Undiagnosed Been struggling for years, hello. Friend attempted suicide when I was 14.

Hello. I originally came to this site as a younger teen searching for what was wrong with me. I was very vague about details and I can remember people on here being quite confused about the lack of information I was handing out. That was because I was still convinced what happened was my fault, and I was too scared to talk about it in case people blamed me. Back again as an adult because...I'm still struggling. Hugely.

I met a girl online when we were both about 10-12 years old. We became best friends and we are still best friends to this day. We talk almost every day. Around 13/14 I began wondering if I was actually in love with her, and confirmed it when I was 17 and realized I liked girls. Fortunately I've gotten over that crush now so it's all good.

When I was 14 and she 16, we were talking and we were happy. It was a good day. She told me very suddenly that she had attempted suicide 2 weeks prior. I did not know what to do or say and just kind of stumbled through the supportive bits. She had been depressed for a while and had talked to me before about wanting to overdose on pills; her temper was sometimes quite difficult to handle on occasions and sometimes she really hurt my feelings because she was too depressed to kind of look outside of her own little bubble. I never thought she'd actually try to kill herself, though. She went into quite a bit of detail of how she slit her wrist.
I did not know what to do and shut down. A week or so later I started feeling really angry. I did not understand suicide at the time and thought it was selfish to leave people behind. I was angry and hurt that she had tried to leave everybody who loved her. I was particularly angry that she had promised me before that if she ever wanted to hurt herself, she would go to a hospital-but she didn't. She did not tell any adults that she tried to kill herself, only her friends.

I was overwhelmed with everything that was happening. I was so angry I couldn't think straight. But I also did not want to upset her by telling her how angry I was. I had become obsessed with searching up 'how to talk to suicidal people' etc and knew that would only make her feel worse.

I did not want to tell my parents because I wasn't supposed to have online friends and knew they'd take my laptop and phone away. So I went online and found a depression website with a part marked off for 'support for friends & family'. I thought it was okay for me to vent about everything I was feeling, and that these people would help me feel better. I was happy I'd found it and I felt happy to get my feelings out.

Unfortunately it all went wrong very quickly. The people on the website did not agree with me talking about my anger, which, looking back, I can understand that it wasn't suitable for a depression website. However, instead of redirecting me to somewhere that could actually help me, they tried to deal with me by themselves. They acknowledged that I 'sounded very young', but that did not stop them from taking part in a week-long pile on where I was told that I shouldn't be feeling angry, I shouldn't be angry with my friend for breaking her promise because 'it doesn't work like that', my feelings were harmful to everybody else, I didn't add a trigger warning so I obviously didn't care who I would hurt (at 14, I did not know the importance of trigger warnings), and that the only reason I had 'any sense or compassion' was that I hadn't told my friend how I felt.

At the time my grandmother had also died a month or so earlier. She had severe, severe, severe depression for the last few years of her life-as in, the most severe depression I had ever seen. She spent years and years just laying in bed, getting bed sores, wetting the bed...she put on a lot of weight, and then lost it so quickly she looked like a skeleton. My parents knew it scared me and so tried to protect me from the situation. I now know, through conversations with them, that they constantly barraged doctors to take this seriously, would talk to her, would try to get her out of the house, were desperate for somebody professional to help her. But, rightly or wrongly, to try and protect me they did not talk about this in front of me. My dad was also dealing with a severe heart condition that meant he was in and out of hospital throughout my teenage years, so I suppose they maybe thought one ill family member was enough for me to worry about.

From my point of view, it felt like my family had given up on her. They explained to me later that they wanted to go in and look after her, but she didn't seem to want anybody else around, and they were afraid of interrupting her privacy (my grandmother was a private person anyway), so they would just buy her shopping and leave it on the door for her.

From my point of view it seemed like they just left her to get on with lying in bed all day. She died two days after Christmas and I was feeling guilty that I could not go to see her in the psych hospital she was in for the last few months of her life, because I had a cold on Christmas Day and so couldn't enter the hospital. I was upset that she never opened her present from me. I talked about all of this on the website, and they told me that they hoped I never interacted with a depressed person again and that it was so upsetting my family treated my grandmother so badly.

