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How can I help my friend? *TW*


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For the sake of this post, let's call my friend Zoe (she isn't called that, but for anonymous sake...).

So, flippin hell, how do I even summarise everything, where the hell do I start.

Okay, right: for years, Zoe has recieved mental, physical, emotional and motivational abuse of sorts. Verbally: her parents often told her she wasn't good enough, they told her she'd work in the NHS, they spoke to her harshly, horribly, told her she wasn't going to do well at anything - the list goes on. Physically: her dad has hit her. Simple as. Emotionaly: they've told her she must work in the NHS, told her she isn't good enough time and time again. Motivational: basically the same as emotional. It all ties in to one.

She has a younger brother who is treated much more nicely than she is. At school, she was picked on from time to time, not many people took her seriously. At home, she's made to do all the house chore. Her parents have got really mad with her when she wasn't getting the grades they desired. When she went on to choose a psychology course for university, they were not happy at all.

On the internet: obviously I'm not one to say who someone should be friends with, but she befriended a lad, lets call him Ben. Ben was not particularly mentally stable himself. They got into a 'relationship', but both of their bad home states made for a rough time. They said some NASTY things to each other. Ben made her physically sick once, and it was only when I told her to give him up, that she did.

Recently: in the last three years: she's self harmed, she has attempted suicide, and has had/had suicidal thoughts. They have had social workers round, and as I hear, a police lady went round too. Zoe didnt tell the whole of her story to them, so no action I'd like to have been taken, was taken. I'm right to believe that her parents could go to court for their actions.

Now: yesterday was A level results day. She was extremely unstable. She was crying and laughing at the same time. She was making self destructive remarks and her emotions were very all over the place.

We've been demanding her to go to a GP again (she's been once). But she keeps putting it off and saying 'im fine'. She isn't. I'm at the point where i myself can't mentally handle her. I've offered all i have, ive taken a lot of my time out for her. I'm extremely motivated to get her to go to university and away from her home. But like I said, Im running out of options. I have no idea what else to do, accept for tell you guys or contact someone professional. The catch is: if her parents are confronted about this, they threaten to send Zoe back to her home country (we're in the uk, home country is the Philippines). And they mean it. I don't think they can, as she's 18 and a British Citizen. I should probably not be putting this on here, as it's obviously her story. But also, she's my friend, and I'm stuck. School know everything, and have a good hand on it all, but we've left school now and are a month or so away from university. I don't know what the hell to do.

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I know from personal experience that trying to get someone to get help when they don't want to doesn't work. When I was a my lowest (self-harming/suicidal) being told that I had to go see a professional just made me feel like I was going even more crazy. Getting help and starting treatment has to be a decision Zoe makes for herself otherwise all the treatment in the world won't help. As a friend all you can do is remind her of the fact that you are there. The place she is in right now is lonely and dark and you don't think there is any worth to your life. So you can remind her what an important person she is to you and remind her of good times you've had during your friendship it might help her to remember that better are possible.


In terms of yourself you need to take care of yourself as well. Being a good friend doesn't mean that you have to make yourself ill. Take time for yourself and remember that you can't help zoe at all if your ill. I don't really have any thing to suggest in terms of the other problems and honestly I don't have much faith in the police or social services.


I really hope things work out for the both of you and that you can get through the next few weeks so that she can put some distance between her and her family.


Hope this help

SpnWinchester xx

Edited by SpnWinchester
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@SpnWinchester Thank you so much. What you said was helpful. I have tried to urge her to get help, and she did reach out to a GP once but said it didn't work. I told her that once isn't going to fix things. At the moment, I usually try to tell her that she can do things, assure her that just because she's different doesn't mean she can't be successful, etc etc. I'm hoping that soon, she'll reach out herself. I understand where you're coming from, and I think your point of view has helped me understand her state of mind a little more ,so thank you very much.

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Hey @Marv


I agree with what @SpnWinchester has said completely. That firstly you don't have to do everything for your friend and it's the most important thing to look after yourself as you cannot give from an empty cup.


Secondly: As SpnWinchester said, when you are in the grips of poor mental health then anyone demanding you go and see someone can be really distressing and unhelpful. A lot of the time all a GP can do is put you on a wait list for counselling or medicate you so sometimes it's just about weathering through tough times whilst keeping up good self care and having a good support network.


If she is about to go to university then there is always a really comprehensive support network at universities, especially for first years as they know these transition times can be tough so I would tell her to contact someone in student support now and just let them know so that when she arrives she has someone to talk to if she needs to.


I hope some of this helps??



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@Remi yes, what you said was very helpful. It's good to know more about mental health, and eventhough I understand everything she is going through, but obviously I've never been in her shoes so I don't quite understand? If that makes any sense.

I had a good chat with her yesterday, and today she did actually visit her GP. She wrote everything down which was a good idea, and they've referred her to a mental health nurse. I did feel like I pushed her, but also she did keep saying she wasn't going to go, so we stopped suggesting it. And then she decided to book an appointment this morning which was a surprise. I'm glad she has, because it's all started to weigh me down a bit.

Thank you both for the advice. It's difficult when you haven't been in their shoes, so I'm glad people are around to tell me so.

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