Search Results for: chronic depression

Help for Chronic Pain with Suicidal Thoughts

By Karen Boerger

While vacationing recently in Florida, we were walking through the hotel lobby to begin our day when I heard my husband ask, “Are you OK?”  Again he asked, “Are you OK?” He had stopped beside a man bent over a chair. The man said he had two herniated disks in his back and was in extreme pain 24 hours a day, with no relief. He said at one point he had unloaded his guns at home. Chronic pain with suicidal thoughts threatened his life, but he showed wisdom in protecting himself when he knew the pain was causing him to not think rationally.

That comment quickly took me back to a time in our lives when my husband was having severe depression. Before he was hospitalized he had sent our 16-year-old daughter to our friend’s house with our guns.  My friend still talks about that morning; she still can’t believe it. I can’t out of my mind the look of bewilderment and concern she had as she delivered the firearms back to us later.

It’s good that my husband began a dialogue with the gentleman at the hotel, because with depression one of the helpful treatments is talking about your feelings. Social support is very important. Talking regularly with supportive family and friends is extremely helpful.  Healing from depression takes time, and patience is necessary; but making the choice to share your feelings with someone else is so important. You can also talk with others dealing with chronic pain (some hospitals have support groups), plus find hope and help online at www.restministries.org.

With treatment and support, even when experiencing chronic pain with suicidal thoughts when someone says, “Are You OK?” you will be able to boldly say, “Yes, I am!”

 A friend loves at all times . . .  (Proverbs 17:17)

Other pages here at this site:

Feeling Suicidal?

Letter 4 U?

Connecting Suicide Prevention Day with 9-11

By LWS:

Yesterday was Suicide Prevention Day. Today we remember 9-11.  How are they connected?

 

Image by smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net

God loves people of all cultures and races and hates to see broken hearts as a result of suicide. [Image: smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net]

Here at our site Thinking About Suicide, we have many stories from people who have survived and thrived after initially considering suicide. We focus on how a life given over to Jesus Christ can turn in a whole new direction to find hope where hope was previously lacking.

We also have had articles focusing on various causes of suicide: chronic depression, mental illness, and physical, chemical and nutritional imbalances. (See our Categories.) In those articles, we often try to direct people to medical help as well as faith for suicide prevention. We hope many who struggle were able to see our articles on Suicide Prevention Day.

However, one cause of suicide we’ve never discussed is suicide with the goal of taking one’s life in addition to taking the lives of others. Suicide-murder has been known to happen in domestic violence cases. However, 9-11 is a good example of that kind of tragedy on a much larger scale.

In domestic violence, murder-suicide is a mistaken solution often used to regain a sense of control–especially if the partner has attempted to leave. Tragically, this solution often prevents the present and eternal hope that could have been found through Christ.  Such a tragedy will leave brokenhearted family members behind, as well as eliminate any chance for the abuser or the victim to have the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ in order to find a fresh start or a new life.

Terrorism is also related to control and punishment, but those who commit suicide with these ideas in mind often have a misguided belief that such actions please God. But the God of Abraham is one of love, one of forgiveness. Acts of terrorism also leave brokenhearted family members behind on both sides — all people who God loves and hurts for.

To help bridge the gap between God and man, God sent a Savior—His own son.  In order to discover how to live in God’s love, visit GodTest.com.

In honor of Suicide Prevention Day, please pause and pray for all family members who have lost someone from the tragedy of suicide. We also urge you to explore our articles under Suicide Prevention.

How to Live Through Hump Day

By Linda Evans Shepherd

According to the Washington Post, “intriguing new research shows that Wednesday is the day of the week on which most suicides occur.”

But why is it so hard to know how to live through hump day?  Wouldn’t Monday be the most challenging day of the week?

Apparently not, as the Post says, “The study looked at data about suicides nationwide among people over age 18; that number totaled 131,636 over five years. Almost a quarter of those suicides happened on Wednesdays, while only about 14 percent took place on Mondays. The fewest — just over 11 percent — occurred on Thursdays.”

