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In ninth grade, I was friends with a girl named Catherine. She always wanted to talk to me during PE and biology and acting class and we texted a lot, but I didn't consider her a close friend. She may have considered me a close friend, though, since she trusted me enough to tell me that she was sexually abused by her brother. That was six years ago. I went to live with my grandparents after ninth grade and they took away the internet for several months after a suicide attempt (it was triggered by something that a girl online said) and that was my only way to talk to people because my dad was still refusing to accept that teenagers need unlimited texting, so we don't really talk anymore. But yesterday morning, she posted on Facebook about hating her life and wishing she was dead and feeling like nobody cared about her. I'm really worried about her. I started crying when I saw those posts. What should I do? I mean, I could tell her that I care about her, but she might not believe me because I never talk to her. If I ask what's wrong, I won't know how to respond if she tells me. I asked for advice on another forum, but only one person even answered, and he wasn't helpful at all. Just to make this absolutely clear, Catherine and I ARE NOT teenagers. I am 20 and she is 21. The person who tried to help on another forum told me to tell my parents, but that wouldn't do any good because my parents don't even know her. And even if they did, they wouldn't be good people to tell. My mom is schizophrenic and refuses to get help, and my dad has autism and got busted for child porn. My grandparents don't know her, either. And my grandparents and I live in Arizona while Catherine lives in Kansas. So no advice that only applies to kids with normal family situations, please.
 

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Electronica Wizard
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Have you tried to meet up with her? I have no experience in helping in such situation. She might actually need a professional help. However, as someone who knows her, you can help just by being her friend. She may need to get out of the monotony which is her life and do something that does not tax her emotionally. Something you can do like inviting her for a short holiday or something. Maybe a trip to Arizona or even somewhere in between Arizona and Kansas to see if there's any enjoyable activities you can both do there..
 

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EvilShoutyRudolph
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She's probably just being over dramatic! It's the internet for crying out loud!

 
I suck at understanding these situations, so take my post with a grain of salt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Have you tried to meet up with her? I have no experience in helping in such situation. She might actually need a professional help. However, as someone who knows her, you can help just by being her friend. She may need to get out of the monotony which is her life and do something that does not tax her emotionally. Something you can do like inviting her for a short holiday or something. Maybe a trip to Arizona or even somewhere in between Arizona and Kansas to see if there's any enjoyable activities you can both do there..
Wouldn't suddenly asking her to meet up when I've only talked to her once in the past couple years be a little weird? And it's the holiday season, so this isn't really the best time anyway. She almost certainly needs professional help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She's probably just being over dramatic! It's the internet for crying out loud!

 
I suck at understanding these situations, so take my post with a grain of salt
You should never, ever say stuff like that about somebody who might be suicidal, even if you're joking. You could really hurt somebody.
 

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EvilShoutyRudolph
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You should never, ever say stuff like that about somebody who might be suicidal, even if you're joking. You could really hurt somebody.
I personally don't care. also, I am pretty sure whom ever is suicidal probably doesn't even know me, so why would it hurt them?
 

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Electronica Wizard
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Wouldn't suddenly asking her to meet up when I've only talked to her once in the past couple years be a little weird? And it's the holiday season, so this isn't really the best time anyway. She almost certainly needs professional help.
Do you know any social worker or anyone working in similar line of job to ask for advice? Usually when I was in school, they had guest speakers to come in to talk to us about mental health and other things. If you know any organization that give either online or walk-in counselling for young people, you could give them a call. However, that's just my advice.
 

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It’s never wrong to bridge a gap of time by checking in on someone and letting them know you care. This friend expressed these dark thoughts and desires on a public forum, even if it is just a cry for attention, or conversely, if it’s the only way she knows how to ask for help, people want to know that they are cared about, and that their voices are heard in the noise of the world, and it sounds like she has weathered a lot in her 20 years and is going through enough now to speak up. It’s not wrong reaching out to her, but be careful that you don’t get lost in that too. You are sensitive and care and have your own history of dark thoughts. You can privately let her know that you care and listen to her, but there are suicide hotlines and resources you can point her to, if it comes to that point. It is not your burden to carry her hurt, but you can at least let her know you are listening to her and are there for her in whatever capacity you can be. tel:1-800-273-8255 — national hotline — if you are out of the US, these numbers are easily accessible over the internet. My thoughts are with you guys.
 
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Peter Petrelli
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If this person sounds suicidal, it's good to err to the side that they are serious. I think it's good you do. I'd rather err to the side of urgency, because it's better to be wrong by assuming they are, then assuming they aren't.
The above poster mentioned the suicide hotline number, providing them with that is step 1

also, try to get them to get professional help. Ask if they can inquire about mental health assistance, and see if you can find out the emergency number for their region, as most mental health facilities do have a phone number.

Otherwise, not much you can do, except be supportive, listen, and show you care. I think that people overestimate how much friends have to do in the situation, but a person who is to that point really needs professional help, and friends are limited in what they can do except for the above. We wish we could fix people's hearts, and problems, but, we really can't. All we can do is support that person on their endeavor.
 

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EvilShoutyRudolph
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