The two best things you can do for your girlfriend is to support her emotionally and encourage her to seek treatment.
Understandably, you see your girlfriend suffering and you want to do everything you can. Unfortunately, your power is limited. She needs professional help. She needs more help than you can provide. Be there for her and encourage her to seek help and hope she will take your advice.
More specifically, if she threatens to hurt herself or someone else, call emergency services. Sometimes, people are affected by their symptoms in ways that are uncontrollable. She may lose control of her behavior and not know how to keep herself safe. Under those circumstances, call for help. They will know what to do.
You mentioned that she has told her mother about these issues. I’m curious about what her mother has done with that information. It’s not clear from your letter that her mother is acting on this information. If her mother has not sought help for her daughter, you can do several things. One is to encourage your girlfriend to tell the school guidance counselor about her symptoms. The guidance counselor will then contact her mother and attempt to set up an appointment with a professional.
If your girlfriend will not tell the school guidance counselor, and is unwilling to tell anyone what is wrong, you can tell the school guidance counselor yourself. You are allowed to tell the guidance counselor any and all information you know. The guidance counselor is not allowed to provide information of a personal or private nature about your girlfriend’s case to you but there’s no law against you providing information to the guidance counselor.
There are good treatments for your girlfriend’s symptoms. Medication can reduce the voices and the other symptoms you have described. Medication can also help to reduce suicidal thoughts.
Psychotherapy is also a very effective treatment. A specific form of treatment known as cognitive behavioral therapy is highly effective for many of the problems you’ve described. There is a great deal of hope for your girlfriend should she be open to treatment. The key to getting better is treatment. Do what you can to encourage her to undergo treatment.
It’s difficult to watch someone you love suffer. You want to help in every way you can. That’s an understandable desire. It can also be a helpless feeling when you realize that your power, in these circumstances, is limited. That’s the nature of these types of situations however, focus on what you have the power to change. Encourage her to seek treatment. Hopefully she will take your advice. Treatment could help her tremendously. Thank you for your question. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle