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My Best Friend self harms and wants to die.

My Best Friend self harms and wants to die. She's been self harming for 2/3 years now. She even told me that she wanted to die but when she's older then she will think about suicide. I'm so scared I don't know what to do anymore. I tried helping her and talking her out of self harm but she says it's a habit and she can't break it. She says it makes her feel a whole lot better. I understand why she does it, Her parents are divorced she misses her dad and her older sister has a job and lives somewhere else and she barely sees her sister. I'm the only person who knows about this. And recently she cut herself too much that I couldn't even look at her anymore, I cried and cried until there was nothing left. She's never really asked me about how I feel about her self harming.

I don't know what to do anymore, I'm sick of her promising she would stop self harming because she ends up doing it again.

Please Help Me!!

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter and well done for getting in touch with me. It sounds like you really care about your friend and that you’ve been finding it incredibly hard to see her harming herself.

It sounds like your friend has been through some tough changes in the last few years. I can hear that you’ve tried to talk her out of self-harming, and that you feel really let down each time she starts self-harming again. It’s important to remember that you're not responsibile for stopping your friend from self-harming. When someone has been self-harming for a while, it can become their only way of coping with overwhelming feelings. It can then be extremely difficult to stop without the right professional support, even with the support of a friend as caring as you are.

I can imagine it must feel very scary to hear your friend say she’ll think about suicide when she’s older. It sounds as though you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by things, as you’re the only one who knows about her self-harm. It’s a very big thing to be holding on to by yourself. Your friend clearly trusts you a great deal to share these feelings with you, but because she’s putting herself at risk, I would really encourage you to think about telling an adult.

You talked about her cutting too much recently, so remember that if you ever think your friend is in immediate danger, you can call 999 to get help straight away. The Epic friends website has some more advice for young people who are supporting a friend with mental health problems. You might also find it useful to read the Self-harm page in Explore.

It sounds like the pressure of supporting your friend is affecting how you feel about your friendship. Sometimes when someone is very overwhelmed by their own feelings it can be hard for them to remember that the people around them might have their own difficult feelings too. It doesn’t mean that your friend doesn’t care about you, or that your feelings aren’t important. It does mean you will need to make sure you get support for yourself from someone else. Telling an adult would be one way of doing that.

Remember that ChildLine counsellors are also here to support you with what’s been happening. You can talk to a counsellor by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or by calling free (even from a mobile) on 0800 111. You could also think about asking your friend to contact ChildLine. Sometimes speaking to someone that you don’t know can be an easier way to start getting help

Take care,

Sam

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