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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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what should i do for my friend? - May 30th 2017, 05:08 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of suicide, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread therefore might not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

my friend is cutting herself...
she is 13 and from what I've seen it seems as though she has nothing to worry or be sad about. she always has a smile on her face but lately, she hasn't been talking to me... she says she doesn't need help but I feel as though she does. the cuts aren't too serious though, as from when she wears t-shirts they don't look too deep. I really want to say that she is doing it for attention but I don't feel as though it is. does anyone have anything I could do to help?

P.S. she isn't "slutty" and dresses in appropriate clothes.
P.P.S. She doesn't live in poverty and isn't in any kind of financial situation.
P.P.P.S I'm sorry if this triggers anyone but I feel as though I need to put this in (we come from a school that is quite "effluent" and she is white)
   
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Re: what should i do for my friend? - May 30th 2017, 05:05 PM

Hi there,

Thank you for coming here to ask some advice for your friends sake. It's a really admirable thing to ask about things you're unsure of so that you can help others, so be proud of yourself for that!

Chances are, your friend isn't hurting herself for attention. It's a sad and common misconception that SH is an attention seeking act but most of the time it really isn't. It's often a very secretive and shameful thing people do and, while some may do it for attention, too many people SH in private for other reasons. It's hard to speculate what it is that's making her feel like SH is the answer, but instead of making guesses, learn as much as you can about it! You're doing a great thing by asking advice from us here, so be open mined about it. Another thing to remember is that, from the outside, anyones life could look wonderful, but often it's hard to understand the reality. There could be things you're unaware of, or, it could be something else. Life can be fine, you can be effluent, privileged, financially well off, and more, and still find yourself mentally unwell or struggling to cope with certain situations. There's nothing that means a person absolutely won't be struggling with life. The most perfectly organised life can still lead to struggle. It's important not to find yourself wondering why, and instead look at how you can make a difference, if you feel you are able to.

If you have a look here, you'll find loads of articles written by the members of TH about SH. These often come from individuals who have SHed before and write from a personal perspective, but it's important to be open to the possibility that some things you may have thought might not be reality. For instance, the idea that SH is a form of attention seeking. Also, there is a wonderful article here which describes how YOU can help someone who may be experiencing SH. The key thing here is to be there for them. Sometimes, having support can make such a world of difference to someone, so listen if your friend wants to talk to you. It might be hard for her to come and open up, but if she does, it means she trusts you, and that's an incredibly wonderful position to find yourself in.

Your friend can also try looking at some alternatives too. Is there anything she's into which may help? For example, does she have any hobbies? If there's a sport she plays, perhaps you can meet up with her and play together sometimes if she's having a bad day, or, she can use art or writing to express herself when she feels the urge to SH. There are other sensory ways to avoid SH too, such as by holding an ice cube in your hand or against your skin so that it mimics a feeling similar to pain, without actually hurting oneself. She could also draw where she would usually hurt herself, in a red pen if she would like it to look like a cut, or in any other colour! Glittery pens or colourful pens may make it more interactive and therefore more desirable than SH. If she trusts you with this, you can also remind her that if none of this works, you're always there for her. She can call and the two of you can meet for a coffee or lunch, or just chat about something completely unrelated. Let her figure out what works for her, but the most you can do is guide her and support her.

Remember that, although the SH may not seem serious, SH in itself is a very serious thing. It's damaging and can make everything else seem worse too. You can never solve this problem for her, and it will never be your reponsibility to do so. But supporting her is going to make such a difference. Let her establish trust with you about it and open up in her own time. Never force her to speak about it if she doesn't want to, but remind her that if she chooses to, you'll happily listen while she does. The most anyone who isn't the SHer themselves can do is be there for someone who needs us. By coming here it really shows that you care about your friend and I'm sure she'll really appreciate the time you've taken to figure out the best way you can help her overcome something like this.

Please do feel free to ask anything else if you have any questions! I hope you can find a way for your friend to overcome this. Thank you for being so supportive!


❤ Nana ❤
1953-2016

As far as we can discern,
the sole purpose of human existence
is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
- Carl Jung

   
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