So what’s so difficult about Wednesdays?  Could it be as the study suggests, “perhaps life’s stresses build up by mid-week and seem most insurmountable on that day?”

But note what a difference a day makes! By Thursday, people who managed to live through Wednesday or least likely to take their own lives.  With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to live through hump day.  Please note that these suggestions are geared for those who might implusively take their lives due to the mid-week blues or sudden circumstances that seem overwhelming.  None of the suggestions are meant to offend those with chronic depression.  If you are chronically depressed or if you need additional helps, please read the comments to this article which have some great critiques and suggestionsAlso, note that we have an ever growing catagory called ‘Depression‘ that you may want to check into.  Also, we welcome your continued suggestions on what might help people who are looking for solutions.

  1. When you feel stressed, depressed, or discouraged, before you do something impulsive like taking your own life, made a decision to wait; a day, a week, a month, a year.  It’s likely your feelings will change because Wednesdays don’t last forever, Thursday is on the way!
  2. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and count your blessings and if you can’t think of any, determine how you can be a blessing to others.
  3. Think about those things you have to look forward to.  And if you can’t think of anything, start dreaming.  Ask yourself questions like; if I could go anywhere in the world where would I go?  What is a skill I would like to learn? Then start planning your dream trip or researching how you can learn that skill.
  4. Are you still up?  Go to bed. Don’t sit up late and mope, it’s very likely you will feel better in the morning.  Otherwise, if you can’t sleep, read a book, watch a comedy, put on some soothing music.  But if it’s not yet bedtime, stand up, take a walk, get some fresh air, or call a friend.  Relax! Everything is going to be all right.
  5. Recite your problems to God, then tell him, “Now these things are your problems.”  Then relax.  He loves you and no matter what you are going through, you can trust him to see you through it.
  6. Call a suicide hotline.

If you know about the song ‘Friday,’ you might enjoy this silly parody called ‘Wednesday’.  Relax and enjoy.  It looks to me like you need a good laugh.

Don’t let tricky Wednesday pysch you out because now you have some some motivators that will show you how to live through hump day. 
P.S.  Don’t try any of those silly car tricks.  Stay safe.  You’ll be glad you did.

Painful Pasts Leading to Extreme Risk: Dickey (Review)

There’s more than one way to commit suicide.

For some, a painful past leads to extreme risk and can result in death. If you struggle with your past, seek hope and healing instead of putting yourself in harm’s way.

 

Wherever I Wind Up

Extreme Risk Suicide Attempts: Don’t let something in your past lead you to commit suicide through extreme risk.

I remember “Extreme Risk,” an episode of Star Trek: Voyageur, where  B’Elanna Torres is suffering from various injuries because she is going on dangerous holodeck programs with the safety mechanism turned off. She eventually tells Chakotay that since she learned of the death of most of their Maquis friends, she has been numb. The risks she’s been taking have been to try to find out if she’s still alive inside.

In reality, this is clinical depression. And B’Elanna might very easily have died.

An accident? In some ways. But it’s also a form of suicide. People who play with fire usually get burned.

I was reminded of that episode recently while reading the book Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball, by R. A. Dickey, with Wayne Coffey.

R. A. Dickey is a baseball player, a knuckleball pitcher, and last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner.

But while his book certainly chronicles his journey to become a major league baseball player, it’s about a lot more than that. Like B’Elanna, R. A. did some crazy things because he felt numb inside.

Dickey’s parents got married because his mother was pregnant, and according to him “the marriage didn’t last five years.” They divorced when R. A. was 8 and his mom turned to alcohol for solace. His dad, who had been a good father, gradually eased out of his life. R. A. felt alone and confused.

Then, when he was 8, a 13-year-old babysitter abused him sexually. Afterwards, in his words, “I feel discarded, like a piece of trash. She acts like she’s mad at me, like I didn’t follow her orders properly. I lie on my bed by myself, wondering if what just happened is real. I am trembling, still sweating. I feel paralyzed, my limbs leaden.”

It happens four or five more times that summer.

But something even worse happens that fall.

