You’re not alone; many of us have had suicidal thoughts at some point in our lives. Feeling suicide is not a character defect, and it doesn’t mean that you are crazy, or weak, or flawed. It only means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. This pain seems overwhelming and permanent at the moment. But with time and support, you can overcome your problems and the pain and suicidal feelings will pass.
Here are some points that people with depression and thoughts of suicide should know.
1. Your thoughts matter.
You may not always feel like it, they do. There are many people in the world that care what you are thinking about and your opinion on things. They don’t have to be thoughts on big decisions like buying a house — but it’s the small things that count, right? Even your laughter at a dumb joke means the world to someone in your life.
Everything that you do on a daily basis: the kind things you say, the smiles you flash people, and the conversations you have based on the thoughts that are going on up there in your noggin, shows that you matter. Your thoughts matter because a spark of an idea in your brain may turn into research for a new treatment for a disease, or may relay a song that someone holds onto when they’re contemplating taking their own life.
2. You will always have at least one person to talk to.
I know there are times when you feel alone, but you are not. There is always someone that will be there to talk to you if you need them. There are plenty of people dedicated to volunteering their time to help out. There are places like Lifeline which offers the option to either call or chat depending on what is easier and best for you when you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to about your thoughts about suicide. There are also hotlines if you are feeling depressed. Most of these organizations depend on volunteers, so they want to be there for you and they want to hear what you have to say.
They are there because they want to be, not because they have to be.
3. By staying alive, you encourage others that aren’t as strong to stay alive as well.
There was a study done in 2014 that shows that a parent who committed suicide while their child was under the age of 18 increased the likelihood of the child committing or attempting to commit suicide in the future. By staying strong throughout your depression, you are able to give your child the strength to carry on as well.
Remember, as Josh Billings once said: “Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well”. Even if you are not a parent, there are people in your life that consider you a strong person. They may not say it out loud, but they think that if you are going through what you have to each day, then they can keep going too. Your strength is strength for those who do not have as much as you.
How Have You Coped in the Past?
Think of another time when you really struggled in life. Perhaps you did not think of suicide, but you felt extremely sad, or angry, or hopeless. How did you get through that? What helped you? Who helped you? If you have ever experienced this kind of despair and suicidal thinking before, what stopped you from killing yourself then? What did you do, feel or think then that you might be able to repeat now?