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Ask A Therapist: How Do I Help My Suicidal Best Friend?

A few months ago me and my best friends ex boyfriend (who still cares a lot about her) went to our school guidance councilors and told them how my best friend was suicidal. they told her parents and she had to get an evaluation from a therapist. they cleared her and she was allowed back in school. however now school isn’t in session and she’s suicidal again. I know this because she told me that I’m the only thing keeping her alive. a few years ago she was raped by a close friend and then a few days after the rape walked in on him killing himself. she never dealt with this traumatic event and I think it’s one of the reasons she’s suicidal now. we talked a little about it and she told me she feels like she messes everything up and all she does is make things worse. I tried to show her how that’s not true and how a lot of people care about her but she doesn’t believe me. I don’t want to go to her parents again because I dont think they’d believe me a second time. I want her to get help and talk to someone but I don’t know how to do it. please help me.

A: Thank you for your email. I can feel your concern for your friend through this letter. Even though you might be putting your friendship at risk, I suggest you go talk to her parents. They need to know about the rape and that she walked in on the person who raped her committing suicide. Those are horrific traumas for a teenager to witness and she is in serious danger.  Please watch the video response for more tools to handle this painful situation.

Take good care of yourself
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: I Think I’m Depressed

So five months ago, I moved from Chicago to a new school. I thought it would be great to move to a new school, but I was wrong. It isn’t and I’m still not making any close friends. Everyone already has all their groups and best friends, so it’s really hard for me. I still haven’t found anyone to fit in with. And now, I’m starting to have self esteem issues. I was already having suicidal thoughts a little before I came to this school, but then they kind of died off. But about a month after being in my new school, the thoughts came back and stayed with me for another good 3 months. Even though these thoughts are gone, my self-esteem isn’t as great as it used to be. I cry a lot more often just thinking about my life, and I’m a lot more sensitive than I used to be. I also used to have an eating disorder, where I made myself throw up a few days a week. I barely read anymore, which is something I used to do all the time.
 From this, do you think I’m depressed?

A: The short answer is yes, your symptoms do sound like depression. I suggest that you seek help immediately. The social isolation and low self-esteem, frequent crying, and your history of suicidal thoughts are serious symptoms that need to be addressed. While I can’t diagnose you in this forum, I suggest that you get a thorough mental health evaluation to find out exactly what’s going on, and what treatment you need so you can start enjoying your life. Watch the video below for my complete response. Thanks for writing in.

Take good care of yourself,

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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I Don’t Love My Boyfriend

Private moment. In public.

I guess when people say “to much of a good thing isn’t good either” they were right… I met my 2nd boyfriend senior year of high school, we fell in love and I can truly say that the first year with him was the best of my life. It was very odd that one random day, out of the blue, just a few days after our 1 year, I woke up and I just had a nagging feeling I didn’t love him anymore. It felt horrible. A lot of my friends and family said it’s because we had spent way to much time together, and so I thought okay, I’ll tell him we need to spend less time together. We did so for a few weeks but my feelings still didn’t change. This man [he is 20 like me] has been the most wonderful person to me in the entire world, he would give his life for me, and I know I would to. However, I constantly think of other guys, I’m curious to explore and be in other relationships. He is only my 2nd boyfriend, and I am his 1st girlfriend
Creative Commons License photo credit: skedonk. I care about him so much, and sometimes I feel like maybe just maybe one day I will feel that intense love I felt for him before, but as the months go by my hope lessens… it’s been about 5 months that I feel this way. I even broke up with him, but we got back together a month later because I am so used to him and feel so comfortable around him that I just felt kind of weird being without him. I encountered once after we broke up, and I couldn’t help but cry softly while he wasnt watching. That made me think that I must miss him and so I did get back with him… The main problem is that I take him for granted ALWAYS. I can yell at him, be enraged and not talk to him, break up with him or tell him I will, and he won’t do anything. I know he loves me so much it’s boring… I wish he would take control of the relationship and stop being so nice! We have never been in a fight because he avoids them, and I just wish he was a tougher. He is too loving and caring, I wish he was more stern and I really wish he broke up with me, because I feel like that is the only real way I will know if I love him or not. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but to me it does. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I am in much need of help.

Click below to hear my audio response.

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