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Relationship Questions

A Friend in Need

Hi I'm worried about one of my friends. Last year she changed a lot, she seemed sadder and angry often. I was really worried about her so I tried to be there for her as much as possible and get her to tell me what was going on, but she generally doesn't confide in people. There were a couple times when she just seemed so far gone that I asked her if she was suicidal, she always denied and said that she was fine. Was it wrong to ask her that? Anyway a couple months ago she confessed to me that she was cutting herself. When I asked her about it she said that she would sometimes get so mad at herself whenever she didn't live up to her expectations that she couldn't help it. One time she went to far and her parents caught her. Only they didn't really get her any help they just made her stop with threats. She doesn't cut anymore that I can tell. But the main reason why I'm writing is because two days ago when we were talking online I asked her if she could tell me this secret that she hinted about a couple months ago. She said that she thought she would if I promised to never tell anyone no matter what and I agreed. She then told me that last year "she came pretty damn close to killing herself like on purpose," she said that shes never told anyone about that before. She said that she doesn't want to anymore but for all of may/june thats all she would think about, that life was just so bad that plans of doing it just never stopped going through her head. When she told me all this I just didn't know what to say. I told her how sorry I was and asked why she didn't tell someone sooner. And she said that she would have rather died than accept someones help. She claims that shes over it now that she doesn't plan to do it anymore, that she feels better now. But I'm not sure I believe her. I can't tell anyone because she would just deny everything and people would believe her because shes a good lier and is good at hiding her feelings and if I tried to tell someone she knows things about me that she would reveal to get me in trouble. And shes one of my closest friends and if I betray her she would never speak to me again. I don't think shes planning anything but I can still tell shes hurting. What can I do to help her?



  • 'Anne' is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • 'Anne' bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
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