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I have just shouted at friend who self harms...I feel such a twat!!!!

(53 Posts)
needtoask Tue 14-Oct-08 22:46:55

i am regular with a name change and not a troll
here goes.....
she is the most adorable person you could ever meet

I love her and we have been friends for years
but she is a compulsive attention seeker
lately the self harming has resulted in myself blowing my top with her and saying what i think

I believe in the saying "You have to be cruel to be kind"

but I feel such a twat

pls dont pounce on me, I really want to do whats best for her

thanks for reading this

Pan Tue 14-Oct-08 22:48:51

what sort of self harming? What did you say?

Pan Tue 14-Oct-08 22:49:53

and no, you don't have to be cruel to be kind. Just kind will do pretty much well???

zazen Tue 14-Oct-08 22:50:42

Sometimes people need to hear the emotion as well as the message.

I think you are very forthright and honest and believe me your friend appreciates this about you. Maybe everyone else tiptoes round her?

Don't worry about her self harming as a result of you blowing your top with her.
She must take responsibility for her actions. You don't hold the knife, she does.

dittany Tue 14-Oct-08 22:51:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

snowleopard Tue 14-Oct-08 22:52:41

It's late and I'm off to bed or I would write more, but I just anted to sympathise with you really - being around someone with depressive/self-destructive tendencies can be extraordinarily frustrating. It is attention-seeking, it is selfish. But it's the illness that is these things, and it is possible she can be a person free of these horrors.

The fact is though, it's a job for a professional and as a friend, it is very likely to be more than you can handle. Don't feel bad about taking a break from her if it's what you need - you can calmly explain that you are sorry but you are so frsutrated and you don't think you are helping at the moment, but offer a reasonable date to meet up after a decent period apart. You don't have to fix this.

needtoask Tue 14-Oct-08 22:56:53

cuting her arms but not at the wrists
they are very vague scratches used with a sharp object
tbh what didnt i say....i told her she had everything to live for but i was sick of her constant attention seeking and piling her shit on my doorstepshock
i just totally blew and erupted

TooTicky Tue 14-Oct-08 22:58:36

This sort of self harm can be useful venting. Not ideal, but keeps things from boiling over. She is in a bad way anyway. Is she getting any professional help?

ScottishMummy Tue 14-Oct-08 23:01:21

does she have CPN/CMHT- get her to call them.she is an adult and ultimately responsible for her own behaviours

you shouting unlikely to change enduring learned behaviours.she wont stop cause you shouted.she might get negative reinforcement eg i cut i get attention

but best isnt shouting and getting cross.these are your frustration she makes you feel

she needs to see her psych and/or cpn etc if she is deteriorating

needtoask Tue 14-Oct-08 23:06:42

she has had professional help for OCD in the past

thanks everyone for a really quick response
Yes I think I may need time out but I feel if I do I will be turning my back on her

wordsonascreen Tue 14-Oct-08 23:06:42

Have name changed (sorry)
But as a former SH I do remember by best mate screaming at me. At the time it didn't really register. i was that self absorbed. But I do remember it.

Later I really appreciated it.

I didn't get proffessional help (I should have, but was too ashamed.. so it was a long haul recovery process)

Just be a continue to be a good friend.

ScottishMummy Tue 14-Oct-08 23:12:52

you need to be honest about your boundaries and impact on you.if it is too upsetting tell her

ultimately she is an adult she needs to take responsibility for her actions.recognise her own individual triggers and stressors

but no you are no duty bound to hang around if it leads to arguments

but cruel to be kind, isnt a strategy either. sh is deeply embedded learned behaviour in response to something. she needs to tackle her demons.this might take years

dittany Tue 14-Oct-08 23:14:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Tue 14-Oct-08 23:14:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

needtoask Tue 14-Oct-08 23:19:26

but is it not attention seeking Dittany when they wish for persons to see the marks which are left

her partner has just recently left her, he cannot take anymore of the emotional blackmail

solidgoldskullonastick Tue 14-Oct-08 23:21:51

Sympathies to you, OP. It is miserably difficult to be close to a self-harmer (I have had a few to deal with including one person I was extremely close to) for any length of time. I tried pleading, I tried gentle rational discussion, I tried hiding all the sharp objects (so he gouged a chunk out of his arm with his doorkey...) I tried crying, I tried screaming and threats, I tried cutting my own arms <winces at the memory>.
NOTHING worked. As with all addictive behaviours, the person with the problem will only start recovering when he/she wants to.

It's perfectly OK to ask your friend for a bit of space: when you have a friend with any kind of depressive or mental health issues it's easy to forget that you matter as well, everything becomes about managing the ill person's feelings. You are not a professional, you need time to not be dealing with your friend's problems as well.

ScottishMummy Tue 14-Oct-08 23:22:30

frankly, dont get sucked into her demons.she needs to see her MDT.there is no benefit in seeing the lacerations

dittany Tue 14-Oct-08 23:22:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theSuburbanDryad Tue 14-Oct-08 23:29:03

Agree with ScottishMummy (as usual!!) she needs to be seeing a CMHT or CPN. Such help is very difficult to come by - especially (i am sorry to say) if the cuts are faint and insignificant. IME you need to be gouging chunks out of yourself on a regular basis to get any sort of help on the NHS.

I don't think it would be unreasonable of you to explain to your friend that you are happy to be their friend, but that you cannot be their psychiatrist. She needs to get some proper help and speak to her GP asap. Failing that, phone the Crisis team (there should be one in the area, it will be in the Yellow Pages) or the Samaritans, who will know what to do.

ScottishMummy Tue 14-Oct-08 23:32:13

you need to be known to crisis team.wont do spontaneous hv or AX.if desperate go A&E dept psych registrar on duty

crisis team is by referral only im afraid
cmht can refer

needtoask Tue 14-Oct-08 23:34:18

OMG solid how awful

I have just sent her text message explaining I was sorry for my outburst but explained that she needs professional help i also said we would meet for coffee in the morning if she feels up to it..waiting for reply atm

theSuburbanDryad Tue 14-Oct-08 23:38:50

SM - sorry, didn't realise that. Have not been seen by Crisis team myself, only had experience when I called them out for my friend's dp - he must've already been referred IYSWIM.

Do all A&E depts have psych registrar on duty then? Just wondering...

(Must go to bed now, but will check on this in the morning)

JodieO Tue 14-Oct-08 23:41:22

I used to self harm and even now sometimes I feel like I "need" to, I haven't in a while though. I don't feel an urge to show anyone, I'm the opposite. Sometimes emotions do get overwhelming and it feels like a release, it isn't easy to explain.

I self harmed from when I was about 16, I tried to cut my wrists when I was 18/19 and I still have the scars which I hate. I have scars on my arms too from self harming, it wasn't something I wanted attention for though.

I had an abuse childhood and then an abusive marriage which I've recently got out of, and while that isn't an excuse, it was a catalyst for my behaviour.

needtoask Tue 14-Oct-08 23:45:37

jodie what were your thoughts when this was happening to you and did you get prof help?

JodieO Tue 14-Oct-08 23:50:02

I had help from my gp when I tried to cut my wrists, I was on ad's for a while. The later self harm I didn't though. I am ok now though but I think it's something, to me, that feels like it will always be there in the background.

I felt very over whelmed at the time I did it and extremely emotional, I would then self harm and I felt better for a short while, sorry to be graphic but it was seeing the blood that was the release of everything for me.

The next day I would always feel awful about it though and regret doing it, even though it helped at the time.

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