my friend is suicidal

by u
( La porte)

Lately my best friend has been saying she is going to kill herself. She is 13 and had a boyfriend. When she was about 7 she had sex for the first time, however lately she has had craving for it again. her boyfriend seems to be neglectful at times and also he parents are very protective. I'm afraid that her parents not allowing her to socialize is affecting her self esteem and she has not been herself. she cries every day and i love her like a sister. she has been to a therapist before but her parents stopped taking her there because the therapist told her mom that she needed to stop going through my friend's things (reading notes, reading texts, criticizing her personal journal, listening in on telephone calls). Also i am afraid for my friend.

My questions are:
1. how do i get my friend to a therapist
2. how do i make her parents understand that pulling her away from people and pushing her away is affecting her self-esteem and making her suicidal?

I have tried talking to her parents but all they did was punish my friend for saying she was going to hurt herself which only made matters worse.

Ben's Answer:
This is a situation that may be beyond your control. It sounds like your friend's parents are already very controlling and intrusive with their daughter, and they are not going to listen to a 13 year old's parenting advice. No parent should ever ignore, or punish their child for saying they are suicidal or wanting to hurt herself.

If your friend had "sex" at the age of 7, that is an extremely young age and could cause all sorts of negative consequences; Most 7 year old's don't even know what sex is, and aren't physically or emotionally prepared for sex. It's very likely at that age, that "sex" was actually some form of molestation. It may be that her parents are really scared for her safety and feel that they must know exactly what she's doing, and who she's talking to, so that she doesn't get hurt by anyone.

It's very hard and often impossible for a minor to see a therapist without parent's consent, but in some states a minor can see a therapist without their parent's knowledge if telling them would put them at risk of abuse or harm. A licensed therapist in your community should know the laws about that.

Another very good option would be for her to call a free confidential teen hotline like:

National Adolescent Suicide Hotline 800-621-4000

It's important that she have a caring, supportive adult who can listen to her.

Thanks for your question.

I wish you and your friend the best.

Ben Schwarcz, MFT

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