I've really been struggling with depression and self harm recently, and I feel like I need to confide in someone - keeping it all inside is becoming too much pressure. The only people who I've ever told about this are my GP and my counsellor, but I feel like I've gotten to the stage where I need to be honest with someone close to me and I can't carry this burden alone anymore. Telling my parents would be just too difficult and emotionally involved for both me and them - I may tell them in the future, but I'm not ready for that yet.
I have a person in mind - one of my best friends - whom I want to tell, but I'm just not sure how to do it. I'm an extremely awkward person and find it incredibly difficult to talk about my feelings. I have a few concerns about confiding in her; the first being simply how to broach the subject? It's not something you can just casually throw into conversation! The other two things that I am unsure about are: how to explain to her how I feel and why I self harm so that she understands, but without going into too much detail about how bad things have been, and how to respond if she asks how she can help? I'm not really sure of the answer to that myself - I don't want to tell her everything all the time, because I couldn't and that would be way too distressing for both of us; I just want her to understand me and have someone who knows that I am having difficulties but not so that we have to talk about it all the time.
If anyone could help me with this I'd be extremely grateful
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2
01-03-2012 09:47 PM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
How to tell my best friend about my depression and self harm?
06-03-2012 01:31 PM #2
Hey Louisy and welcome to Step Finder
It sounds as though you've come to a place where you're feeling ready to confide in someone close to you about what you have been going through. You've already taken some really positive steps in talking to your GP and counsellor and I guess this feels like the natural next step for you. It's understandable you might not feel ready to tell you parents yet; it can be a really difficult subject to share and that relationship makes doing so harder due to all the emotions involved like you say.
You mention you're worried about a few things: how to broach the subject, how to help them understand without having to go into too much detail and what to say if they ask how they can help.
It would be worth thinking about these a little more. Maybe write down a few ideas of what you might say. When it comes to it you could reassure your friend that you are seeing your doctor and counsellor, this will help to take the pressure off them. Think about what they really could do to help, they're bound to want to if they can. Maybe they could offer a distraction at times when you feel really low, ask them to chat on the phone about something random or go out for a walk together. Or, it might help to have someone to simply listen when you've had a tough day?
The most important thing of all is that you feel comfortable with who you decide to tell, what you tell them, when and where. Don't feel pressured into answering questions or saying more than you want to. There are many ways of telling people and there are no rules to how it should be done. You can speak to someone, write to or email them, if you tell them in writing think about taking some time to talk to them afterwards as well. You could even start by sending a text to say ‘I wanted to talk to you about something personal, could we find a time to have a chat just us two?’ for example.
Revealing self-harm to someone can bring out a wide range of feelings. The person you tell may need some time to get used to what you've told them and think about their response. So try to give this to them. If you tell someone it might be helpful to direct them to our self harm section here on TheSite.org or to the Mind website, to get more information and a better understanding of what self harm is and why people may do this.
If you don't feel quite ready to talk to someone close yet there are confidential helplines that you can access. Perhaps you could try calling Childline on 0800 1111 and telling them as a 'practice run' if this felt ok, then perhaps you could talk to a friend about it.
I hope this helps a bit, let us know how you get on and feel free to keep exploring how you might want to approach it, you could tell us some of your ideas if you like.