Our Posts for the Depressed and Suicidal

by Hope4You (Editor):

In our efforts here at Thinking About Suicide to help save lives, we want our posts easy for you to find if you are feeling depressed and suicidal.

I’ll continue to index many of  our posts with links, as I have below, to help you see the variety of topics we cover and different author viewpoints. If you feel one article hasn’t adequately addressed your feelings or questions, we hope you will read other articles and viewpoints to round out your view of what we have to offer.

As the sunflower turns to the sun, turn your mind toward hope, help and life. Image by Irish_Eyes

As the sunflower turns to the sun, turn your mind toward hope, help and life. Image by Irish_Eyes

DEPRESSED? SUICIDAL? There is hope and help.

Helpful Tips for the Clinically Depressed: Author James Watkins struggles with being clinically depressed, and recently wrote a letter to a friend who also struggles.

PHYSICAL CAUSES

Treatment for Depression; Seasonal Affective Disorder and Nutritional Deficits (Wells): Treatment for depression should include addressing nutritional deficits. Also, Seasonal Affective Disorder causes depression in some.

Don’t Give Up and Commit Suicide: Check Your Physical Health (Wells): Thinking you should give up and commit suicide? Know that suicidal feelings may be caused by physical problems that can be corrected.

Bipolar Disorder Can Influence a Suicide Attempt (O’Connor)

EMOTIONAL CAUSES

You Can Survive Holiday Blues (Shepherd): Are you wondering if you can survive the holiday blues? Feeling a bit depressed post-holiday?

TEEN DEPRESSION

Teens Thinking About Suicide (Wells): Left untreated, depression can lead to teens thinking about suicide, and untreated depression is the number one cause of teen suicide.

STEPS TO HOPE

Is There Hope? Take Action (Decision 3) (Furman, Is There Hope? series): Decision 3 from the Traveler’s Gift, by Andy Andrews.

Depression and Suicide Links (Gordon) by a marriage and family therapist, excerpt from Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Healing and Hope for the Suicide Victims and Survivors.

SUPPORT

When Suicide Seems Like the Only Option : When suicide seems like the only option, having someone walk with you through your struggles can give you hope for the future.

When Suicide Seems the Only Option (2): A friend of Peggy’s shares hope for those who think suicide seems the only option.

 SIGNIFICANCE

Long-term Depression and Thoughts of Suicide (Wells): Do you struggle with long-term depression and at times feel insignificant? God says you are significant AND valuable.

Helping Students Understand Suicidal Thoughts (Kosman):  When talking to teens at a high school, we discussed suicidal thoughts, but also how unique and special each of those teens are.

Why Not Commit Suicide When I Have Nothing To Offer? (Copen): on chronic pain and illness, and still being able to make a difference in others’ lives.

OVERCOMING SHAME

Japanese Students – Please do not Kill Yourself (Shepherd)

OVERCOMING GRIEF

Grief and Suicidal Thoughts: Loss of a Baby (Kosman) Sometimes grief and suicidal thoughts go hand-in-hand, and the loss of a baby may seem too great to bear. But God is there to comfort you.

Lost a Loved One? A Grief Lesson on ‘Firsts’ (Butts, 10 Things I’ve Learned About Grief series): the first year of ‘firsts’ in missing a loved one can tempt some to think about suicide.

OVERCOMING PTSD (MILITARY)

Army Suicide Prevention: Faith and Counseling Help (Monetti): Military life presents unique marital challenges for the warrior and his or her family in an already stress-ridden society, but many army suicide casualties can be prevented.

FAITH & DEPRESSION

FAITH––the Suicide Vaccine (Suicide Prevention): A pharmacist suggests a different kind of ‘vaccine’ for suicide prevention. We also encourage you to visit our sister site, GodTest.com to learn more about Christian faith, and also visit our site FindingGodDaily.com which addresses applying faith to many tough issues in life.

We welcome your comments and suggestions about topics we may not yet have addressed. I will do a separate roundup page for articles meant for survivors, in particular for family members who have lost loved ones to suicide.

Not all of our posts on depression and suicide  are listed here yet (this is officially our 100th post!) so do use our tabs at the top of the page and our Search box to find more articles here while I also attempt to add to this particular list. Many of our writers have felt as you do, while others have lost family members to the tragedy of suicide.

All our posts are written by caring people who desperately want to encourage you to go on living.

Helpful Tips for the Clinically Depressed

Author James Watkins struggles with being clinically depressed, and recently wrote a letter to a friend who also struggles.

