(Lexington, KY, United States)
Hello, I'm writing to you to get more advise on what I can do to help my girlfriend with depression.
We haven't been in a relationship for a long time at all. But depression and self harm is something she really struggles with. She is on medication, but she still has her waves of sadness and anger every so often. And when she does, she blocks out everyone and doesn't want to talk to anyone, even me.
So I was wanting to get advise on what I can do to help. She is a high schooler. She also loves hardcore metal music. And being a country lover, I have been trying to get her to stop listening to that genre of music. But nothing's really working.
I want to help her as much as I can. But on the same note, I don't want to bug her and find me annoying when I'm trying to help. Any advise? -Logan.
Hello, Logan and thanks for reaching out. It's a bit tough to give you any specific advice since I do know have details of her diagnosis. However, there are a couple of things that come to my mind straight away.
First, she is at high school age. That, in and of itself, comes with its own challenges. Hormones, peer pressure, trying to figure out how you really fit into this big world of ours.
Second, you can't help someone that doesn't want to be helped. You are doing the right thing by simply letting her know you are there for her if she needs you and, yet, giving her the space she needs. You are walking a necessary fine line because you don't want to push her away. So, your instincts are right on the money.
Third, you mention self harming. I assume you mean cutting? This is a sign of very deep pain and/or anger. People cut to try and relieve this pain because they don't know how else to express or deal with their feelings. Perhaps you can lead her to the "Don't Cut" hotline:
Self-Injury Support: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288 FREE) (www.selfinjury.com)
And, a couple of teen hotlines she might want to have in her hip pocket:
Teen Helpline: 1-800-400-0900 FREE
TeenLine: 1-800-522-8336 FREE
You sound like a very caring individual and a good friend. Let her know you truly care and that you are there for her. Also, encourage her to find additional help. Is she on meds? Can she get therapy? The sooner she can let herself be vulnerable, face the pain and work through it the better.
She's lucky to have you.
I hope this helps!
All the best,