I was crying myself to sleep throughout the week and constantly checking to see what they were saying about me. I apologized many times to try and de-escalate the situation, and begged them to take my post down. They refused, and locked it so I couldn't comment anymore, saying that they wanted to show the world how to fight the stigma of suicide and depression. But to me, it was public humiliation for talking about how I was feeling after a traumatic event.

All of a sudden I could no longer trust my own feelings. If I was angry at oppression I was seeing, that was bad, because anger is bad. If I was frustrated my friend was late to our meet-up, that was bad, because anger is bad. My anger at suicide grew and grew to the point I would start shaking and seeing red. I would sit in class ignoring my work to write down how angry I felt. Any mention of suicide whatsoever made me go from 0 to 100 in a second. I would scratch myself to punish myself for these feelings. I would intentionally trigger myself by searching up things about suicide, sometimes very dark and that looking back a 14/15 year old had no business looking at. I would stop sleeping and toss and turn all night. I would see the words they wrote about me in my head when I was triggered, like it was all happening in my head again. I became convinced I had to prevent every suicide. I would look at groups of children wondering which ones would statistically end their own lives. I stopped trusting adults altogether. I eventually grew so suicidal my counsellor had to contact my mother and tell her I was at suicide risk. 2 years after it happened, my counsellor contacted the
website and forced them to take my post down. Things slowly got better after that, but not brilliant.

I actually told my friend, a few years after, what had happened. She now refers to the people on the website as 'those f*cks'.



Last year, when I was 20, I contacted the website to tell them the effect they had had on me. By this point I was old enough to pinpoint what they had done as emotional abuse, child abuse (since they knew I was young), and that it was not my fault. The woman who runs the website completely rewrote history. She insisted she would never say or do things like that, and that I must be remembering wrong. I gave her evidence I had seen a counsellor over it, and that my counsellor had had to force her to remove the post. At this point she got defensive and dug her heels into denying it had ever happened, and then banned me so I couldn't talk about it again.


I have been diagnosed as traumatized, but I have never been officially diagnosed with PTSD. I have attempted many times but it's been really difficult to get people to take online trauma seriously. At this point it's been 7 years and I'm still not better. I don't know what else I could have.

However, I have been getting better. My anger at suicide has dissipated and I am now passionate about raising awareness of it instead. If someone says suicide is selfish (as long as they aren't currently grieving one, I think it's fine to say whatever you want in grief), I am the first to step in and tell them to be more sensitive. I worry about people who kill themselves every day and how to prevent it.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I think I know the website you are talking about. I am in the banned club with you since I had the audacity to disagree using facts instead of opinions.

Many people are afraid of feelings, and it sounds as if they were afraid of your feelings of anger. My brother hung himself in my shop and I found him. I wasn't angry, but that doesn't mean anger is not a valid response. My best friend was very angry. It's important to be able to feel your feelings about what happens around you.

The only thing a diagnosis of PTSD will give you is a treatment plan tailored to your needs. You can still be treated for your issues without a solid diagnosis. That's the important thing, to get proper treatment and learn to recover.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope you find more support this time on the forum.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I was 15 when my friend shot himself. He died. I was mad at everything and everyone. I didn't go to his funeral because I was afraid I'd punch someone. I was really mad at him for doing it. Anger is one of the steps of grieving and is something that can definitely be felt with suicide.

I hope you can find some support here. It sounds like you've dealt with a lot.
 
I think I know the website you are talking about. I am in the banned club with you since I had the audacity to disagree using facts instead of opinions.

Many people are afraid of feelings, and it sounds as if they were afraid of your feelings of anger. My brother hung himself in my shop and I found him. I wasn't angry, but that doesn't mean anger is not a valid response. My best friend was very angry. It's important to be able to feel your feelings about what happens around you.

The only thing a diagnosis of PTSD will give you is a treatment plan tailored to your needs. You can still be treated for your issues without a solid diagnosis. That's the important thing, to get proper treatment and learn to recover.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope you find more support this time on the forum.
Hmm...let's see. Did it begin with 'D'?

They were definitely afraid of my anger. I think they had a set notion in their mind of what someone is supposed to feel after a traumatic event, and I didn't fit that. I'm very sorry to hear about your brother. I agree with you. I have never felt guilt for not noticing my friend was about to attempt suicide; I felt guilty about other things, but not that specifically. But some people do feel guilty. Just because I didn't feel it doesn't mean nobody does.

