My friend is suicidal...what to do?

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: My friend is suicidal...what to do?
By Sarasiangirl (Sarasiangirl) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:28 pm: Edit

my friend is suicidal (she's been depressed for a while now)...what should i do? and it doesn't help that i'm depressed myself (though not as depressed as she is) any tips on how to cope with parents' separation would be helpful.

By Kingkonglives (Kingkonglives) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:40 pm: Edit

tell an adult immediately someone that you trust... (hopefully that knows both of you)

or if there's no one... dial one of the hotlines... please do!

i'm sure others here have helpful advice as well

By Asianalto (Asianalto) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:55 pm: Edit

Definitely try to get some counseling. If money is an issue, there are tons of free counseling services out there. Yes, tell an adult that you trust. If you think your friend is particularly depressed, do not leave her alone. Keep letting her know that you're there and want to help. I've been on the receiving end of this and it really does help. Hope everything works out.

By Rachelvishy (Rachelvishy) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Really Sarasiangirl, I'm not sure how much time you have, but you need to be with her as much as possible - really, if you can, as much as you can, and just let her talk. You should take her to parks and stuff and bookstores wherever, travel around your city and keep her busy, and joke around with her. Keep her busy and happy and talking as much as you can.

So: Spend lots of time with her, keep her busy, and meanwhile search for solutions like KingKong's.

It's hard for you but you're doing the right thing by asking about it

By James1 (James1) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit

Alot of people are suicidal at my school. One of my good friends April is suicidal,(i have known her since kindergarden,now in 10th grade). She is also a cutter i have seen some of the cuts in her wrist they look bad. I started talking to her and the problem seems to be coming from the family. They treat her bad .Especially her brothers and sisters. Oh yeah and one of my other friends is suicidal too, her name is jeanette, she also is a cutter, She left school like for 2 weeks couse she tried to kill herself but she came back.(her own mom came running in screaming that her dauther tryed to kill herself and that she wanted to know who she hangs around with) oh yeah and this girl marina is suicidal and a cutter. I know some guys that are cutters too?
I myself have been feeling depressed.
I really think there is a huge problem in the mental health of kids these days(being serious) you cant imagine how many more pople at my school have problems. but not only in my school in alot of other schools too. Keep talking to your friend and invie her to go places and to do fun stuff. But dot make it seems as if your trying to help her(she might think u are doing it just cause you feel bad for her)

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 11:28 pm: Edit

A few thoughts...

*Be there for her. Just let her know (cliche as it is) that you care about her, love her, and need her around.
*Beware of telling school counselors. I know that this is advice rarely given out, but they will immediately tell her parents every word you tell them. Confidentiality, my foot. Even if she is 18, they don't want to be liable, so they'll tell her parents. Sometimes, this could be okay, but not for a divorce situation. Talk to your parents, another friend's parents who are really understanding, call a hotline (SamariTeen is one), do whatever. Enlist help that will act in her best interests, not in their own.
*Try to get her involved in some sort of community service project - literacy, food drives, something like that. Helping other people does help people to feel better about themselves. It would be good for the both of you.
*Listen to her. Ask her if she's okay, talk to her, be her friend. Cliche, but your support will be helpful.
*There is a difference between going to counseling because you are messed up and going because it would be helpful to talk to someone older, more experienced, unbiased, and who you can dump on. Please suggest some sort of counseling for her - but NOT because she's a psycho, but because she's a human who could benefit from talking to someone. I guess what I'm saying is to remove the stigma. If you suggest to someone in a completely condescending manner that they get counseling, the one thing they are not going to do is talk to a therapist. Get her talking to someone, as just getting the stress off of her chest will do wonders for her.
*On coping with separation: that's a tough one. My parents divorced, one remarried and divorced again, but I'm actually not very helpful for all that. It depends on how the parents are acting. They are probably (just my guess if she's really depressed about it) putting her in the middle and making her feel guilty. There isn't much that you can do about that... other than to let her talk about it, ask her if she's feeling like she can't do anything right to please both of them. Try to point out (if this is the case) that they are being childish and manipulative - but they will get over it and eventually learn to stop stressing her over it.
*Stability is good. Whatever kind of stability you can offer her would help - she's going through a lot of familial changes. Maybe it would be good to establish some sort of routine with her (and your other friends) - after school activities, Friday nights out, or whatever - something to look forward to.
*My other suggestion (for both of you) is, if you aren't already, is to do something athletic. The endorphins will help depression a bit. Also, make sure that you are eating frequently, as low blood sugar can cause depression.

