Suicide as an Option is Never Good

By Karen Kosman:

Suicide as an option for ending pain and depression is never good.

There are always alternatives that can open the door to change and hope.

 

Life preserver image by cbenjasuwan FDP net

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

At the age of 13, Louise fell out of her dad’s boat. She knew how to swim, but the icy cold water took her breath away, and the thick reeds, growing up from the bottom of the lake, wrapped around her legs. She panicked as she gasped for air and gulped water. Hopelessness and doubt kept her focused on fear, and she could not free herself. She fought to stay above water. Silently she prayed, God help me!

Suddenly she felt someone beside her—a man pulling the reeds away from her. He said, “Louise, you are safe now.” He gave her a shove toward shore.

To her surprise, just a short distance away from where she had struggled, her feet touched the ground. There she found loving, compassionate people ready to help her.

Louise thought, What would have happened if I hadn’t cried out for help? What would have happened if a stranger hadn’t cared enough to swim out to help me? In the murky water I couldn’t see the bottom of the lake. Safety had been only a few feet away.

So it is with the throes of depression. The suicidal person can’t see through the murkiness of her or his pain to know that safety lies only a short distance away.

Suicide is never a good option. It does not solve anything. It brings an abrupt end to the resources that could have brought relief, completion of fulfilled dreams, and the return of happiness.

There are a number of mental disorders that cause chemical imbalance in the brain and may contribute to suicidal behavior. However, they can often be controlled with medication when prescribed and overseen by a psychiatrist. Although these illnesses are often treatable, some emotionally desperate patients will choose not to live.

Often external circumstances such as job loss, financial disaster, loss of a child, failure in school, or marital problems are blamed for suicide. However, these events may act only as triggers.

For many the turnaround came when they called out in distress, “God help me.” These words are often the beginning of a path to recovery for those contemplating suicide. God becomes to them a safe harbor. In seeking  help from professionals (support groups, pastors, family physicians, and Christian therapists), they explore the reasons behind their pain. With the love and mercy of a sovereign God, they grab hold of a life preserver—the choice to live.

Lord, my God walk with me on this journey. Help me to set a goal for my future. Teach me to believe that I still have a purpose in life.

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Long-term Thoughts of Suicide

By PeggySue Wells

 

Have you struggled with long-term thoughts of suicide?

Have you struggled with long-term thoughts of suicide?

Having thoughts of suicide can be a temporary condition triggered by crisis in our lives. But for others, this dark night of the soul is a continuous condition, year after year.

Here is how one person described what it’s like to have long-term thoughts of suicide and depression:

Many more people are silently suffering and depressed than ever before. We hear stories about great things coming around for everyone else but nothing is happening for us. We hear about weddings and new arrivals and again nothing for us.

What happens when our anxiety and depression is recognized and being treated but the medications and therapy is no longer working? Or is at a plateau? For our doctors, friends, and family it’s hard to talk about because they don’t know what to do about it either. It’s a scary place to be because there are some things in life that feel completely unfixable and when you’ve spent ten to fifteen years talking it out or taking anti-depressants or doing group therapy sessions – what now?

As a generation of people who were diagnosed with depression and anxiety through suicidal thoughts, we have to start talking about how we are going to go through life once the meds stop working and the talk therapy is no longer helping. And of course, how we will pay for this is a whole other issue.

I know the pain of being consumed with thoughts of suicide in the middle of the night.

Are you having long-term thoughts of suicide? Have you experienced such a dark time and come through to brighter days?

Despite the struggle and the pain, you matter. You are important. Significant.

When thoughts of despair plague, remember that the Lord is with you even in this.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there (Psalm 7-8).

When you are in the depths of depression, the last thing you feel like doing is connecting. But I encourage you to attend a Bible-believing church. Just as you are. Even on your dark days. You don’t have to have your life together before you can come. When my friend Barbara lost her two teenagers in a car wreck, she plunged into deep and extended depression.

“How did you survive that?” I asked.

“I kept going to church,” she said. “No matter what, go to church.”

