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Need help with my girlfriend


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My girlfriend and I have been together for a few months now and I've just come to a realization that my gf cuts herself when she gets really depressed. We got into it a couple days ago about a number of things, and I noticed this morning that she had a cut on her wrist. I asked her about it and she told me she did this when we go into it that day, and she does it when she gets in a deep depression. I read something from a friend of hers from another site that she was thinking about killing herself a few months prior to us meeting each other. I'm really scared for her and I want her to get help, but I've never been in this situation before and to be honest, I don't know exactly what to do to help her. She is 25 years old and she has three kids, and she struggles day by day to take care of them because her bastards of ex-bfs won't give her child support. She feels really bad about herself because she can't give them the life that she wants them to have, and I think that's what causes her depression the most. It doesn't help either that she was beaten by her husband (soon to be ex) while they were together. I love her so much and I want her to be happy, I just need some kind of direction to make that happen.

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First of all, it's good to be educated a bit on self injury, so our pinned topics at the top of this subforum will be useful. Basically self injury is quite a personal thing, people do it for different reasons, their reasons change, sometimes even *they* don't know why they self injure. But being educated will help take your anxiety level down and make it easier to talk to her about it.

It must be hard to watch a loved on self injure, I know my family and friends have suffered watching me, and I have felt bad when friends of mine have done it. However we are all individuals, and all make our own choices. It's great that you want to support her, but be aware for that 'knight in white armour' fantasy kicking in, as much as you love her, you can't take away all her pain and protect from what sound to be the harsh realities of her life. Patience may be the hardest lesson that you need to learn. For many self injury is a lot like an addiction, and without another way to cope, difficulties in life send us running back to the razor. You haven't mentioned if she is ready to seek help. She has to be ready.

She could see her doctor, who might refer her to a psychiatrist, or a therapist, to explore what is driving her to cut, and give her some strategies to replace cutting. You could print out some of the information we have pinned and see if that would help her. I think you need to have an honest conversation with her about the friends suicide comment, to find out what her plans were (ask if she had a method in mind, a time to execute it, had she arranged any of her affairs prior to this, this sort of stuff will give an idea of how close she was to doing it) and what stopped her. I think that you need to have it clear in your mind when to speak up to the relevant people in order to protect her children, people with MI can be very good mothers, I am sure she is one, but someone who self harms and is on the verge on suicide may need some time away from the responsibilities of child care, and you don't want to be put the children at risk either.

I hope any of that is helpful.

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I can't say I would know what to do if I was in your situation. All I can say is be supportive, make sure she knows that your are in her life and you are not going anywhere. The cutting is a coping mechanism and won't really stop or get better untill the real issues are dealt with. I know it is difficult and scary but your support for her (verbally, physically and emotionally) is very important. Other than that she is the one who needs to make the decision to seek help.

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