Finally, let us know how things are going.

By Alphamom (Alphamom) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 01:06 am: Edit

I am NOT an authority on depression, but it can be a temporary chemical imbalance in the brain that makes everything look much worse than it is. Antidepressants cautiously used can rebalance the brain and return coping skills to normal. Get a medical or psychiatric opinion to make sure you have explored all helpful options. Depression runs in families. Medication is not something you would have to take for long periods; just until the spell is over. Cognitive therapy may be helpful to avoid the thought patterns that trigger depression. If you feel in danger get expert help, please!

By James1 (James1) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 11:28 am: Edit

The worst thing about my friend april is that i really cant do much for her because her parentss and family already know. She also trows up her food. She told me that one time her brothers and sisters made fun of her. She was going to eat a sandwich and one of her sisters told her. why are you going to eat that if your going to trow it up anyway. She already is taking depression medication and in 8th grade she went to a mental hospital. I realy think its sad she doesnt have the support of her parents.

By Poison_Ivy (Poison_Ivy) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 11:45 am: Edit

She's bulmic. Bulmia is one of the hardest eating disorders to control.. I wish the best for her.

The most you can do (and you're receiving advice from someone that was very depressed themselves) is get her to talk to a counsler. Most suicidal victims find it hard to relieve their problems with friends because they doubt they would understand. Plus, those hotlines aren't necessarily for the depressed but the people who are seconds away from killing themselves. I doubt calling one of the hotlines and convincing her to talk with alleviate the situation because she obivously wouldn't want to parents to know. But I have to say, it's a good time that you are her friend but I doubt even my "best" friend would do the same. And another thing, never ever ever, change the subject on her. Always focus on what she is talking about but if you do try to take her mind off of it, that will either trigger a suicidal thought or break your relationship with her. Now... if she knows how to kill herself... which barely people really do know... she seriously needs help. Most parents won't believe their child is suicidal so refer to some else instead. Another thing, on coping with separation, I can't really relate because my parents are also separated (but I wanted it that), the only people who can help her there are her parents... Refer to my profile for my email and feel free to contact me but I understand.

By Psychostudent (Psychostudent) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 12:39 pm: Edit

You need to find an adult whom you both trust, if her parents won't help. Also there may be a teen suicide hotline, take advantage of it. They are trained to help someone in need and can also disperse emergency care if necessary. It sounds like she needs to get in touch with her doctor and get counseling and her meds probably need to be altered if she is this depressed on medication.
You sound like a good helpful friend and that's great but if you are depressed as well sometimes you may not be totally rational either. Is there a reason you are each depressed or is it long term clinical depression.
Sorry i didn't read the whole thing because I'm new here and don't know how to view this thread as as threaded responses, as opposed to linear.

By James1 (James1) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 01:00 pm: Edit

No home is only depressing for me. At school i am a VERY different person. I am more outgoing and get along with lots of people. I really have fun at school and like being there. But when i am at home its depressing. I dont have suicidal toughts. She likes telling her problems to someone. She already is going to councelling. Oh yeah and she also has social anxiety disorder. In our teen leadership class whe have to talk in front of the class for some projects. At first she was very very shy. She told me that when she went up there everything went black and she could breathe well. But i think the medication, councelling and support from friends is working because now she goes up there and altough she is nervous, she doesnt really get as bad as before, shes just regularly nervous now, as any student would be. But she has more confidence to go up in fron of the class now.

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