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Question
Posted by: Geoff | 2007/04/22

Destructive behaviour 2

Thanks for your reply.

I'm familiar with the poem you mentioned - it actually came to mind the other day when i was thinking about this.
I have a small amount of first-hand knowledge regarding SI (thankfully it lasted no longer than a month, and i'm fine now), and another friend of mine has been through rather severe psychiatric times (he's actually been told not to talk about his SI with Mark - i suppose this is not wise advice?).
What i thought strange is that Mark would actually show off his wounds in the beginning, which seems contrary to the typical cases i'd heard of (?).

Would you recommend that everyone who knows about this (his church friends do not go to the same school as us) discuss it as to ensure that we are all on the same page?

Another thing i didn't mention - he keeps his church friends and school friends so seperate that it's almost 2 different worlds (although only lately he has hinted that i visit his youth - an offer which i think would be wise to take up, i must get around to doing it). I'm not sure if that has any significance.

I'll try to make the friendship more open so this can be discussed.

I can't think of any other points at the moment, though i'm sure there are more, but i'll keep in contact here.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello again,
Off topic, one of the things I could kick myself for was that when I worked in London, a good friend of mine was a good friend of that poet, Stevie Smith, and often suggested that's she'd arrange for us to go and have lunch with her, yet never got round to it befoere Stevie died, and I never pushed or nagged her before it was too late. Would love to have met that marvellously quirky person.
SI can be infectiouys, to a degree, and can see small epidemics in a boarding school or other hostel at times. But for most people it soon dies out. So your pal discussing SI with Mark might not be helpful, unless he can talk confidently and convincingly as some one who has got over SI and his miseries, and can help to put it into perspective.
Yes, publicising the wounds is unusual, though in the aforementioned situations where there are a group of cutters, there can be an element of competition, and "I have moure wounds than YOU" about it, at times.
Getting all on the same page sounds desirable, but wouldn't it be experienced by Mark as all his pals talking about him behind his back ?
A real friendship is, is it not, a relationship within which, tactfully, one should be able to talk about almost anything ?
Excellent and helpful responses all round

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Our users say:
Posted by: Geoff | 2007/04/22

I don't know his parents well, but from they seem rather controlling from the outside - he seems rather submissive to them.
It'd be shallow to describe them as strange, but from a distance they do seem that way.

Reply to Geoff
Posted by: Maria | 2007/04/22

Hi Geoff
I'm impressed with your level of maturity and the depth of your concern for your friend. Be careful when talking to other people about your friend's problems. When he hears about it he may feel that people were talking about him behind his back and this will hurt, even if your intentions are good. I think going to youth with him is a good idea, as it will give you insight into that part of his life. Perhaps there is something specific he wants you to see that will shed some light on his problems.
Do you know his parents? Do you know what his relationship with them is like? If at any point you feel that he is a danger to himself, I think you should discuss it with them. Otherwise your plan of developing your relationship and talking with him about it sounds good. I also like Only Me's suggestion of writing to him - that if way it is not a face to face confrontation and if he gets upset he will have time to think about it before speaking to you.
Good luck, you are an amazing friend.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: only me | 2007/04/22

Hi Geoff,

Im so sorry to hear about your friend. I feel i can reply to you because i only finsihed school last year and my high school years are not ones i look back on with fondness. Your friend really is lucky to have someone like you who cares, but its not always easy to help someone when they dont want or admit to needing help - i know because i have been there myself. In the beginning, hearing other peoples stories about their own 'psychiatric' difficulties made me feel even worse than i already did about myself, i cant really say why. So i do agree that its best not to share stories like that with him right now, but maybe in time that will be of help.

Destructive behaviour is definately not something to be taken lightly, although it can hapen for so many reasons. I think the best way to start to help your friend is to talk to him with sensitivity about it, and maybe if you cant talk to him in person, write or email him. I know i still find it easier to write to people becasue talking face to face somehwo makes things seem real (although i know thats the only proper way to deal with anything). You just have to let him know that this doesnt make him a bad person, and that you've heard his cry for help and are willing to support him through whatever he's going through. I know sometimes all i need is for someone to tell me everything will be ok, even if i dont believe them. Dont force your friend into anything as this may only make him worse off, but i agree that some form of professional help is probably best, you just need to make sure you go about it in the right way. If he's not close to his parents, then it should come from his friends, but dont try to handle all his problems by yourself as this will only be detremental to you. Good luck, i really hope everything will work out and that you'll find the root of this behaviour and be able to stop it before it gets completely out of hand.

Reply to only me

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