While visiting with family in a farming area, a boy of 16 or 17 finds him alone and grabs him, then overpowers him and abuses him.

R. A. boxes all these memories up and hides them in his mind as far away as possible. And he becomes numb. Until he’s 31 years old, he never tells anyone, doesn’t even let himself think about them. On the outside, he appears to be normal, but without his even realizing it, the memories are impacting him, telling him he’s “filthy and bad, like the scum of the earth, only worse.”

This goes on until he’s 31 and his own marriage is in serious trouble.

He finally breaks down and tells a counselor about the babysitter. He feels a measure of freedom, but he can’t go all the way; not to the brutal experience with the teenage boy.

A year later, on June 9, 2007, he does something absolutely crazy. While in Council Bluff Iowa with his triple A baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, he jumps in the Missouri River to swim across it. The water is brown and sludgy and there are strong currents and undertows. He’s wearing boxer briefs and taped-on flip-flops. He is basing this swim on the fact that he’s in good shape, and once upon a time, years ago, he swam the 200-meter freestyle for a local team. He believes he can do it.

And that’s where I was reminded about the Star Trek episode.

Because this isn’t the first time he’s done something crazy. In his words, “You could say—and some have—that I have a death wish. Not sure. I think it’s more accurate to say I have a risk wish, somehow clinging to the notion that achieving these audacious feats will someone make me worthy, make me special, as if I’d taken some magical, esteem-enhancing drug.”

He doesn’t make it across the river; instead, he almost drowns. But as he realizes he’s going to die in the muddy water of the Missouri, he finds a new desire to live. And afterwards, he’s finally able to talk about the worst experience of his life, and face the darkness and the anger that has burned inside him for all those years. Anger at the boy, anger at himself, anger at his life, anger at the God he believes in but up until now couldn’t fully embrace . . .

And he begins the journey to freedom, to feeling truly alive, and to helping others break their shackles of self-condemnation and shame.

Terrible things happen to most of us.

They don’t even have to be huge things, like sexual abuse or violence. Sometimes it’s just a person who constantly puts us down or tells us we aren’t good enough that stays within us and makes us numb inside.

No matter how much we try to pretend they never happened, they don’t go anywhere. They stay inside and tear us down.

We have to find the strength to bring them out and examine them, talk to people we can trust about them, and let God heal us and cause good to happen.

R. A. is now passionate about helping kids who have suffered from abuse.

Check out what he had to say recently.

More about the book, Wherever I Wind Up.

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.

You Can Survive Holiday Blues

By Linda Evans Shepherd:

Are you wondering if you can survive the holiday blues? Feeling a bit depressed post-holiday?

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

You may recall a scene on TV where a husband tells his wife her Christmas surprise is in the driveway with the motor running,  but when they run outside to take a joy ride they are extremely disappointed. The only thing in left in the driveway is the bow that fell off when a thief drove away with their new car.

Perhaps you understand their disappointment because you feel your expectations for holiday joy, peace and contentment were stolen as well.

You may have had high hopes that this holiday season might be different and that your family would suddenly become functional and loving.  Instead, all you have left to show for your attempt to create holiday joy is your credit card bill.

Or perhaps you’re disappointed simply because you weren’t able to buy the wonderful presents you felt would help provide happiness for your loved ones.

Would it help you to know that you’re not alone in feeling disappointed in the holidays?  However, if you’re feeling suicidal because of these disappointments, know that you can and should survive.

Eve Meyer, executive director of the San Francisco Suicide Prevention hot line told the  San Francisco Chronicle that she dispenses three “rules for coping” if you are feeling emotionally vulnerable this time of year. She said, “First, find someone that you have to take care of. It helps give you perspective and feel needed.

“Then, find someone to take care of you. And lastly, remember that people will love you in December as they loved you in May. If your family was dysfunctional earlier in the year, they will be dysfunctional now. So let go of any idea that everything will suddenly change and be great.

