SRS Helping a hurting friend...maybe?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by rachael.mz, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. rachael.mz

    rachael.mz New Member

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    Ok, so I've been friends with this girl, Kayla, for about a year. She's an awesome person, really fun, all that. What worries me is that there's just this extreme sadness about her. You look at her, and she can be smiling and acting like she's have a good time, but you can still see that inside she's upset.

    I wouldn't say she has an alcohol problem, because it's hardly that she gets drunk every night, but she goes out most weekends and gets stoned and/or drunk. She lives with all guys, and there are rarely any females in the group when they all go out, which is worrying seeing as I really wouldn't trust any of those guys. She's really a pretty girl, and gets a lot of male attention. While that's nice in most situations, when you're drunk/high, you don't always make the wisest decisions..

    Kayla hasn't had the best of past, I know that much, but she won't elaborate any farther. The farthest we ever got in a conversation about it was "...they weren't things I chose..." and "I don't want people thinking I bring things on myself, so I won't talk to anyone." I know for a fact she's cut before, I'm not sure if she still does. I'm fairly certain that plays in with her past. I do know that she left home when she was sixteen because of something with her parents (she's 27 now), which may still bother her. I don't know about the relationship with her dad, but her and her mom don't really talk. Oh, and another thing she said when we were talking a few days ago was that she busted out in tears just the other day while sleeping with this guy? I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound good..thoughts?

    So what would you do in my situation? Let her go on living a potentially dangerous lifestyle, or confront her? I've told her she can talk to me whenever, but I know she won't. It's just really sad for me to see such a fun person suffering like this..

    Huge thanks in advanced.

    Just wanted to add that she was diagnosed with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) in February...a clear indication that something is very wrong..
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  2. Xin

    Xin OT Supporter

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    If she isn't getting help for her PTSD, you can possibly bring up the subject through buying her a self-help book and just let her know that she can read it if she wants when she's ready...something like that. Don't force it on her, just give it to her and say you think it might be something good for her, but it's up for her to decide.

    There's a book called "Healing from Trauma" that I purchased for an old friend awhile back. I really thought it was a great book.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  3. rachael.mz

    rachael.mz New Member

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    Thank you, that really is a good idea.
     
  4. rachael.mz

    rachael.mz New Member

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    Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. djshotglass

    djshotglass New Member

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    You can't fix her. She'll have PTSD for the rest of her life and while she may be able to try and control it better but it will never go away. I've spent 2 years trying to fix my gf and she's nearly the same as when I met her. There's no way I can do what several therapists have failed at. We're more than likely going to break up because of it.
     
  6. Xin

    Xin OT Supporter

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    Have the therapists been PTSD specialized therapists? Have they tried to combine medication with therapy? Has she gone into any support groups for people with PTSD? Have you brought self-help books to her attention?

    There are many ways to trying to help her, but she has to want to help herself first.
     
  7. rachael.mz

    rachael.mz New Member

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    I've never heard of PTSD lasting someone a lifetime. I know it can go on for years, but I've not read anything stating otherwise. While the actual trauma may be with the person mentally for a lifetime, I don't believe it's the disorder that lasts that way...someone corret me if I'm wrong?
     
  8. Xin

    Xin OT Supporter

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    left untreated PTSD can definitely affect someone a life time. It can take years and years of therapy, medication, and support for someone to learn what happened, why, accept it, and move onward using it as a personal strength as to what they've overcome. If they never get help for it, some people will never overcome it. It's a very powerful disorder. Learning to cope with flashbacks and piecing together memories that the mind has repressed until a clear picture of the events that caused it is rarely able to be done on someone's own, especially when they aren't even really aware of being affected by it, chalk it up as some weird memories, and don't get help.
     
  9. rachael.mz

    rachael.mz New Member

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    Thanks. But is it actually the PTSD itself that can remain (I mean the severity of it), or does fade away in time?

    And as for Kayla...she's never directly said what happened, in a way I think she's afraid of accepting it. I know she gets flashbacks to some degree (as I said in the first post), I think it's really just a matter of her talking to someone..
     
  10. Xin

    Xin OT Supporter

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    With help it can hopefully fade away. The brain experienced something that it deemed as traumatic, so it usually represses these memories because consciously the person cannot deal with the level of what it went through. Whether it was physical or emotional damage. Certain events will trigger those memories, and they will flash a bit, usually leaving the person confused because their mind has had them forget about the experience.

    The person who I bought the book for went through a severe car accident and had brain damage. She was in a coma for 2 weeks afterwards. The brain repressed things that happened so she could move forward, but it doesn't mean the memories went away for good. When getting in a car again, she'd feel a sense of panic/anxiety, and her muscles tighten up for awhile after the accident without necessarily knowing why. The brain was remembering the traumatic time she went through when she was in the accident, and it was subconsciously having her muscles tighten up, as if it were expecting another accident to happen. Not knowing why her body/mind was doing that and feeling confused and/or being unable to control that trigger is the PTSD. Some people will break down from the flashbacks because the memories are so painful, but they will quickly be repressed again until another even triggers it. PTSD therapy usually focuses on finding these triggers and learning to manage them. Learning what happened, allowing the memories to come out, accepting them, and moving on is a very hard process for most people. Many find it to be too overwhelming emotionally and don't stick with it...but the flashbacks and triggers won't go away.
     
  11. rachael.mz

    rachael.mz New Member

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    Thank you very much, that post was very helpful.

    I don't think she wants help with her PTSD, because she seems to deny she even has it (though shes been diagnosed and very clearly does)...the environment she's surrounded in certainly isn't helping either, which I don't think she realises.. :-/
     

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