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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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My girlfriend just tried to commit suicide because of

Customer Question

My girlfriend just tried to commit suicide because of something I said. I'm 27, she's 25. Now you must know that my gf and I have always been so open with each other. She's warned me that she's very sensitive but honestly this girl is the sweetest person in the world. Everyone she meets says the same. We talk about starting a family all the time. We were in the middle of planning a vacation in Italy together. I tell her all the time she's my partner in everything and my best friend. I tell her I love her everyday. She knows I've never loved anyone like this. Anyhow, what happened was this. She has an artery occlusion and it really bothers me that she sometimes smokes cigarettes. I tried telling her that I know she gets stressed but that's not the way to handle it. I mentioned a couple examples of how I compromised for her. Example 1) She's not ok with me drinking, not even 1 beer. I argued that I don't drink to get drunk and I just enjoy a beer every now and then as I find it refreshing. I even mentioned the health benefits to having a good quality beer from time to time once you don't over consume, but she was still against it so I said I'd compromise with her. Example 2) I have an ex-girlfriend from over 10 years ago. It's completely over between us, and I've never cheated and never will, but we're still friendly (not close friends, but friends I guess). Anyhow I mentioned that to my current girlfriend and she said she doesn't want me to ever talk to my ex. Also I happened to mention a girl I dated who smoked. I told my gf I didn't really love that girl who smoked, but that the relationship didn't last mainly due to the smoking and that I told myself I'd never date a smoker. Mind you, this ex was a heavy smoker. My current girlfriend doesn't come close. I wasn't threatening to leave my gf in any sense, I just wanted her to know how strongly I feel against smoking. I made it very clear that I care about her health as much as I do my own and that she needs to stop. I also said she's being kinda irrational on the beer thing as well as the being friends with my ex thing, but I'll compromise for her because I love her so much. Yes I love beer but I love my girlfriend much more. And my ex and I aren't really close friends anyway. Anyhow I asked her to compromise in the same way with the smoking. She doesn't smoke often and said she's not addicted so I told her she needs to stop or else we'll keep having problems. By problems I meant that I'd never be ok with her smoking because of her heart condition, so unless the smoking stopped, the arguments wouldn't stop either. I was only trying to show concern for her health, but she totally misunderstood me. She said she thought I was threatening to leave her when I mentioned my relationship that didn't last long with my ex who smoked and thought I would leave her if she smoked another cig. She was so sad because she thought I thought she was trying to control me by saying I can't talk to my ex. This was a total surprise to me. It was literally just a couple days ago she dealt with something similar. She was friends with a guy, and his gf said he couldn't talk to her anymore. When he told her this, she got so upset at him. I told her that he probably wanted to be friends with her still, but his girlfriend was jealous that he was talking to another girl so much. My girlfriend totally couldn't understand why she would be jealous. "I tell him I love you the time, he knows this" she said, "He's so much younger than me, I would never be with him", etc. She actually got upset with him for ending their friendship, so I would've never expected her to be jealous of me potentially being friends with my ex. Am I outta line?  Anyhow she told me she cut her hand and luckily there was a clinic next door and her friend was there to take care of her. She told me she almost died. I've told her before, I wouldn't do or say anything to purposely hurt her. Even the day before the incident (yesterday) I told her one of the things I worry most about is accidentally saying something to upset her, and all she said was "I know", and now this. She blamed me, and I feel horrible. Now I'm petrified of doing or saying the wrong thing. She also said it wouldn't happen again, but I honestly don't know what to think. I'm so hurt by what she did. She hurt herself and she hurt me. Also, I should mention she's going through a lot of stress. We're currently apart (in seperate countries). Her dad has leukemia and heart problems, and almost died recently. Her best friend recently died in a car crash. Her mom remarried but is being threatened by her husband. Her 3 step brothers are threatening her life for horrible reasons. She's been recently robbed at gunpoint, thrown in jail for 3 days, and her car was destroyed due to the political instability where she is. Her ex-finance tried to rape her (was unsuccessful). Also, her heart problem is fairly serious and sometimes causes her chest pain. There's actually more but the bot***** *****ne is NONE of the bad things that happened to her were her fault. I don't know what to do. Please help.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.

