Friends Attempted suicide has made my daughter angry at her....

Desiree - posted on 02/19/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have a 15 year old daughter who currently is flaming angry at one of her best friends. Reason being that she attempted suicide a couple of weeks back. When I ask her why she felt angry she said at first she felt guilty because she had thought she could have prevented her from trying. But later realized that she didn't know the signs and they weren't there it was so out of the blue. So now she is angry because she feels he friend could have asked for help and spoken to some one and feels that she has done something very stupid. From what I gather everything was centered around a group and a prank. But I am sure there is a lot more than meets the eye. How do i counsel my child?

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Jackie - posted on 09/06/2014

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She probably just feels helpless and sad her friend didn't turn to her. But her friend probably loved her too much to want to out that burden on her.

Rebekah - posted on 02/19/2014

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Anger is a natural response to this situation, as are the other mixed feelings she is experiencing. However, rather than remaining in an angry state, or having your daughter focus on "blaming" her friend for not handling her problems in a healthier way, try to encourage her to move more to a position of understanding.
There are a lot of reasons teens don't reach out when they are depressed/suicidal. They may fear judgement, or rejection, or not being taken seriously, or made to feel ashamed. Often when people are depressed to the point of considering suicide, they aren't thinking as logically as they would be if they weren't in that emotional state.
Is your daughter remaining friends with her? Encourage her to be supportive and keep the lines of communication going, spend time together and don't let her isolate. She can ask what she can do to help her friend. But it would also be good, if her friend is indeed dealing with a clinical depression, for her to become generally educated on what it involves AND to know what her limits are as a peer/friend. She shouldn't be expected to take the place of a counselor for her friend, or to be able to read her mind, or to automatically know if she's a safety threat to herself. Your daughter should know what channels to turn to if she has any concerns about her friend.
It could also be helpful for your daughter to check in with a counselor also, to help process her mixed feelings about this. Encourage her to keep talking to you as well.
Hopefully whomever was involved in the group/prank is aware of the impact of their behaviors. If your daughter had some sort of role in this, does she still have lingering guilt? Keep her talking.

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