won't need to self harm anymore." All you gotta do is be a friend, and express your love and concern without making her feel guilty for doing it. Good luck to your friend, and I hope everything goes well with you guys.
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It's frustrating, and it's upsetting, but the best thing you can do is be there for her. Ask her how she's doing today, ask her if she wants to talk about it.I agree with invincible-lace, it's says a lot that she confided in you, and it's important. But at the same time she needs help. As much as you want to, you can't help her all on your own. It's not fair on you.Educate yourself about self harm. There are so many good websites out there, with advice for both the person who self harms and for friends & family. Discuss all your options with her, and maybe set a goal of telling a teacher, nurse or doctor. These things can be confidential if you ask for it to be that way.Good luck with everything!
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I've had issues with self-harm over the past few years, I've only told a select few people and they just talk to me whenever I need them to. Educate yourself about the topic, I know this one will be hard but if she does cut, do not get mad. That used to get to me when I was told off for doing it, just be there, that's the best you can do given the situation.
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One of my best friends cut and burnt herself. She ended up going into therapy because me and a few other girls talked her into talking to her parents and they were really supportive of it. If her parents seem like they might be the same way, I would think about doing that.