“If you do get together, just tell yourself, ‘We’re going to be typically us as a family,’ ” Meyer cautioned. “And if you do feel bad (because things aren’t going as you hoped), pick up the phone and call us or call a friend. Don’t put off getting help.”

These are great tips, and I especially like Eve’s advice about taking care of others if you have holiday blues.  In fact, just today a friend told me that a few years ago she too was feeling suicidal during the holidays, and she even contemplated ending it all.  But before she could act on that impulse, her best friend Emily unexpectedly killed herself.  Beth said that when she went to Emily’s funeral and saw her grief-stricken family —  it broke her heart.  Beth knew she had to spare her family from that kind of suffering and decided  she would never again consider taking her own life.

Please note that even if your family will never be like that perfect family as portrayed in magazine holiday ads, or even if you simply cannot provide the Christmas gifts you would have liked, your family needs  you to stay alive. However, what they do not need is the guilt and pain of your death – a permanent solution to your temporary pain.  So, do your part to care for your family by considering the heartache you will cause if you were to take your own life. Know that this difficult season will pass and though life may not be perfect, you have hope that things will get better because they will.

If you feel you need to talk to someone about your holiday blues or depression in general, you can get free counseling by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.   Also, please check out the resources HERE.  (Be prepared to take a quick test first).

Why Not Commit Suicide When I Have Nothing To Offer?

By Lisa Copen:

When you live with chronic pain there can be many times we question, “why not commit suicide?”

It is easy to look around at our circumstances and believe that we are not making a difference for anyone else in this world. Do we matter?

Is there any part of us left that isn’t all about fighting off chronic pain and illness, but just living? Having relationships? Experiencing joy?

Most people go through times when they feel they are not making a difference to anyone, but for those who cope with deep depression, the feelings of why not commit suicide? I am not worth anything to anyone, are much more serious. When you believe I am worthless, I can’t cope with life, I am not like other people, I will never be successful, I am just surviving this life but not really living, it can be nearly impossible to understand how you make a difference.

But you do.

I know, because I have had people in my life who have lived with these turmoil of emotions. . . and they have made a positive difference in my life. They have encouraged me and given me hope. As I see their pain, but also the dedication to getting up one more day and then one more day, I think, if they can do it, so can I.

Despite the fact that you are considering “why not commit suicide?” you still do make a difference! You may think:

“Why not commit suicide? No one will even miss me. I don’t matter to anyone.”
“Why not commit suicide? No one will hardly realize I am gone, since I am just surviving this life–not contributing to it in any way.”
“Why not commit suicide? People will just be better off without me.”

But consider for a moment that you don’t have to make a difference to the entire world. You only have to touch a life. And if you are here on this earth, it is impossible not to touch someone’s life. Millions of people log on to social networks daily and post a message that encourages someone else. I have seen many people who live with incredible chronic pain and yet they make it their purpose to try to smile at someone who serves them, such as a nurse, a doctor, a home health care worker–someone! Anyone!

Because you may be the only person who encourages a nurse who was beaten by her husband last night and has hidden her bruises. You may be the first patient a doctor sees tomorrow morning after he found out last night his wife is having an affair. You may be the one who smiles at the receptionist who has a teenage daughter who ran away from home yesterday. You never know what pain someone else is going through.

You are special because God created you. You are struggling because earth is filled with pain and suffering. But your value and worth does not come from what you can do here on earth, it comes because you are precious to God.

Genesis 2:7 says, “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

God created you, and He doesn’t abandon anything He begins. Even when you don’t realize it, you are making a difference in someone’s life. How you face each day can determine if it’s a positive difference or not. But whether you realize it or not, even when you share your struggles, admit defeat, allow yourself to be vulnerable, or just smile at someone, you are inspiring someone. You matter.

So, why not commit suicide? Because you matter–and no feeling or circumstance will ever change that fact.

Did you know that some people believe that the popular “The Legend of the Starfish” was originally about a sand dollar? This video is a simple reminder that you matter–you don’t need to change the world, you don’t need to find the energy or emotional ability to take on a huge ministry or a campaign to end world hunger. You only have to offer what you can and it will make a difference for one, and then another one, and then another one.

Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.

Why Not End My Life If I Have Nothing Left to Give?

By Lisa Copen

“I am exhausted. I am in so much pain. No one knows how hard it is to just get through each day. I am of no value to anyone. . . Why choose to live?

Have you ever felt that way? It can be hard to see value in life when you don’t feel productive, but even when we don’t have a list of accomplishments, we are still cherished by God. And you never know how your situation may actually be encouraging someone when you don’t even realize it.

When my grandfather was in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, my grandmother basically couldn’t see the need for him to keep living. She was–coldly–ready to move on and felt like he was holding her back. As she complained about him for the umpteenth time I looked her firmly in the eye and spoke my mind.

“Grandma, he may not know what is going on, but he is joyful. Every day, every single person that comes into his room has their day brightened by his joy. They love him. You don’t know what those people may have been going through. A nurse could have been beaten by her spouse last night; an attendant may be losing his own father to this disease but he lives across the country and he can’t be with him. Grandpa may be the only person in their life who makes them smile. You don’t know how God is still using him.”

I am not certain she understood. But even as I said the words, I realized just how true they were. Even while he was suffering and not completely aware of who people were, he radiated joy and passed that on.

I have heard the saying, “It all works out in the end and if it has not worked out, then it is not the end.” Perhaps you have asked, “Why choose to live when I have nothing left to give?” Maybe you wonder if you are of use because of your disabilities, mental health challenges, financial struggles, etc. But whatever it is, these are just your circumstances–not you.

We all have something to give, even though some days we can only give our tears. What? How can crying help someone? Each day I see people who are discouraged and downtrodden who live with physical chronic pain, and even as they share their discouragement, their needs, their depression, others step up and encourage them. Not only do people who woke up feeling useless feel needed, they also have their own sufferings validated.

Yes, inspirational, encouraging videos and words are always welcome, but some days we just need to know that someone else is suffering too and and it is not all rainbows and smiley faces. We are all in this thing called life together. You are always valuable to the Lord, but your willingness to be vulnerable, to share the real you, can make you vessel to reach someone else who feels unneeded, when no one else can.

In 2011, following a discouraging appointment with my rheumatologist and frustrated with the circumstances of my illness, I came home and made a “real” video. Instead of my typical “Latte with Lisa” this one was called “Lisa: Unfiltered“. . . And I cried. If you feel up to seeing a gal fall apart, but still see God in it, you may want to take a listen. It’s not pretty, but it is honest.

To date, this is the highest watched video I have ever done, but even as I pressed that publish button I wondered, “what have I done?” What I had done was just allow people to see me–the real me that gets discouraged sometimes like everyone else. If you ever wonder if your tears can encourage someone else, this video may help you see how that happens.

You may think: Why not end my life if I have nothing left to give? But that’s not true: your life itself is a gift, and there is hope.

Your life has value because you are you. Suicide is never the answer. You don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to have it all together, you don’t need to be happy-go-lucky all the time. God loves you. . . just the way you are.

Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.

News About Thinking About Suicide! (Site Review)

This week we were encouraged to find news about Thinking About Suicide posted by the ASSIST News Service.

An article written for ASN by Michael Ireland, Senior International Correspondent, shared how our founder, Linda Evans Shepherd with Right to the Heart ministries has ministered to the suicidal since New Year’s Eve, 2003. He quoted Linda:

“That night it occurred to me to use Internet marketing tools to put our interactive gospel presentation, GodTest.com,  into the suicidal lanes of the Internet.

“Before the night was over, we saw 20 people come to faith. Since then, we’ve added tools for the depressed and helped over 300,000 come to faith, while preventing literally thousands of suicides.”

When Google changed its search algorithm, it became more difficult for faith seekers and hurting people to find Godtest.com.

Looking for a solution, Linda took online marketing classes, then founded the blog Finding God Daily to help lead people to God Test. But this past November, an incident prompted her to start our site, Thinking About Suicide. She wanted to offer a faith-based suicide prevention site with personal stories to comfort those who have lost family or friends. It is also of course our hope to prevent desperate people from taking their own lives.

