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Thread: I don't know what to do about my friend

  1. I don't know what to do about my friend

    My friend has several problems she's probably depressed, but doesn't show it if she is, she's an anorexic, she starves herself and weighs a low 82lb at age thirteen, I know 9yr olds that weigh more than that. She cuts herself, and injures herself when she's angry, she almost broke her arm in what she says were 'a series of unfortunate accidents' even to her parents, but she really was smashing her arm down hard on counters and tables. She lies so much about even minor things, when she injures herself she makes up excuses, and her parents don't even suspect anthing. And soon, she is going to jump off of a cliff, but I don't think she is trying to kill herself with this, I think it's just a zany stunt, considering she's bringing a cellphone and a friend incase she gets hurt but her friend doesn't know what she plans to do, and she won't tell me who she's taking, but she is looking forward to getting hurt, she wants to ride in an ambulance. I promised I wouldn't tell, which was probably a mistake, but what should I do?

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  3. Re: I don't know what to do about my friend

    Quote Originally Posted by FriendinNeed
    she is going to jump off of a cliff, but I don't think she is trying to kill herself with this, I think it's just a zany stunt, considering she's bringing a cellphone and a friend in case she gets hurt but her friend doesn't know what she plans to do, and she won't tell me who she's taking, but she is looking forward to getting hurt, she wants to ride in an ambulance. I promised I wouldn't tell, which was probably a mistake, but what should I do?
    First, it may only be a zany stunt but it is a dangerous one and from what you describe she has a history of dangerous self-destructive behaviors. There are times when there is something more important than keeping a promise - this is one of them. Ask yourself this: you know what she is planning to do -- if this stunt should end up killing her, or paralyzing her, or injuring her and causing permanent brain damage, how are you going to feel, knowing you could have intervened and prevented it?

    As a psychologist, I am sworn to protect the privacy and confidentiality of my clients. However, there are three limits to this, on of which is "imminent risk of harm to self or others", meaning that if I receive any information suggesting that in the immediate future one of my clients intends to harm herself/himself or another person, I am obligated to take whatever steps I can to prevent that happening. I think you are now in a similar situation.

    The other things you mention - anorexia, cutting, self-injury - are also dangerous. Is your friend receiving any counseling or psychotherapy for this? She should be...

  4. I don't know what to do about my friend

    No, she's not, few other people know about her problems, and of that few I'm probably the only one that cares. She hides her anorexia simply by wearing loose shirts, she disguises her cuts by putting them on her feet/legs and hands/arms which is where her puppy nips her and cat attacks her. We are going back to school soon, and I think it's school that causes some of the problems, because for a while in the summer, she gave up everything but the anorexia, which I don't think she could get over without help, even if she tried. I know where she is going to go to jump from a cliff, we often go there together, it's a dry creek bed, there are several things there that could cause harm, such as cactus's or rattlesnakes. Far down the creek is where she is probably going to jump from, it's where it'd be highest, I have a picture scanned of the place I'm thinking of. But who should I talk to, the three most obvious for me would be her parents, my parents, or the police.

  5. I don't know what to do about my friend

    Quote Originally Posted by FriendinNeed
    But who should I talk to, the three most obvious for me would be her parents, my parents, or the police.
    1. If you have a good relationship with your own parents, start with them - they can help you with what needs to be done or give you advice on what to do and how.

    2. If you are uncomfortable talking to your own parents, the next best choice would be her parents.

    3. The last choice would be the police - it's not a nice thing to have the police show up at your door and may cause other problems for her and her family - and there's not much they can do except say, "are you going to jump off a cliff?', and if she says no, it basically stops there, unless they arrive at the cliff just as she's about to do it

    4. another option (better than the police) might be Children's Aid or whatever they call it in your area (Child Protection Services, similar names)

    5. still another option might be a teacher or guidance counsellor in your area, if they are back yet (I know school starts at different times in some US states and some of the teachers or principals are in the school 2-3 weeks before term starts.

  6. I don't know what to do about my friend

    I talked to my parents and hers this afternoon, but I wish I would have done it sooner, she went down to the creek with her two dogs today, no one else as far as I know, and she would have jumped but she said she couldn't get down there because of mud, it's been raining alot lately. I first showed my parents the letter she wrote, it was more of a contract saying that she promised to jump, she had her signature at the bottom, my parents later called her parents and I talked to them over the phone and in person. She is totally mad at me and won't talk to me at all, but I guess I probably did the right thing, but I do hope she'll get over it and we can be good friends again 'cause I feel bad.

  7. I don't know what to do about my friend

    I know it must be difficult for you to have her mad at you but you did do the right thing... even if she doesn't think so at the moment. The important thing is that you did what you could to make sure she's safe. Maybe now that her parents realize what she was planning they may get help for her - it doesn't sound like she isn't very happy with herself or her life right now.

    For now, you'll have to keep reminding yourself that you did what a true friend would do. One day, she'll realize that too.

  8. I don't know what to do about my friend

    Her parents called today because they promised to keep me updated since they are 'happy' that I told them, though happy may not be the right word since they were devastated to learn this information. Apparently she had a knife or other type of sharp object hidden in her room, because her parents said she needed several stiches after slicing her leg open about a quarter-inch deep from ankle to knee. They also said she was acting weird, that she would go into their basement for hours and bring up a few random items, including a slate of glass which they say she has been treating like a child. They said that she had stopped eating and drinking completely other than ice cubes and some water, and she had been exercising on their in-home gym for hours at a time. I went over there, which was probably a mistake on my part, she answered the door, looked at me in shock for about 2 seconds then slammed the door in my face, I did see the very large bandage covering most of her right leg. Is this stuff normal, or is she probably up to something, should I, or her parents, be concerned?

  9. I don't know what to do about my friend

    Quote Originally Posted by FriendinNeed
    Is this stuff normal, or is she probably up to something, should I, or her parents, be concerned?
    It doesn't sound "normal" to me. However, it seems that her parents are already concerned and I assume that, now that they know, they will take whatever steps are necessary to get help for their daughter.

    I would guess that there isn't very much else you can do right now - at least until she stops being angry with you.

    Again, you'll need to remind yourself that you have been a real friend to her - she just doesn't realize it yet but she will in time.

  10. #9

    I don't know what to do about my friend

    Well done FriendinNeed... you have done the right thing... she may not be talking to you now... but if she had jumped, she may not have been able to talk to you ever again.

    Yes, her parents will now have to decide what to do... it's not your responsibility now... try to let it go...

  11. I don't know what to do about my friend

    From what I've heard things are just getting worse, they had her see somebody, but all she would say, and has been saying since is, 'It's none of your business'; 'Just leave me alone'; and other things along that line. They said she's still living off ice and water, and they had to remove the lock from her door because she kept locking them out.
    And because of what's going on with my friend now, my mom's accusing me of the same things due to my 'bad behavior' which is when I went biking at the creek, got stuck in mud up to my knees and had to be pulled out by two guys, who gave me a ride home, though she doesn't know that. And because the day after that I got caught in a tornado-producing storm with my dogs without the cellphone, but I was welcomed into a kid from my school's house who's dad, an off-duty fireman, gave me a ride home. She thinks I'm anorexic like my friend because I passed up a chocolate bar which I've always done because I'm an athelete and it only slows me down. And that night she gave me some sort of warning of "You better quit what you are doing" but I have no clue what she ment by that. Now I feel even worse about telling the stuff about my friend. If this is what my friend was going through before then I understand why she wanted to jump off a cliff and cut herself.

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