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My friend has PTSD and trauma from childhood S/A (trigger warning)

Community Member

My best friend has recently come to myself and her family about a S/A she suffered at the hands of a family member as a child.
After revealing this her mental health has dramatically deteriorated. She has become an addict. She is addicted to anything and everything that stops her from being remotely ‘sober’

through this process she has abused all kinds of drugs, including most recently, ice.
she has abstained from the ice for a few months now and has instead replaced this with alcohol, drinking everyday. Sometimes it’s just 2-3 drinks to take the edge off and at other times it’s benders mixed with cocaine.

recently she has confided more details about her abuse and how she is struggling to me.
this has been horrific for me to hear.
she has also told me that she has been thinking seriously about suicide. She told me that she has even been planning to access people who she knows have weapons at their houses.

I am so worried for her.
I have spoken with her parents at length.
they have gotten her into counciling but she refuses to speak or attend after the first session.

she recently lost her job and is now working casually on a farm.
she has no money to pay any of her debts (which have accumulated over the years from impulse spending) and it’s looking like her car will be repossessed.She spends the little money she has on alcohol.

I don’t know how to help her.
I feel so helpless and my heart is breaking. This is not who she is.
I am mourning the person she was and I am so worried that we have already lost her.
what should I do?

1 Reply 1

Hey Crowley,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing what you are going through. We are so sorry to hear about your experience with your friend and the horrific trauma your friend has gone through as a child. It sounds like you've done all the right things by supporting her and talking to her parents at length. Her reluctance to get further help sounds very distressing for both yourself and her. It is incredibly difficult when the person who needs help does not want it. It must leave you feeling quite helpless. 

We have a few articles on 'supporting someone' which may be of help: 
  • https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/supporting-someone
It might also be a good idea to talk this through with a professional counsellor from helplines such as Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) or Lifeline (13 11 14). Both organisations also have a section of their website dedicated to 'worried about someone' which may be of use to you:
  • https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/resources/worried-about-someone/
  • https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/i-m-worried-about-someone/
You mentioned something very concerning about your friend that they have suicidal ideation and is planning on contacting people with access to weapons. This is very serious. Have you let her parents know about this? They would need to inform mental health professional(s) and relevant authorities if this escalates in any way. If at any point you believe your friend is an immediate danger to herself or anyone else, this is an emergency and you must contact 000 (triple zero).

We hope that posting on here brings you some comfort and that the responses from the community are helpful.