James Watkins

That clinically depressed friend asked Jim for helpful suggestions, so Jim wrote:

First, as someone who has struggled with clinical depression for virtually all my life, I understand the deep, dark hole. And, as early as elementary school I, too, have been tormented by thoughts of suicide. (The only thing that kept me from attempting suicide was knowing that if I did, my parents would kill me!)

And what makes it worse is feeling depressed when things are going well. Then I pile on myself guilt and self-loathing for feeling depressed when things are going well!

 Second, I want to assure you there IS hope. Here are some things I’ve found helpful.

  •  See a doctor as soon as possible. If you feel you can’t afford it, call your county health department. There are free services in every community. If it is clinical depression, there’s medication. For instance, yesterday morning I woke up feeling SO depressed and suicidal. I realized I had forgotten to take my meds the day before. Anti-depressants do make a huge improvement! (You may have to try several different meds before you find the one that works for you and the one without some of the unpleasant side effects, but keep trying.)
  •  Talk to a trained professional. Again, if you feel you can’t afford it, call your county health department. There are free mental health services available. I have benefited greatly from therapy.
  • Consider a support group. You say you have no friends or family to turn to. You’ll find support and encouragement–and realize you’re NOT alone in your feelings. There are even online support groups, but be careful on the Internet as not all the advice is helpful or accurate!

 Third, even more powerful than Prozac is prayer. Please, if you’re not in a Christ-centered church, find one and attend tomorrow. A friend, who hosts GodTest.com, wrote:

“I too was once discouraged to the point of suicide. What I finally learned was this: we have an enemy. Don’t let the enemy rob you of your life, hang in there. You can trust God. He will lead you through this tough time. Your future is filled with hope. Give God a chance and see! Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.”

(Please visit http://godtest.com for helpful, hopeful resources. You can also click on http://www.jameswatkins.com/resources.htm )

I know it may sound trite, but God loves you and wants to be with you through this painful journey. He really does! I KNOW that even though I don’t always FEEL it. Here’s a link to how to have a real relationship with Him.

You’re in my prayers and please call for help today . . . and keep in touch.

To see Jim’s books, go to: http://www.jameswatkins.com/bookstore.htm

If you are wondering how you can have a personal relationship with God, visit GodTest.

Click on the music video belong to help uplift your spirits, because as Sara Groves sings, “It’s going to be all right.”

 

 

Is There Hope? Take Action (Decision 3)

By Liz Cowen Furman:

Don’t give up: change your thinking and take action, one small step at a time.

From our Is There Hope? series (Click to see Decisions 1 & 2). Material from The Travelers Gift used by permission from Thomas Nelson and Andy Andrews as we hope to save lives–including yours.

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Over a lifetime there are moments when one can feel desperate enough to even be thinking about suicide. There are so many things Satan uses to send a person to the brink of losing hope. And a life without hope is the one that may ponder suicide.

In the previous post of this series, I promised to share with you the third decision a person can make to start getting their life to a place they want it to be. If you recall I encouraged you to start reading (new, used or from your library) Andy Andrews’ book The Travelers Gift. 

Decision number 3 calls us to move. I Am a Person of Action. Here is the description by the character in the book:

Beginning today, I will create a new future by creating a new me. No longer will I dwell in a pit of despair, moaning over squandered time and lost opportunity. I can do nothing about the past. My future is immediate. I will grasp it in both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act! I seize this moment. I choose now.  I am a person of action. (Page 69, The Traveler’s Gift)

The rest of his advice is wonderful and completely encouraging. Here is how it ends:

I am a person of action. I am daring. I am courageous. Fear no longer has a place in my life. For too long, fear has outweighed my desire to make things better for my family. Never again! I have exposed fear as a vapor, an impostor who never had any power over me in the first place! I do not fear opinion, gossip, or the idle chatter of monkeys for all are the same to me. I do not fear failure, for in my life, failure is a myth. Failure only exists for the person who quits. I do not quit.

I am courageous. I am a leader. I seize this moment. I choose now. (Page 70, The Traveler’s Gift)

I understand that when a person feels despondent, depressed, scared this may sound like an impossible undertaking. Nevertheless, remember a voyage of a 1000 miles starts with a single step. Do what you can today, pray for help and agree to be committed to reading every post and the book to get you on a path away from thinking about suicide and begin embracing hope.  Look forward to post 5 to hear the next decision.

In the meantime, why not watch this You Tube clip of Andy Andrews describing becoming a person of action himself.

The Club No One Wants to Join (Child Suicide Loss)

Karen Kosman:

This story is an excerpt from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors, used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Nancy Palmer on child suicide loss, her adult son’s depression and suicide, and how God helps her cope:

 

Image by Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  I belong to a club no one wants to join. Its membership is too costly—the death of a child.