Why? Because the music and sermons remind you that Jesus Christ knows how you feel. In the Bible are stories of others who knew depression including Jonah, Job, Paul and Barnabas knew depression. People in the church have experienced dark nights of the soul.

While there may not be a quick solution for you, church is where you receive prayer, and connect and belong. And it is where you are needed. God comforts us so we can comfort others. There will be a time when you can be the person who says to another, “I understand how you feel.”

Click here to see a letter from someone who understands your despair: Dear Friend, at GodTest.com, and learn about (or be reminded of) how to find a relationship with Jesus Christ to comfort you in your trials.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:1-18 (NIV Bible, from BibleGateway.com)

 Enjoy this beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace:

Suicide as a Way Out of Domestic Abuse

When you’re in a relationship that involves domestic abuse — physical or emotional — suicide may seem your only way of escape.

 

 But there is hope and help.

 

Off the Map domestic violence

Jacquie Brown, author of the book, Off the Map: Follow me out of Domestic Abuse, certainly felt that way the day she ran to her bathroom after a violent confrontation with her husband. Her “crime”? Urging her husband not to drive his truck after drinking seven glasses of whiskey and cola in a few hours.

In Jacquie’s words:

He shoved me into the wall, yelled and called me disgusting names, criticized everything about me, searched for the words that would hurt me the most.

Fear gripped my being. My stomach tensed, and I huddled into myself, trying to disappear as tears flowed and I thought, Am I really those foul degrading words I hear him calling me? He’s right about my stupidity; I never learn. I’m always the catalyst for these explosions of torment. How do I solve it? How do I stop it? The agony and desolation is relentless. How do I escape?

Time seemed to stand still as a thought seeped into my mind. I knew a way to escape. I turned and race up the stairs to the washroom, locking the door behind me. I shouldn’t have run. Now he knows something is unusual. I hurried and swallowed several pills before he reached the door.

He yelled, “Open the door or I’ll kick it in!”

Jacquie came out of the bathroom and her husband got their two young children out of bed, and told the children “This I what happens if you try and kill yourself.” He then beat her.

After he left, Jacquie made her way to each of the children’s rooms and assured them she was okay. Afterwards, she wondered how she could ever have been so selfish as to think of leaving her children alone with their father. But of course, she wasn’t thinking clearly. She was just trying to find a way out of the constant fear and abuse. (p. 42-43)

Suicide lets the abuser win

While there may be times when suicide seems like the only way out of abuse, fortunately, Jacquie eventually found a much better way. And then she wrote a book in order to help others find their way out, and also to help friends, family, and others who want to help domestic abuse victims understand what’s going on in the mind of a person who is being abused.

Off the Map is written with alternating chapters, first giving us a glimpse into Jacquie’s life, then immediately following that with an explanation of what she calls the “underlying dynamics or aspects of domestic violence.”

In her introduction, Jacquie says: “Off the Map demystifies domestic violence. It brings to light how we are ensnared and why we stay trapped. It also reveals our self-destructive coping mechanisms and ultimately the way out of the dungeon to discover the treasure of life.” (p.xiii)
Jacquie also explains that all violence isn’t physical beatings. There are many other ways an abuser can hold someone captive.

The book has a number of helpful lists, including:

  • signs that you are in an abusive relationship
  • how abusers isolate their victims
  • different types of abusers
  • types of abuse
  • wrong beliefs of both the abusers and the abused
  • reasons why victims stay in the relationship
  • common coping mechanisms that lead to more difficulty
  • people and groups who will help abuse victims
  • practical steps to take to ensure safety when leaving

The book clearly explains how pretty well anyone could wind up being abused without necessarily realizing what is happening. Jacquie shows how abusers can mix kindness in with the abuse in a way that creates dependency and keeps the victim ambivalent about the abuser and unable to break free.

She also links long-term abuse to C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). On page 93, Jacquie says, “A woman suffering in a relationship of domestic violence is similar to a soldier’s experience as a prisoner of war. Both undergo prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences and both can develop C-PTSD.” She then goes on to explain how chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline), are impacted, and how this can lead to a variety of negative things, including forgetfulness, depression, detachment, self-condemnation, loss of identity, hopelessness, etc.

Everyone needs to read this book

This book is specifically about domestic violence, and is invaluable for anyone wanting to understand that type of abuse. However, the implications of abuse go far beyond that to any long-term relationship where one person has power over another and could use it in abusive ways: either situations where one has direct power over another (e.g. a parent, teacher, coach, boss, pastor, doctor, counselor) or situations where a peer can exert power over another person (e.g. a co-worker, teammate, a sibling, close friend, roommate, classmate). Please check it out, especially if you:

  • suspect you might be in an abusive relationship
  • suspect someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, whether domestic or otherwise
  • suspect you might be an abuser
  • are in any way involved with people; pastors, teachers, psychologists, counselors, doctors, nurses, politicians, managers, parents, etc.

Click to visit Jacquie Brown’s website and for information about her book Off the Map: Follow Me Out of Domestic Violence 

Does Weather Trigger Suicidal Thoughts?

By PeggySue Wells

In northeast Indiana, we have tornado season each spring. While these twisters are nothing like those that blow through the tornado corridor in Oklahoma, Ft. Wayne has one of the nation’s highest dollar amount of wind damage. That bit of information was not in my relocation packet.

Tornado photo

Does your life feel like a tornado?

The influence of weather on mental health has long been debated. Even studied. Most conclusions I’ve read hedge with a mumbled something about the evidence being inconclusive. But I’ve wondered, does weather trigger suicidal thoughts?

An abstract from the National Institute in Helinski, Finland titled, Atmospheric Pressure and Suicide Attempts in Helsinki, Finland stated, “We found that daily atmospheric pressure correlated statistically significantly with the number of suicide attempts.”[1]

This spring when the dramatic weather blew in, the power in our small Midwestern town blew out. My oldest daughter telephoned from her home in the village. “Mom,” my grown daughter telephoned. “Do you have electricity at your place?”

“Of course,” I couldn’t help but rub it in. “We live in the country and have cooperative utilities.”

“Great. I’m coming out to stay the night with you.”

But no sooner had she settled into the spare bunk bed in her younger sister’s room when her emergency pager called her back out. Both a paramedic and a firefighter for our community, she’s on call when the weather lashes out in our county.

By morning the storm had passed but at breakfast my daughter looked like she had gotten little sleep.

“Were you helping neighbors with storm damage last night?” I poured coffee in her Disney princess mug.

“A different kind of storm damage.” She stirred milk into her coffee. “When we get strong drops in pressure or a significant increase in weather pressure, we have more medical calls.”

This was news to me. Does weather trigger suicidal thoughts? “I don’t understand.”

“Weather triggers migraines for those who have them, and we respond to more cases of stroke.”

Next door we heard the neighbor’s chainsaw cutting a tree that tornado force winds had blown down. She continued, “Unstable weather patterns can unsettle people who take medicine to balance their emotional and mental health. And, emergency services receives a greater number of calls for people thinking about suicide.”

While official studies remain inconclusive regarding the effect of weather on emotional and mental health, my unofficial conversations with emergency personnel and physicians in my area indicate these professionals routinely experience a rise in calls from people who are thinking about suicide. If you, or someone you know, find yourself struggling mentally and emotionally, check the weather. Perhaps you are feeling a drop in the atmospheric pressure. If there’s a storm outside raging as the storm inside feels, ask yourself, does weather trigger thoughts of suicide? Let the storm pass. And don’t hesitate to contact your physician or local paramedics, police, or firefighters and tell them what you are feeling. They will not be scandalized. They are trained to understand and to get you to the help you need. In an emergency scenario, dial 9-1-1.

As always, from anywhere, you can call the national suicide hotline number where someone is waiting to talk with you at 1-800-273-8255.

 

PeggySue is the author of What to Do When You’re Scared to Death and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After.

________________________________
[1] Int J Biometeorol. 2012 Nov;56(6):1045-53. doi: 10.1007/s00484-011-0518-2. Epub 2012 Jan 26. Accessed July 25, 2013.

Is There Hope? Forgiveness (Decision 6)

Liz Cowen Furman:

Image: Sujin Jetkasettakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Sujin Jetkasettakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Over a lifetime, anyone’s life, 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 Is There Hope? series, I promised to share with you the sixth decision a person can make to start getting their life back on track. If you recall I encouraged you to get Andy Andrew’s book, The Traveler’s Gift, which we are discussing in this series. In this book, decision number six is probably the most life changing of all:

I Will Greet This Day with a Forgiving Spirit.

Not forgiving people who have offended or hurt us doesn’t hurt them, it eats us alive from the inside out.

From page 138,  The Travelers Gift:

For too long, every ounce of forgiveness I owned was locked away, hidden from view, waiting for me to bestow its precious presence upon some worthy person. Alas, I found most people to be singularly unworthy of my valuable forgiveness and, since they never asked for any, I kept it all for myself. Now, the forgiveness that I hoarded has sprouted inside my heart like a crippled seed yielding bitter fruit.

No more! At this moment, my life has taken on new hope and assurance. Of all the world’s population, I am one of the few possessors of the secret to dissipating anger and resentment. I now understand that forgiveness only has value when it is given away. By the simple act of granting forgiveness, I release the demons of the past about which I can do nothing and create in myself a new heart, a new beginning.

 Forgiving someone who has hurt me doesn’t say that what they did isn’t wrong or didn’t hurt. What it does is release me from the responsibility of paying them back. It takes me out of bondage not them. And, oh how much power there is in those three little words; I FORGIVE YOU. Whether said aloud or just to myself, it lifts a huge burden. Sometimes the person we most need to forgive is our self.

More insights from Andy Andrews (Page 139-140 ):

I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself. For many years, my greatest enemy has been myself. Every mistake, every miscalculation, every stumble I made has been replayed over and over in my mind. Every broken promise, every day wasted, every goal not reached has compounded the disgust I feel for the lack of achievement in my life. My dismay has developed a paralyzing grip. When I disappoint myself, I respond with inaction and become more disappointed. 

 So until the next post resolve to forgive yourself and others and stop thinking about suicide. And have a listen to Andy Andrews on forgiveness. Don’t forget to read The Traveler’s Gift too.

 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32, NIV Bible)

Hope: Choosing Happiness (Decision 5)

By Liz Cowen Furman:

Is choosing happiness an option when depression is part of your life? Read and ponder this:

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Over a lifetime, anyone’s life, 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 fifth decision a person can make to start getting their life to a better place. If you recall I encouraged you to get Andy Andrew’s book  The Travelers Gift and to start reading it. ( It is also available at the library.)

Decision number five states; Today I Will Choose to be Happy.

Just like choosing to get dressed in the morning or to make dinner we can choose to be happy. Once I realized that was true, it changed everything. No longer is happiness something anyone can take away from me. No longer is it dependent on my circumstances.

Beginning this very moment, I am a happy person, for I now truly understand the concept of happiness. Few others before me have been able to grasp the truth of the physical law that enables one to live happily every day. I know now that happiness is not an emotional phantom floating in and out of my life.

Happiness is a choice.

Happiness is the end result of certain thoughts and activities, which actually bring about a chemical reaction in my body. This reaction results in a euphoria, which, while elusive to some, is totally under my control. (Page 108, The Traveler’s Gift)

One way of cultivating happiness is to have a grateful heart. Do I look at my broken car and be sad because it needs fixed, or do I remain happy because I own a car to have repaired?

Do I look at the pile of work ahead of me today and bemoan the fact that it is so much to do, or be grateful that I am employed?

The choice is mine every day. I can choose to be grateful for what I have or I can lament the things I don’t. When I choose to be grateful, my whole countenance changes. My entire outlook is redone.

Today I will choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit. In the past, I have found discouragement in particular situations, until I compared the condition of my life to others less fortunate.

Just as a fresh breeze cleans smoke from the air, so does a grateful spirit remove the cloud of despair. It is impossible for the seeds of depression to take root in a thankful heart.

My God has bestowed upon me many gifts, and for these I will remember to be grateful. Too many times, I have offered up the prayers of a beggar, always asking for more and forgetting my thanks. (Page 109, The Traveler’s Gift)

I encourage you to stop thinking about suicide and read that last posts in this series plus The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. Also, why not listen to him describing the 5th decision, choosing happiness, himself:

Loneliness Can Lead to Suicide

Image by Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Karen O’Connor:

An article by Stephen Marche in The Atlantic magazine  focuses on an important point:

“Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever.

Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill.”

Loneliness can lead to suicide.

For example, soap opera star Nick Santino took his life on his 47th birthday in January 2012 after euthanizing his pit bull, Rocco, following an alleged threat from a neighbor about the dog, according to an article in US Magazine.

The man was so distraught he believed his only solution was to commit suicide, after posting his concern on Facebook and calling a former girlfriend. “Police found Santino’s body in his bedroom later that afternoon. The actor had overdosed on pills.”

This is just one of many cases of suicide following bouts of extreme loneliness and fear.

Kevin Caruso on suicide.org  encourages lonely people to take the following steps, among others:

“If you are suicidal and feel intense loneliness, please get help for your suicidal feelings. And please take steps to be less lonely. If you feel lonely and isolate yourself, your risk of suicide will increase. So, get out and talk to people. You can talk with people in stores, at events, you name it. And open up to your friends and family.”

And you can find help in the Bible. God cares about you and your feelings of loneliness.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

 Loneliness can lead to suicide but if you turn to God with your feelings he will rescue and uphold you and help you take the steps that lead to healing and caring relationships.

And for further encouragement take a look at this YouTube with Dr. Larry Crabb of NewWay Ministries—”What Does Loneliness Tell Us About Ourselves?”

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? Seeking Wisdom (Decision 2)

By Liz Cowen Furman:

Do you know that seeking wisdom can make a huge difference in how you see hope for the future?

Over a lifetime, anyone’s life, 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.

Liz's Bible

This is post is about Decision 2 in our series from The Traveler’s Gift. In the previous posts in this series, I promised to share with you the second 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 get Andy Andrew’s book , The Traveler’s Gift and to start reading it.

If you are just now tuning in, here is a link where you can purchase the book on Amazon either new or used. It is also available at the library.

Decision number two for a person who wants their life to be of their choosing is:

I Will Seek Wisdom.

Are you seeking wisdom? There are many places to look for it. The most accurate place I have found wisdom is in the Bible. If you haven’t read it and even if you have, I cannot recommend it more profoundly. It changes my life nearly daily.

Listen to what the character in The Travelers Gift has to say about wisdom:

Knowing that wisdom waits to be gathered, I will actively search her out. My past can never be changed, but I can change the future by changing my actions today. I will change my actions today! I will train my eyes and ears to read and listen to books and recordings that bring about positive changes in my personal relationships and a greater understanding of my fellow man. No longer will I bombard my mind with materials that feed my doubts and fears. I will read and listen only to that which increases my belief in myself and my future. (Page 48, The Traveler’s Gift)

 

A person with courage recognizes that his future can be better and then takes steps to make that happen.

Courage is offered in Matthew 14 from Jesus himself. He says “take courage”. He offers it, but we must take Him up on His offer.

Another way to gather wisdom is to associate ourselves with people who are wise. Listen to another portion of this character’s explanation:

I will seek wisdom. I will choose my friends with care. I am who my friends are. I speak their language, and I wear their clothes. I share their opinions and their habits. From this moment forward, I will choose to associate with people whose lives and lifestyles I admire. If I associate with chickens, I will learn to scratch at the ground and squabble over crumbs. If I associate with eagles, I will learn to soar to great heights. I am an eagle. It is my destiny to fly. (Page 49, The Traveler’s Gift)

The decision to seek wisdom has several facets besides those mentioned here–be sure to see The Traveler’s Gift for more on how that can affect your future and hope.

See the video below to see and hear Mr. Andrews share a bit of his story, including recovering from homelessness and joblessness while also seeing God work through that. He focuses on how choices about the way you interact with others affects how they treat you and ultimately your future.

See our previous posts in our Is There Hope? series:

Is There Hope? Choosing New Beginnings

Is There Hope? The Buck Stops Here (Decision 1)