My best friend has always been very quiet and anti-social, he’s constantly suffering from bouts of depression. He’s been to therapists, but is in fear of being treated badly for admitting his urges to hurt others/himself.
He’s been to our hospital for depression before, and recalls it being a HORRIBLE experience. I want him to get help and have tried many times before. Recently he’s been more vocal about hurting others, even texting me late at night talking about how badly he wants to hurt someone to feel better.
He absolutely hates himself for his thoughts, and I don’t want to lose him. I’m sick with worry every night, I need advice from someone who knows how to advise him better than me. He’s 14, and has had a stressful school and home life, divorce, and being treated like a mentally challenged kid in school. Help.
It’s natural to feel the way you do. Almost everyone would be worried and afraid about what might happen. What’s most important is him seeking help.
Understandably, you don’t want to be the one responsible for your friend possibly having to return to the hospital. But imagine, for a moment, that he does carry out his plan and you knew about it and said nothing. You would be in the unenviable position of not having voiced your concerns when you could have, when something could have been done to prevent a tragedy.
Him spending a week or two in the hospital, where he will receive specialized treatment for his depression, is a much better alternative than him lying feet under the ground or spending the rest of his life in prison.
When people talk about suicide, they want help. If you can’t help them directly, then help them to find help.
Share your concerns with a responsible adult as soon as possible. Your parents might be able to help. You should also consider telling his parents. Another option is to call a suicide crisis line (1-800-SUICIDE) or emergency services (911). Do whatever is necessary to ensure his safety and the safety of others. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle