Depression and The Very Real Threat of Suicide
Depression often leads to thoughts of suicide, or in the most dire of cases, taking one’s own life.
Around this time last year, in April of 2012, just as I was coming out of my last major depressive episode, I actually considered suicide. I didn’t just think about it, as in, “I wonder what would happen if I drive my car off this cliff,” but I actually contemplated a viable method and a plan to make it happen. Now, some people would think that the car/cliff thought was, in and of itself, a cry of desperation. For me, going that next step beyond pondering to planning, was the very lowest of all my very low moments.
After a three-month absence, I would return to work gradually, only going into the office on Tuesday and Thursday that week. Tuesday went okay… not great, but okay. Thursday was awful.
I tried as hard as I could not to let the day bother me, to set it aside and let the day’s frustrations drip away. The harder I tried, the deeper I sank, the more depressed I became, until…
I had the bottle of pills in my hand – some random painkiller I had been given for something-or-other back in 2011. I’m sure the pills were expired but I knew they would still be affective. There were 29 in the bottle. I had more than enough. Still, I searched Google to see how many of these pills were too many? How many would I have to take to end my life?
The answer? Six pills were lethal. I dispensed ten into my palm… to be safe.
Staring at this cluster of killers, I wept like I had never wept before. It had come to this… the pills were in my hand and it was time to make a decision.
My mind at that moment was like a dense, seemingly endless fog. And yet, from somewhere deep within me, a simple thought emerged.
Try to think of one thing… just ONE thing… that you are looking forward to. It can be soon or off in the distance... something you’ve planned to do or something you very much want to do.
And in that moment, I thought of my daughter getting married and how very much I wanted to be there.
Thanks to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), wherein I learned this simple yet incredibly successful coping technique, I was able to turn away from suicide and live to see another day. Not only did I live to see my daughter get married last month, but I lived to enjoy the myriad other wondrous offerings life gives us.
That day, not so long ago at all, suicide seemed the only option. I'm so grateful for my therapist and my CBT. Not only did I recognize how dangerous my situation had become in that moment, but I took that one single step out of the fog, back into life.
Scott, L. (2013, June 9). Depression and The Very Real Threat of Suicide, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2013/06/depression-and-suicide
Author: Liana M. Scott
Marie and Candice please, please don't let it defeat you please!!! I have a friend that tried to commit suicide and as I sat in the ICU with him after the stabilization process that first night I decided he lived for a reason so we wrote a book that he just released about his story. If you believe that you are helping those loved ones around you then you have most likely been asking the wrong questions and not helping the situation as I found out. This is a quick read but a powerful story of a survivor and it is still fresh in Ben's mind. He just did this in July and he was so happy to get this out so quickly to try to help anyone. Ben was has fought his "twin demons" his whole life but survived to help others in my mind. This is his means of coping and helping. Please browse the book and help yourself and those you love. Marie this is a fresh wound for him. If you would like to talk to him please write and I will get you in contact with him. He is still having surgeries and he would be so happy to talk. There is no harm in talking. Candice the same thing for you. You both are saying the same things as him. It is the same path. Please before you do anything please please take a moment to see through Ben's eyes what the aftermath of dying and dying and coming back has meant to him and his children. Your stories are so much alike. They don't have to be.
Today I was cleaning the kitchen and watching my son, 6, make a huge mess on the patio and hit my daughter in the face with mud as my other daughter came in from the yard crying because she got pushed. I have twin daughters. I just couldn't take the stress of having to keep up. I could see myself walking to the back of the house and killing myself so I calmly walked to the master bedroom and wraped a belt around my neck just to see. It wasn't bad, it didn't hurt and I can see how easy it could be. I could hear my daughter crying and walking down the hall so I took the belt off and put it away. Now I just want to cry. I'm so tired.
I'm so sorry to hear that you're struggling so much. I really hope you'll check out our suicide resources at HealthyPlace. You don't have to be alone with your feelings. There is help! Please reach out.
We're sorry to hear that you're struggling with thoughts of suicide. Please refer to the below list of resources for help and know that you are not alone.
Hello! I am 23 years old female with two beautiful children, but other than that I have no reason to live. I have never really liked how my life has been so far especially since being with the father of my kids has been hell and I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. I have been struggling financially, emotionally, and I have absolutely no one to talk to. We even moved states for a better environment and none of my friends and family cared. I am seriously planning the best and quickest way to leave this earth and find peace in heaven.
I have depression and PTSD, and I have attempted suicide three times. Last month, I was dangerously close to overdosing on a cocktail of dangerous stuff. Instead, I called for an ambulance and endured the humiliation associated with stigma so I could be admitted to a mental health unit...best thing I could have done! I still have extremely difficult days--like today--but I just try to remember the things I learned in group therapy...most importantly: to just keep moving forward, even if if feels like I'm crawling (instead of stepping) forward.
