Long-term Depression and Thoughts of Suicide

By PeggySue Wells:

Do you struggle with long-term depression and at times feel insignificant?

God says you are significant AND valuable.

Stock Image by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stock Image by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 this experience.

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.


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,[a] 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

 ©PeggySue Wells. Peggy writes about coping with difficult issues in books including What To Do When You’re Scared To Death, and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After. www.PeggySueWells.com

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About ThinkingAboutSuicide.com

If depressed and suicidal, get help by dialing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline. IF IN IMMEDIATE DANGER of harming yourself or someone else, please call 911.1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or (in Spanish)
1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432).
Our blog, Thinking About Suicide, offers personal stories and prayers from those who have overcome the urge to commit suicide or lost someone to suicide. We also list resources related to depression, bullying, cutting and other mental health related topics or news.
Use our SEARCH box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics. Our authors hope to encourage you and remind you that others in situations like yours have found hope and help. We hope and pray you do too. However, we also encourage you to get local help if you are suicidal: call a counselor or the suicide prevention hotline to connect personally with someone who can help you.


  1. I have battled with thoughts of ending it all since I was around 13 years old. That’s around 30 years now. In fact, I wanted to die before I even knew people ended their own lives and still remember my feelings of shock when a friend told me about suicide when we were both still very young. It has been a recurring theme throughout my life, but the last few years, since I have also been plagued by chronic pain, it has been a constant longing and a desperate struggle to stay alive when death would be so much easier. I have always expected that to be the way I will eventually die. Only in the last 2 years did I find the courage to tell a therapist about my feelings (not how long I had been battling them though) but she didn’t seem willing to discuss it so I gave up going to see her.

    Anyway, the reason I am writing is because I didn’t know other people struggle with these thoughts and feelings over many years, I thought it was just a bad habit in me or something. It’s true what they say, it does help to know you are not the only one. And Psalm 139 has also been a long time favourite of mine, one of the Psalms I have memorised so I can bring it to mind when I need it most. So thank you for writing – you are reaching real people out here.

    • ThinkingAboutSuicide.com says:

      Meggie, our hearts go out to you for having struggled for so long with this, and so sorry your therapist didn’t seem to listen or offer help you needed. Have you ever thought to explore whether or not persistent depression has anything to do with trauma or abuse experienced in childhood, or a chemical imbalance, or nutritional deficiencies? There are many different causes for depression as well as different helps for it, but to have depression since age 13 may indicate either something physical or struggles with coping with a trauma from when you were even younger than that. Changing your way of thinking, as in meditating on the Psalms and other scriptures, can indeed help, and if you have accepted Christ in your life you give Jesus permission to enter in and help you in all areas, even in your depression. (See GodTest.com)

      But we truly believe there is help out there available for you somewhere. Perhaps you might find a different approach to your depression in a very wise counselor or doctor, so we will pray for direction for you. If we can know what country you are from, perhaps we can explore resources in your country. You are young yet, and God may use very powerfully the very things you struggle with to make a difference in the lives of others. God put you here on earth for a reason. In fact, your comment to us has blessed us, just letting us know we may be touching the lives of others as we desperately hope to save lives.

      Changing your expectation for the way you will die is a great place to start. In a way, that may seem to give you a feeling of more control when you are feeling terrible, thinking that you can end your own pain. But we urge you to give that control to God, to change your assumption to knowledge that you will go when God has completed His work in you, and according to His will, not yours. If you give your life to him, every breath you take can be with the goal to let God be in control. 30 years is such a long time to struggle with this, and I know that chronic pain only compounds it. But we do believe God can do a miracle in your life, give you new life. We hope you will explore all the articles on our site talking about causes of depression and fight for your life enough to seek out a doctor or Christian counselor who can help you.

      • Thankyou for your reply to my comment. I don’t know that the way I feel is caused by depression, no one has ever suggested that to me before. I grew up in a Christian home and was much loved by my parents and 4 older siblings so there was no abuse in my childhood. I accepted Jesus as my Saviour when I was 4 years old and have never stopped following Him. I have had many problems with fear and anxiety issues though and still struggle to a great extent although God did set me free from a major fear problem many years ago. I also worked in missions in Brazil for several years before I became chronically ill when I was at home for a while. It has never made any sense to me but I just never seemed deep down to really want to be here or have much will to liveand the battle with real suicidal thoughts and feelings keeps coming back. I feel bad about it and very ashamed that I haven’t been able to overcome it. My struggles with severe pain every day for the past 12 years have made it all so much worse. The problem I have is a lung condition which makes breathing painful, so your comment about every breath I take having the goad to let God be in control has an added meaning!

        I have in the past completed questionnaires given to me by pain management specialists on how pain affects my mood – would that not have shown up depression if it was an issue? I just wondered, they have never discussed them with me after I have completed them. The only thing they said to me was it was normal for people living with chronic pain to feel the way I do. I live in Scotland.

        Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my comment.

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