I have a friend severely suffering from depression who self-harms. I want to understand what it’s like so I can help her better, especially as someone who hasn’t experienced that myself. It’s a huge deal to be trusted by her with this, and I want to approach it properly. Can anyone help?
|October 11, 2015 at 18:25|
It sweet that you want to approach it the right way 🙂 I would avoid saying things like “It could be worse”, “You don’t have enough faith”, “You’re not trying hard enough”. You probably wouldn’t believe how much people with depression hear those things, and I know the people that say them are usually well-meaning but they’re extremely hurtful and invalidating.
|October 11, 2015 at 19:01|
This is how you help someone with depression:
|October 11, 2015 at 20:20|
It has been 3months since I last took a razor blade to my arm. I suffer from depression and severe PTSD. The best way to help, is by being there to listen and nothing more. Don’t tell her what she should or shouldn’t do. Don’t bring attention to the self harm, don’t make it about you. If she brings it up, don’t dismiss her. Be willing to listen and sympathize, but be honest in the fact that you can’t relate. It is so much better than pretending you can, because we know that you in fact can’t, and it discredits us and our feelings.
Self harm isn’t a cry for attention, and its also not the same as a suicide attempt or ideation. Don’t let her feel guilty and ashamed of what she has done if she shows signs of feeling that way. self harm is a coping mechanism. Not the healthiest, but its how she knows how to cope and as of right now that is okay.
But overall, its just about loving her through it. I remember when I went to a friends house once and I had a couple deep cuts from a few hours prior (I was 19, she was 27). She took me into her bedroom and cleaned my arm and bandaged it and told me she loved me and I had nothing to be ashamed of. Then she kissed the area she had bandaged. I knew in that moment that I was loved and even though I hated myself and my body, she loved me. Not saying that is necessarily what you should do, just sharing my experience.
|October 13, 2015 at 17:36|
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