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my girlfriend struggles with self harm and really bad depression, she’s getting professional help and I know I can’t help much. How can I be there for her and cope with how it makes me feel?

4 Answers
Last Updated: 12/02/2019 at 7:09pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Melissa Fisher Goldman, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I have experience in grief work and the related challenges of growing a family (infertility, miscarriage, PPD, etc.). I can help you through your life transitions.

Top Rated Answers
December 2nd, 2019 7:09pm
i think you can help by being a good listener. i have no experience with this problem, but if someone i know and love is struggling with depression, i know it's always good to have someone who is willing to listen. you don't have to give any advice, you can just let her talk about how she's feeling or whatever. however, when you are listening to her, remember that you are not trying to solve all of her problems, so if things get a little overwhelming, you need to remember to take care of yourself and your mental health.
May 27th, 2019 9:06pm
Be supportive of her as well as look out for yourself. Your mental health should never decline while trying to help others. If necessary seek out a therapist to talk out your feelings as well! Therapists aren’t just there to diagnose people. I’ve personally gone to a therapist to talk about family and relationship problems and they helped me a lot! There wasn’t even a conversation where they tried to diagnose me or feel like I was invalid. Therapists are here for literally everything! It’s amazing your there for your girlfriend! But be there for yourself as well.
August 20th, 2018 5:26am
You being there, even if you don't say anything - helps more then you may realise! People can feel so incredibly lonely when they self-harm, so having someone who can sit there with them while they're in that pain is really amazing. There is a lot of pressure sometimes to want to 'help' or fix it, but like you said - it's up to the pros to work with her. Perhaps she could talk with you about how she went in therapy. There may be something practical that you can help with; whether it's taking away her self-harm 'tools', taking her for a walk, reminding her of her worth, keeping her accountable to go to therapy, just listening or watching a funny movie. It's also so important that you take care of yourself and find a way to cope with the way it makes you feel; maybe that looks like taking time off to hang out with friends, talking to someone on 7 Cups, connecting with other carers/supporters or just doing things you enjoy!
August 14th, 2018 1:58am
The best you can do is support her. If she self harms again, don't be angry. Don't be upset. Just hug her and let her know you love her and you're here if she needs you and that next time she feels this way she can contact you and you'll talk with her through it. The best thing you can be for her right now is a best friend