What you said about a diagnosis makes me feel a little better, thank you. I would like to get therapy as soon as we're (finally) out of COVID and I have a stable income.

Thank you for your support.

I was 15 when my friend shot himself. He died. I was mad at everything and everyone. I didn't go to his funeral because I was afraid I'd punch someone. I was really mad at him for doing it. Anger is one of the steps of grieving and is something that can definitely be felt with suicide.

I hope you can find some support here. It sounds like you've dealt with a lot.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I can completely understand why you were so angry at him. It doesn't mean you didn't love him.

Thank you.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry for what happened to you—you got caught off guard, young, in a situation that already was difficult if not impossible to manage, and then bullied in the very place you were looking for help. PTSD or not, it is very understandable that these experiences gave you a deep sense of insecurity and uncertainty.

My grandfather committed suicide with a gun that my nut family still conserves. My father tries every year or two years on average. I had to physically intervene against my abusive ex trying to jump off a balcony, and also tried to throw myself off a bridge. It did make me feel angry that these people didn’t think of the aftermath, of course I did, even if no, it doesn’t "work like that". When I did try, I was ready to die in wrath, and didn’t think about anyone who cared about me a single second. Nothing else existed. After having spent the day sectioned and covered of bruises for having fought the cops, I was angry at myself for having been so stupid, and to a certain extent, still am.

Often it isn’t the traumatic accident in itself that causes the most of the distress. It’s the responses you find after. It’s as if all you believed in the world turned upside down. People who were supposed to understand you don’t give a shit, or even burden you further. And then your trust erodes, and that fear all the time.

But be certain here that you found a place your struggles will be understood. Be welcome here. Write what seems right for you. Examine things from different angles. It’s always okay to feel. It is important to acknowledge how we feel. Then we see what we do. But understand that what happened wasn’t your fault, neither in triggering your friend in doing anything, neither in triggering these people to bully you. It takes time for the anger to lower down, and then for the guilt to lower down, too. Life has a lot to offer in all its weirdness, harshness and beauty. Slowly we can learn to inhabit this space without feeling all kinds of pain in all kinds of places, or at least to make them more tolerable. Be angry as much as you need. Understand why. Gradually things make more sense.

Glad to have you among us, even if the reasons are harsh. This place is precious in the internet. It has helped me in many ways therapy alone could not. Here you truly can find friends.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
At this point it's been 7 years and I'm still not better.
That's a long time to be continuing to suffer to that degree about this experience (which is: having a very dear online friend tell you about a traumatic situation they experienced).

Based on your posts here over the years, you seem to have had particularly hard times with this in 2016-2017, in 2020, and now again in 2021. Is there anything you can identify in your life that may have been particularly stressful during those periods that might have seen a spike in your symptoms and distress?

When you came here seeking advice back in 2016, it was recommended that you get some professional in-person assistance. Is it possible for you to prioritise that?

Personally? Given you've previously said that you have been diagnosed with OCD? I'd probably start monitoring and limiting the amount of time that you're spending in mental health support websites discussing this issue. I know that probably sounds harsh, but there's a very good chance that it's a behaviour that is feeding your distress given your OCD diagnosis. You'll also already know that experiencing a traumatic situation can, all of its own accord, exacerbate OCD.

Spending time online discussing the issue can exacerbate symptoms of OCD. Same is true for us PTSD folks (spending time online talking about ptsd can exacerbate our symptoms), and the same is true for people with Generalised Anxiety Disorders and Depression.

Feeling distressed about this issue again, and then being compelled to start proferring advice to, or commiserating with, people who have recently had a loved one suicide, for example? Isn't a healthy behaviour to be doing repeatedly for years - but more importantly, it's almost certainly feeding your own emotional distress (it's almost impossible to talk suicide issues at length without any emotional exhaustion).

That's time that you could be spending on your own healing journey, or getting out there and doing rewarding things with your time. Or better still? Volunteering with a suicide prevention organisation.

Ultimately, your friend didn't suicide 7 years ago.
Revisiting this issue repeatedly? I don't doubt that there's an overwhelming amount of internal suffering going on for you, but it really is time to get some in-person support, starting with the diagnosis that you do have (and which could absolutely explain the degree of distress you're feeling about this issue).

