Helping a friend who might be cutting herself - Newsday

Helping a friend who might be cutting herself

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: I recently noticed a lot of precisely cut lines on my friend's arm. I am pretty sure that these cuts were the results of self-harm. As soon as she noticed me looking at them, she covered her arm. I haven't said anything to her yet. She seems like a happy person with loving parents and supportive friends. I don't think that there is anyone bullying her. She is generally liked and is popular. I don't know if I should tell her, and if so how. Please help me to help her.

--Worried Friend

DEAR WORRIED: A person can seem happy and healthy on the outside and still be insecure, anxious or in pain.

The reason some people cut themselves is because they are trying to find ways to cope with feelings that are otherwise unexpressed.

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You should notify your school counselor about this. If it's not treated, self-harm ("cutting") can progress and become even more serious. You are a very good friend to notice this and want to help; seeking help for a friend is the first step toward her healing.DEAR AMY: After the death of my only sibling several years ago, my mom, who is in her mid 90s, has redone her trust twice, the latest in an effort to leave out my nephew for the indiscretion of not phoning often enough. She is about to have her first great-grandchild. If this baby is given "the right name," he or she will be written into the trust. I have brought up the inequity subject twice over the course of a few years and realized it was of no value. To inoculate my children, in case they were expecting anything, I have told them that Grandma will not be leaving anything for them in her will. To their credit, they remain loving and giving toward her (as do I).

--Frustrated Daughter


DEAR DAUGHTER: Preparing your children for this legacy inequity (and carrying on regardless) is the right thing to do.

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