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One of my closest friends has depression. I’ve known about it for as long as I’ve known her, but it seems to be getting worse. She doesn’t think that she’s good enough for anyone and she believes that she won’t last much longer. Her parents are terrible to her and honestly don’t seem to care about her (and her birth father abused her when she was a child. Not sexually, but physically and emotionally), and it’s only gotten worse since she came out to them as bisexual. She has attempted suicide in the past via overdose, and was luckily saved, but I’m scared for her safety.
I talked her out of committing suicide a few nights ago, but I’m terrified for her. She says she can’t see a future for herself and has joked many times about not making it out of high school. I see cuts and burns on her arms and legs during gym class, and I don’t know how to approach the subject without making her feel like I’m pitying her.
I love her and don’t want her to feel like self harm and suicide are such viable choices.
What can I do to make her feel better about herself and let her know how much I care for her? I don’t know what to do and I’m really scared for her.
Your friend is lucky to have you in her life. Its clear that your friendship means a lot to both of you, and you’ve already done a lot by supporting her through very difficult times.
First, keep doing what you’re doing: keep reaching out to your friend to provide support, try to engage her in fun healthy activities, and be ready to get help if your friend ever again suggests that she has a plan to attempt suicide. Next, encourage your friend to confide in a trusted adult. Does your school have a social worker or guidance counselor? Some other options include teachers or relatives. If you’re friend is not willing to speak with someone, you could speak with someone to get support for yourself and local resources for your friend. There are many treatment options for depression as well as resources on abuse and self harm. You can find a lot of valuable information on helpguide.org especially these links on depression and self injury (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen_teenagers.htm and http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm).
Be sure to provide your friend with information on The Trevor Lifeline (866-488-7386), which is safe, confidential, and 24/7. The Lifeline also can be a resource for you if you’re friend comes to you again with a plan to attempt suicide.