Would you give life another chance?
You may be reading this article because you are contemplating killing yourself. Or perhaps you know someone who is.
If you are at the end of your rope you can find the number for the national suicide hotline, along with other resources, here. If you are that person who has lost hope for your life, let me talk to you personally.
I realize you may have already planned to end your life or have even tried to. All you can think about is how hopeless life is, how you can’t go on living like this. You may feel that the pain is too great. You’re sure that no one understands the burdens you carry or the emotional turmoil you are experiencing.
But you are here now. And because you are, let me share with you how your life can be different. Let me share why you should give life another try.
I want to ask you to consider doing something other than ending your life. You may have tried counseling or talking to someone to no avail. I’m asking you to try taking some steps again, steps that will help you move in a direction away from the self-destructive thoughts plaguing you.
You need to understand why you are depressed.
You may say, “I do know why. I am a failure. I’m in debt. My wife/husband left me. Someone died. I’m unemployed. I’m lonely. I’m _____” (you fill in the blank).
Though you have many problems and struggles, most likely you are also struggling with a physical deficiency — an imbalance of chemicals in your nervous system. This may be a major reason for the depression you feel.
Many people who are depressed don’t realize depression is, in part, caused by an imbalance of neurochemicals. The Mayo Clinic’s page on depression states, “Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neurocircuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.”
These chemicals help people concentrate. They improve moods and increase energy. Medication, along with natural methods like exercise and taking time to grow spiritually, can help regulate these neurochemicals. You still need to work through the issues — whether the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, low self-esteem, guilt, resentment, anger or past abuse. Those crises and losses need to be dealt with, processed and grieved.
Have you been going to counseling and been treated for depression? If not, go immediately to your family doctor, psychiatrist or the nearest emergency room for help. You can find a counselor or go to the nearest mental health center. If you are suicidal, please contact 911 (in the USA and Canada) immediately.
If you are presently in counseling, you need to contact your therapist or psychiatrist and tell them you need help dealing with suicidal thoughts and self-destructive plans. Ask a family member or a friend to go with you.
Your feelings amid depression cannot be trusted. Feelings are not objective truth. Feelings are indicators of subjective thinking, and you need to explore the thoughts you have been dwelling on that have led you to contemplate suicide.
Thinking about killing yourself is believing lies about life and about the future. Many people in the past have struggled with depression, but they didn’t trust those feelings. They had the courage to go on — the courage to believe their future and life could be different.
Martin Luther graphically described one of his frequent rock-bottom moods, “For more than a week I was close to the gates of death and hell. I trembled in all my members. Christ was wholly lost. I was shaken by desperation and blasphemy of God.”
Pastor and author Don Baker said of his depression, “I seemed to be out of touch with reality. Life was a blur, often out of focus. My life seemed to be nothing but pretense and fantasy. No one really cared, I felt, not even God. The only solution at times seemed to be suicide.”
These men did not follow their feelings. They rejected the despairing thoughts and moved forward. They overcame hurdles and emotions of defeat. You don’t need to be led astray by your negative feelings and thoughts.
It’s time to see your life from a healthy perspective. You are a person of value. You are important, and you can change your thinking and behavior to improve your life. I implore you to give God a chance to give you hope.
Turn to God and seek His help and guidance. Why not find out what He can do? I have witnessed how He has changed lives, lifted the downcast and brought hope to those who feel lost.
What feelings are underneath my depression?
Do I suffer from low self-esteem?
Am I having guilt problems?
Am I struggling with relationship problems?
Am I fearful about something?
Am I struggling with some loss?
What types of thoughts rule my mind?
How can I take a step toward seeking God?
Ask God to reveal these things to you. Then pray and ask Him for help. Ask Him to change your life from the inside out. Don’t give up! Make a contract with someone close to you right now not to take your life.
Usually, people who are feeling depressed are not doing what would help them feel better. You need to fight the depression and move forward. Talk with someone about your feelings, about your life. Expressing your feelings to someone is very beneficial. Exploring what underlies your feelings with someone, especially a counselor, can help you begin to solve problems.
Seeing your doctor for a physical exam and telling him or her about your depression can lead to further treatment for the physiological causes. You most likely need to take an antidepressant. Regular exercise and a proper diet is very helpful and can also increase the neurochemicals your body is missing. Spending quality time with caring people — friends, God, members of your family and of your church — will give you a sense of connection and help you regain meaning in your life.
You have read this article, will you now consider taking a step toward life? A step toward rebuilding your life? A step to reach out for help?
Will you refuse to believe the lies you have been telling yourself? Will you reject the lie that life is hopeless? Will you reject the lie that you are worthless and have no future? Know that they are untrue.
I’m here to tell you that your life has a future and a hope. I have seen so many people get help and go on to enjoy a better life. Write out a list of what will help you start over. Here are some suggestions:
A physical exam and medication.
Support from family and friends.
Guidance for finances. Contact Crown Financial Ministries for free financial counseling.
Other: _________________ (fill in the blank)
I hope I've convinced you to keep fighting. Please contact someone for help, like an online mentor through Issues I Face. Call your pastor, counselor, a friend, your doctor. Take a step towards life and hope now.
Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC,
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