I have been suicidal many times. I shouldn't be here so I can understand why you are in pain. Please let yourself get to see tomorrow and see what you think. Try to get some sleep. I have received this communication for a reason. I will be able to make it to tomorrow thanks to ALL of you.
I am bipolar, therefore, I have the highs and lows. Unfortunately, most of the time I suffer from Acute Bipolar Depression. I am in that state as I write. I have attempted suicide 4 times and shouldn't be sitting here as I write this. I don't know what's in store for me, but I do know that I am still suicidal. Depression is the most painful illness to have. I have the best husband in the world who supports my illness and tries so hard to protect me from the suicidal thoughts. I also have a great Psychiatrist, who diagnosed me with BP, 13yrs ago. I am treatemtent resistant, hard to find the right cocktail, ECTs didn't do justice, have become toxic on many meds. So I feel like a lost soul trying to find herself. I'm sure like everyone we could go on with all we've been through, but I'll leave it at life sucks for me right now!!!
I'm so sorry, Kelly. I truly hope better days are ahead.
Thinking about my 6 year old grandson keeps me alive. I don't want him to remember me that way.
I hear ya Bob. Thanks for the comment.
I have attempted suicide several times many many years ago. I just had a conversation with a colleague whose 17 year old son killed himself. My depression and suicide attempts (which resulted in hospitalization) are something that very very few people know about me. I am a professional who always puts my best foot forward. However, in this moment of my colleague's pain I was able to share my experience and hopefully shed some light into his son's state of mind. I don't know that I wanted to die per se but rather I wanted the anguish to STOP. I needed to be out of the darkness and unfortunately the darkness is in me so there is no escape. What keeps me here now is my children and my mom. It would kill my mom if I died and I don't want to burden my children with the double whammy of a parents death and that death by suicide. For now that keeps me here.
Thanks for sharing. I was very close to death after taking more than 30 pills and then asked my self did I really want to die? Was there anything positive to live for? I thought of my amazing cat who survived our horrific fire last year. I didn't want to leave him behind. I also thought about my volunteer activities and how I get to help others. I made a phone call that saved my life. Carol, if you are reading this, I hope you find something positive in life to live for. Life isn't easy. I am struggling with a personal issue and suicide is still on my mind. I just try to live one day at a time.
I was suicidal like that for like 2 or 3 years it seemed like I would never get out of it. But somehow I did. 66 is considered young these days. It's not the answer. Although it feels like it is. You could still be vital and important to your community. YOu need to talk to somebody anybody who will listen at this point. your 2 sisters and brother in law would want you to goon and live.
I don't want to live anymore. Life has been really rough and I am losing someone in my family who I am very close. My brother-in-law has brain cancer. His wife, my sister, is not well also. These are the only two people whom have stood by me through all of my craziness! The only problem I seem to have are my two elderly dogs but I guess I could just give them some of my pills. After 66 years of living in HELL I'M TIRED! My grown children could care less if I'm dead or alive! The only time I have felt love is from my two sisters and my brother-in-law! Even my parents did not really love me cause I was not a boy. I will be in peace with God now finally!
I've been there too. Thankfully in an upbeat moment shortly after that I told my doctor to never prescribe me anything that could be easily used for that. Pills are always my first choice. After that.. things would hurt and I just don't think I have the guts to do it. On really bad days I just force myself to think about my pets. (My kids are nearly grown they don't need me. But my dog does.) I know that eventually I will commit suicide. But each day that I manage not to is a good one... right?
I'm glad you're still with us Michele and thank you for sharing such a private moment. Liana, thank you for this post; it opens a dialogue on something most people are afraid to admit. I too have thought of suicide, I had a few ideas on how I would do it, but thinking of my family always stopped me. So, I have this imaginary shelf I put that option on, out of the way for now is how I thought of it. I just noticed I wrote "I thought" instead of "I think." Hopefully it stays in the past tense.
I had similar thing happen to me just recently. I was upset and crying, having another bad day. I didn't think anything was ever going to get better. I sat on the bathroom floor, I was going to cut myself but at that moment I decided that I would cut my wrists instead. I sat there with razorblade in one hand crying even worse than I had been. I didn't do it because all I could think of was that my son would have to grow up without me and he probably would never be the same if I actually went ahead and killed myself. That was only about one or two months ago. I've had thoughts of suicide since but I know I will not act on them. I hope I never get to that place again. Oh I also wrote a suicide note. Not good.