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Author Topic: Do you ask or even broach the subject?  (Read 8773 times)

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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 01:46:04 AM »
Somehow, self-harm isn't the first thing I'd think about.  This may be due to the fact that I'm a klutz, myself.  If I'm close enough to the person, I may point at the bandage and say something like, "Oops.  Owwie?"  Most of the time, the person will tell me the story.  If they don't, I just drop it.  (If I have reason to believe self-harm is happening, I will seek subtler ways to let them know I'm there for them.  Offering to make things easier on their owwie is one way I've done this.)


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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2013, 08:14:44 AM »
I would let friend know you are there without making any accusations or assumptions.  Just because you have never seen any other instances doesn't mean they don't happen.  Also, some of her other 'accidents' could have been self harm but she laughed them off as something else.  The fact that she always says something but not this time could be an indication of an issue.  My DD was a self harmer and it starts small, with excuses like the cat scratched me or I fell.  Over time though, the explanations become harder to believe or they quit giving them and they don't care who sees.  Not saying that is what happened with friend, but it is something to think about.


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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2013, 08:39:16 AM »
I agree with others who have expressed surprise that you didn't just say something to begin with - "Oh wow, what happened to your hand, are you okay?" Those are the first words that would come out of my mouth with friends of any level (or even probably just acquaintances, depending on circumstances).

In the more general situation you describe, I'd do exactly the same - my instinctive question of what happened, are you okay? If they brushed it off or said they not want to discuss it, I would follow their lead. Only if I repeatedly noticed bandages, bruises, cuts, whatever over a period of weeks or months would I say anything more.


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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2013, 08:44:02 AM »
I have to say self harm would have been the last thing on my mind.

Ditto. In fact, if you scrape your wrist, an adhesive bandage may not stick well, since that's such a mobile joint. It may be that the only way to keep a bandage on it is to wrap a strip of gauze around it.

But I also would probably have just said, "Ooh, what'd you do to your wrist?" without thinking about it.
Me too, on both accounts. Self harm would not have entered my mind and - especially since in your background you intricate that you tend to discuss this stuff- I would've askedf about the bandage.

Me three.

OP, unless there's some major backstory we're missing, it almost seems as though you want your friend to be self harming, and I really can't imagine why that is.

I'm agreeing with this.if a friend is wearing a bandaid I'm not going to ask but if a wrist is wrapped up in bandage I would definitely ask.


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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2013, 09:30:57 AM »
As someone who did self-harm for 20 years  :-[ ::)
 I would say if she *is* self harming, this may be her way of getting you to ask. I didn't want anyone to know, and I used chunky bracelets to cover the evidence. A bandaid with a bracelet or watch over it is very discreet. A piece of gauze wrapped around my wrist would have screamed (to me) "I'm doing it again and I want someone to notice!".
So, I'd just ask her about her wrist. A "what happened?"  If she wants to tell, she will, if it is nothing, she'll say that too.
If she is self harming, your question may help her get the issue out in the open.

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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2013, 12:29:59 PM »
  I think its normal it ask a friend "What happened?" if they have an injury.  I don't think the first time you see a bandage/gauze to assume self harm or abuse is for lack of a better word "normal".

For more general things I think you can say thinks like "You don't seem 100% if you need something I'm here for you." , "Friend , I just want to say if you ever need anything I'm here for you." , "Is there anything you want to talk about. you dont seem yourself today."   


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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2013, 06:09:08 AM »
I am so confused.   Your friend had a bandage on her wrist.  why couldn't you have said, "Oh, what happened?".  I am not seeing the big deal here unless there is more background we are unaware of.  If it were me, I don't think I would come out and say, "Oh, look at what I did",  upon meeting you, but if you asked, I would tell you what happened.

Why would you automatically think self harm?   

I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill.


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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2013, 12:56:47 PM »
I just thought of a completely different take on the situation.  Maybe your friend is trying to change her inner dialogue, and she finds telling "Fail" stories on herself to be too negative.

I have at different points in my life, tried to change mental and speech habits that I thought were too self-depricating, like apologizing for everything or calling myself "fat".  Possibly she didn't mention the bandage herself because she was choosing not to make that the bonding point between the two of you.  No harm in asking, but her not mentioning it may have been coming from a positive/strong place instead of a shame/hiding place.


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Re: Do you ask or even broach the subject?
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2013, 01:26:13 PM »
I'd have asked in the course of normal conversation as in what happened to your wrist and not really thought much about it.  Seeing a bandage and thinking self harm is, to me, a huge leap without a lot of history.  Just like if I a see a friend who's lost weight my first thought isn't anorexia, it's dieting or getting in shape.  There is no reason you can't call and say it was great seeing you, we should get together again soon, how are things going, btw I forgot to ask, what happened to your wrist if you are worried about it. 

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