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Her Only Friend

Question:

umm, this is not about me it’s about my best friend, she is 13, and I am her only friend, and she has told me that she has tried to kill her self so many times and the only reason that she is still here is because of me, and that her parents used to hit her, and that I was reading a thing about the things to look out for and she’s got all of them I really would like some help in helping her. I do go to a different school then her, but we talk on the phone, chat and send letters but I still fell really bad, if she died, cause she is my best friend and I need her please help me in helping her.

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

You are a truly good friend, for acting on your desire to help your friend. From what you’ve told here she has some really difficult things happening for her. It sounds like your friend has been abused by her parents. Exactly what has occurred is hard to say, but being ‘hit’ by your parents counts as abuse most of the time. The fact that she says she is suicidal (wants to kill herself) suggests further that she is depressed (deeply sad and without hope). Being abused, and depressed and suicidal is a hard burden for your friend to carry, and she probably cannot carry it all herself. Here are some things you can do for her to help her to carry the burden. Make sure that adults (like your parents, teachers in her school, or the school nurse, counselor or even the principle of her school) knows how depressed your friend is, that she is wanting to kill herself, and that she has been hit by her parents. Responsible adults can begin to address this problem, first by making sure that she is no longer being hit by her parents, or otherwise harmed, and second by helping your friend get help from doctors and therapists so that she doesn’t feel as sad and suicidal. It may feel like you are telling on her, and you will be telling on her if you do this, but someone has to let the local responsible adults know what is happening, or she could actually harm herself, or be further harmed by her parents. As much as you can, continue to be there for your friend when she wants to talk. You don’t have to say much. Sometimes just listening is the best thing. If you need to give her advice, the best advice is probably that she should tell some responsible adults (like a favorite teacher, the school nurse or counselor, or the principle) how sad and depressed she feels, or whether she is still being hit at home. They can help get her to a doctor and/or counselor who could help her to feel better and be safer. Also, talk to your own parents about what is going on. Maybe they can help you to feel better. Maybe they can make some suggestions for what can be done. Good luck.

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