From Ireland’s article:

It was 10:35 a.m. when she (Linda) heard sirens screaming down her street. Later, on the local news, she was shocked to learn that a beautiful 22-year-old neighbor, who had just graduated with honors from University of Colorado Boulder, had purposefully ended her life by throwing herself in front of an 18-wheeler.

That this suicide happened three blocks from her home, only feet from her church, the very church which helped to sponsor her ministry’s efforts to reach the suicidal, was not lost on Shepherd.

“I was heartbroken when our newspaper reported that Katy’s last online search was ‘how to kill yourself.’ How I wished she could have found our helps for hope, life, and faith, instead of those ghastly instructions on how to die.”

Shepherd then asked members of  the  Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA, an organization for Christian writers and speakers which she also founded) to write for our site.

“It’s our hope that by creating over 200 new articles per year on suicide, featuring bullying, military, teens, marriage, divorce, job loss, depression, surviving the loss of a loved one, survival stories, chronic pain, and illness, that we will populate the Internet with help and hope,” said Shepherd.

Since its launch in March, Thinking About Suicide has reached over 1,000 people per month from around the world. It has already helped to prevent suicides, connect the hurting with helps, and seen over 800 people come to faith through God Test.

“Suicide has touched almost every family in the US as well as families from around the world. Please join us in prayer that our online encouragement will make a difference as we point our readers to hope and to a God who really cares,” she said.

Please tell others about how how our site can help the suicidal and those who have lost friends and family to suicide.  You can subscribe to our site via the subscribe button, or share (through Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other places) any  articles you believe are helpful and possibly life-saving. Please share the good news about Thinking About Suicide.

Many thanks to the Assist News Service for printing this information about us. Click HERE to see the original article.

Also we just discovered that  Lisa Copen from Rest Ministries (Chronic Illness Ministry) did a wonderful video review of our blog. (Thank you, Lisa!)

Thinking About Suicide Blog Has Encouragement and Heart

Why is Life so Hard if God Won’t Allow More Than I Can Handle?

By Lisa Copen:

Why is life so hard?

 

Over and over I have heard the saying, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” But what about the pain. . . the grief. . . the depression. . . the darkness? It is more than we can handle. Much more. There are days that we wonder, is life worth living if we have to get up every day and fight to be strong?

We look enviously at others who seem to not struggle and wonder why God seems to bless those that can handle so little, and curse those of us who are so strong.

As I have dealt with the physical and emotional losses since my twenties when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I have heard this cliche answer from the stranger at the store to my pastor who was grasping to instill encouragement at my hospital bedside.

Have you noticed how people ask, “So, how are you?” and no matter how badly things are, and how honest you may be with them, their answer is, “Well, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”? In other words, buck up! Hang in there! Find something to get your mind off of it. Get out of the house. Don’t worry because God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

It feels like they are saying, “Obviously you aren’t handling life’s challenges nearly as well as I am.”

Let me tell you something that may come as a surprise. God does give us more than we can handle. Every day He may place us in the position where the pain is too much to bear. Why? Because we were never meant to do this life without Him! He gives you more than you can handle–but not how much you and He–together–can handle.

Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” And Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we were not created to do this life on our own. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We do not have to be strong on our own.

There will be days when you may wake up and think, I can’t do this. I cannot keep living this way. Why is life worth living if I can’t meet the expectations of others or even myself? I cannot figure out how to get rid of this darkness that haunts me.

There are no simple answers, except to speak to God about it. You were designed to need to turn to Him a million times a day. God does give you more than you can handle because you were never meant to handle it.

In the video below, vocal artist Matthew West, speaks to a young girl who has experienced 13 surgeries due to one car accident. Her mom tried to encourage her by telling her God wouldn’t give her more than she could handle. Her response–and her journey–became the inspiration for song, “Strong Enough,” which is also included in the video.

Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.

On days you are wondering Why is life so hard?  visit Finding God Daily. There you will find stories from many who have overcome great obstacles with God’s help.