You have an Anxiety disorder on board (OCD and Social Anxiety if I remember right?). Anxiety disorders can be absolutely crippling, and it makes sense to me that this issue hasn't simply resolved itself with the passage of time. But that doesn't mean it needs to continue to be a cause of suffering for you either - with the right professional help? You really can move on from this.
 
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That's a long time to be continuing to suffer to that degree about this experience (which is: having a very dear online friend tell you about a traumatic situation they experienced).

Based on your posts here over the years, you seem to have had particularly hard times with this in 2016-2017, in 2020, and now again in 2021. Is there anything you can identify in your life that may have been particularly stressful during those periods that might have seen a spike in your symptoms and distress?

When you came here seeking advice back in 2016, it was recommended that you get some professional in-person assistance. Is it possible for you to prioritise that?

Personally? Given you've previously said that you have been diagnosed with OCD? I'd probably start monitoring and limiting the amount of time that you're spending in mental health support websites discussing this issue. I know that probably sounds harsh, but there's a very good chance that it's a behaviour that is feeding your distress given your OCD diagnosis. You'll also already know that experiencing a traumatic situation can, all of its own accord, exacerbate OCD.

Spending time online discussing the issue can exacerbate symptoms of OCD. Same is true for us PTSD folks (spending time online talking about ptsd can exacerbate our symptoms), and the same is true for people with Generalised Anxiety Disorders and Depression.

Feeling distressed about this issue again, and then being compelled to start proferring advice to, or commiserating with, people who have recently had a loved one suicide, for example? Isn't a healthy behaviour to be doing repeatedly for years - but more importantly, it's almost certainly feeding your own emotional distress (it's almost impossible to talk suicide issues at length without any emotional exhaustion).

That's time that you could be spending on your own healing journey, or getting out there and doing rewarding things with your time. Or better still? Volunteering with a suicide prevention organisation.

Ultimately, your friend didn't suicide 7 years ago.
Revisiting this issue repeatedly? I don't doubt that there's an overwhelming amount of internal suffering going on for you, but it really is time to get some in-person support, starting with the diagnosis that you do have (and which could absolutely explain the degree of distress you're feeling about this issue).

You have an Anxiety disorder on board (OCD and Social Anxiety if I remember right?). Anxiety disorders can be absolutely crippling, and it makes sense to me that this issue hasn't simply resolved itself with the passage of time. But that doesn't mean it needs to continue to be a cause of suffering for you either - with the right professional help? You really can move on from this.

It is a long time. I actually was feeling a lot better for about a year, and then I came across a trigger...stressor...whichever one it would be defined as. All the feelings just came rushing back.

In 2016-2017 my dad was in hospital for a heart transplant and to be entirely frank the doctors weren't sure if he was going to make it. I think that did make my symptoms worse, but I had also been experiencing them on a near daily basis for two years anyway. I have to say I don't remember posting here in 2020 and it makes me upset looking back at old posts, so I don't know what set me off there.

I'm absolutely prioritising in person professional help. I have always wanted it but as a teenager I obviously couldn't make my own money and I didn't want to ask my parents for it as I know how expensive these things can be. I came out of university last year with the full intention of getting a job ASAP and paying for professional help with my wages...but then COVID hit and threw all my plans into disarray. Luckily there's starting to be an uptick of jobs again so I hope i will find something soon.

I honestly think you are probably right. I don't know if I have PTSD or not, but either way I've always been aware my OCD makes my trauma worse. However I hadn't ever considered not going on mental health sites. I'll try that, thank you for your advice. When I'm triggered I get very obsessed with suicide. Looking back I can see it really wasn't normal for a 14/15 year old to know so much about suicide and that makes me sad.

Yes I have OCD and social anxiety, and have I'm pretty sure been depressed since I was a child. My mum said once she thinks I've been depressed from quite an early age. My brain is very messed up and it makes it difficult for me to really connect to other people.

I'm sorry for the late reply, I just wanted to say thank you for your advice, it's given me a lot to think about. It's been mentioned to me a few times if my OCD is the cause of all this rather than PTSD so I'm really going to make steps to get a professional input either way to clear it all up.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Good luck bud on your healing journey. I hope things in your life improve. It sounds like your taking the right steps. Keep on posting! Best wishes S3 🙂
 
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