I closed my journal after writing these words. My mind reflected once more on that day my life changed forever.

My 30-year-old son, Jason, had been living with us for several months. We’d had an argument. I knew he suffered from depression. Finally, I had confronted him and pleaded. “Jason, no one loves you as much as I do. Please get help!”

“I don’t need help! I’m outta here!” he shouted as he stomped off to his room to pack.

Jason had become skillful at hiding his inner turmoil from friends and family, but I knew all the signs of Jason’s depression. He had struggled on and off most of his life. The intensity of his emotional state this time frightened me. No matter how much my husband, Bill, our sons Bill and Geoffrey, and I cared; we could not control Jason’s choices. He needed professional help, and he had to be the one willing to seek it.

A Christian psychologist had provided me with a list of therapists that Jason could see, but he refused. Jason was separated from his son, and his son’s mother. She didn’t know how to deal with Jason’s depression and had left him. Jason’s 3 -year-old, autistic son certainly needed his daddy. I hoped and prayed that his son would be the reason Jason might change his mind and seek help.

Wandering into Jason’s room after he left, I felt shocked to find his most cherished belongings—items he’d never left behind before. I tried to convince myself that he’d be back, that he’d announce, “Mom, I am ready to seek help.”

The insistent ringing of the doorbell finally broke through my resolve not to answer the door. A chill ran down my spine as I faced a man I did not know. Suddenly, my eyes fell on Jason’s driver’s license attached to the stranger’s clipboard. My heart sank, and I knew even before he asked the question, “Mrs. Palmer, do you know a Jason Palmer?”

“Yes, he’s my son.”

“We have some bad news. May we come in to speak with you?”

Inside my mind agonized. Noooo! Just go away!

With no way of erasing the dreaded news, I invited the man and his female companion inside.

“This morning a woman heard a noise. When she investigated, she found Jason’s body in a park. He shot himself.”

I went into shock and felt strangely detached. I heard a hysterical woman crying, “Not my baby, not my son. Oh, Jason, Why? Why would you leave loved ones? Why would you leave your son?”

Suddenly I realized the hysterical woman was me. Reality hit. Jason would not be coming home.

Today I still don’t have an answer to my question, “Why?” Yet I have found a renewal of hope by volunteering for a ministry on suicide prevention. This gives me a reason to keep going. I work with the knowledge that we cannot stop all suicides, but saving just one life is worth the effort. I speak whenever I can to tell young people about mental illness and that it’s OK to ask for help.

Am I still grieving?

Absolutely! Some days I wonder how I can go on. I miss Jason so much.

Yet God walks with me in my grief. My family and friends work with me in an untied effort to reach out and help others. And although none of us has found an answer to our “Why?”— we see God making a difference.

Have you suffered a similar loss? Find more articles here on Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. You also might be helped by visiting this site: Love Truth: Hope After Suicide.

When the Burden of Debt Drives One’s Thoughts to Suicide

By Karen O’Connor:

Do you have a burden of debt that feels overwhelming?

 

Image: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About thirty years ago I sat in a meeting one Sunday afternoon with a group of people trying to figure out what to do about their financial debt and the trouble it was causing themselves and the people they loved.

One young woman about twenty-five years of age admitted to an amount of credit card debt that was greater than her annual salary. When it was her turn to share she took a deep breath and said with a tremor in her voice, “If I can’t control this habit then I’ll just commit suicide and I won’t have to think about money anymore.”

Heads turned and whispers rippled through the room. When debt drives one’s thoughts to suicide, that’s pretty bad, I thought. Could it happen to me?

I left the meeting that day shaken to the core and committed to getting my own debt under control. In my case it meant finding a way to earn more so I wouldn’t rely on credit cards to carry me from one month to the next when I ran short.

I applied for a part-time teaching position and won the job. Within months I had eliminated my small debt and was on my way to living debt-free. I don’t know what happened to the woman I mentioned. She dropped out of our group and I never saw her again. But her words of despair certainly got my attention and changed the way I earned and managed my own finances.

Over the months and years following that somber day I learned what the Bible has to say about money and the principles have guided me ever since:

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other . . . (Romans 13: 7:8)

. . . the borrower is the slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

With God on your side you cannot miss. The Lord says:

“So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matthew 10:31 in the Bible).

Ask for his help and you will receive it. He will guide you to classes, books, and support groups so you too can manage your finances responsibly and live free of debt.

Take a look at this YouTube video with Joyce Meyer on living debt-free:

Also Dave Ramsey suggests reducing your burden of debt using the Debt Snowball idea: eliminate your smallest debt first, so you feel some measure of success right off and stick with a plan to eventually get rid of all your debts.