I don't want to upset her but I have several concerns. People typically do not try to kill themselves over a talk. This is not enough. Which leads me to believe that either she has an issue that leads her to be very oversensitive or she cut herself as a way to get attention. If she wanted to really harm herself it would have gone down a whole different way. People also do not cut themselves short of actually doing enough damage to be in the hospital. Either way it seems that she wanted your attention. That is okay - she needs to find other ways to do this. See if she will go to a counselor. If the attempt was genuine then she needs to see someone, and if it was for attention, she needs to see someone. It doesn't make her a bad person.

As far as the ex, I think that this is a double standard and not fair. Lots of girls do not want their guy seeing his ex, and I kind of agree. But you can't then go and do the same thing. You both need to sit down as a couple and resolve these problems before they are so huge that she does something drastic

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't understand. When you say "If she wanted to really harm herself it would have gone down a whole different way", What is the different way it would've gone down? Are you saying she's over-exaggerating about how much harm she did to herself? And when you say "People also do not cut themselves short of actually doing enough damage to be in the hospital", are you again saying she's over-exaggerating about how serious her cut was? You also said "You both need to sit down as a couple and resolve these problems before they are so huge that she does something drastic", but is what she did not already drastic? Are you again thinking that she's over-exaggerating? And yes, she has many issues, as I mentioned near the end of my original post. She is aware of them and has had periods where she becomes very sad because of them, but she's cried with me before, and I've always been there for her.Also regarding the me seeing an ex thing. It's not as though I'm "friends" with my ex. I haven't seen her in years, although she emailed me once last year and I got back to her, we're just friendly. And I told my girlfriend we're not even close and I'd stop talking to my ex for her. I wasn't really fighting my girl for "control" to be allowed to talk to my ex. It was never about that. I told her she has no reason to worry, but I'd stop talking to my ex for her. I was hoping she'd appreciate the compromise (as well as me stopping drinking) and compromise the same for me regarding her smoking, but she totally took it the wrong way. She took everything I said the wrong way. Also, my girlfriends guy friend I mentioned who wanted to end their friendship as per his girlfriends request, he's not an ex boyfriend of my girlfriend. So is it still a double standard on her part or no? After she hurt herself she said she was jealous and that's why she didn't want me to talk to my ex, which is understandable, but I was just surprised that she was so upset after her reaction to her guy friend who JUST ended their friendship over the same issue. She said he shouldn't have let his girlfriend affect their friendship for any reason. I said that his gf was jealous and that's why she asked him to do that, but my gf said his girlfriend had no reason to be jealous, all she had to do was read the conversations they had together, she always talked about how much she loved me, etc, she was truly adamant about it. Anyhow, I guess I have four questions. 1) Are you saying she's over-exaggerating about how serious her cut is? If so, how could you know? I can't see her because we're apart right so I'm just believing what she said. 2) Is the "ex" thing still a double standard based on what I just explained? 3) Would it be healthy to tell her I'm talking to someone else, or even show her this discussion? Would it dangerous for me to tell her she needs counseling? I'm honestly scared to death of what might set her off... I hate this feeling. 4) Even though she blames me for what she did and I did apologize, in my heart I find it hard to feel guilty for what she did, especially after how close we were. It just doesn't add up to me, but is this my fault? I tried telling you the entire story.
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.

I am saying that if she wanted to harm herself, the attempt would have been more severe, she probably wouldn't have gone for medical attention or make this known to others. This is a sign of an attempt but not a real motivation to kill herself. These same people can be very depressed and cut themselves but not to the point of dying. It is great that you are so supportive but you really need to encourage any and all mental health treatment because this is significant and a sign of chronic depression.

I understand your ex isn't about control. many women would be uncomfortable with this and you did more than compromise. It can be a double standard but she may be more insecure then you so it isn't the same in the end. She may be jealous but decision is yours. Is it important enough to bring this up again. If it is that's fine

She probably was exaggerating but don't take that chance. Get her in treatment. It's not dangerous to show you care. She cut herself ; that person needs counseling. Don't be scared by proactive. You are NOT to blame for her behavior. That is a sign of someone that needs counseling. You should not feel guilty. You can't dictate anyones behavior. I hope this helped.