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Sometimes Life Doesn't Seem Worth Living

Sometimes Life Doesn't Seem Worth Living

Ever felt like you wish you could just disappear? Or fall asleep and never wake up? Have you ever thought about not being here anymore, or that the world would be better off without you in it? If you have had thoughts like these, you are not alone. Although these types of thoughts are common, most people who have these thoughts do not end their lives. However, suicide among young adults is a very real concern—it is the third-leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24. If you are struggling with these thoughts and feelings, please read on.

Your safety is first and foremost.

Talk to someone that you trust or contact a crisis line. Many counties have their own hotline. If you know it, call it or 9-1-1 and tell them you are in danger of suicide. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). These calls are free!

If you have access to firearms, pills, sharp objects or other dangerous means to hurt or kill yourself, get them away from you or get away from them. This might mean calling a hotline, going to a hospital or confiding in a family member or friend to help keep you safe.

Why seek help when feeling depressed or suicidal?

Depression is a painful experience; when depressed, you feel hopeless and helpless, and it can become difficult to see how things will get better. When people have suicidal thoughts, it is because they just want the pain to stop and are looking for a way out of the hole they’re in. Usually, they don’t really want to die—they just don’t want to feel the way they do. They feel like things will never get better.

People who have suicidal thoughts are often suffering from depression or another psychological condition that can be helped with therapy, medication or both. You do not have to endure this pain alone—help is available. Depression is a very serious, but treatable, illness. Most people who attempt suicide and survive are glad they did not die. They find positive things in their life that they just couldn’t see when they were feeling suicidal.

It can be difficult to talk about feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts, but it is necessary in order to feel better. Just like you would see a medical doctor if you broke your arm, you should seek professional treatment for depression or suicidal thoughts. You can talk about these things with a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health counselor, social worker, religious or spiritual leader, family members or other trusted adults who you feel will listen and help you explore options other than suicide. Things you can do to help yourself:

  • Talk to Someone, a friend or mentor you trust, about what is going on. As hard as this might be, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell your therapist if you are seeing one.
  • Make a Contact List of all the people (and their phone numbers) you can reach out to when you are feeling distressed or suicidal. Include the people who mean the most to you and give you reasons to live. Include people you can confide in and you can trust to help you and keep you safe. List people who make you smile or cheer you up just by talking to them. Keep this list close by and make sure it has more than one person in case the first person you call isn’t available. When you’re feeling really down and alone, this list will remind you that there are people you can turn to and make it easy for you to contact them.
  • Make a Reasons for Living List. Do this when your mood is better because when you’re really down, it’s difficult to think of positive things. Think hard—there are a lot of reasons—write any and all of them down: your family, your friends, your little cousin who looks up to you, your pet, graduating high school, those new shoes you just got, seeing if your team makes it to the play-offs, the first signs of spring, riding your favorite roller coaster, the new episode of your favorite show, finishing the book you started, etc. Write them all down and keep the list close by so that you can look at it when you’re feeling that you have nothing to look forward to.
  • Keep an Emergency Number List on hand, such as those listed above as well as crisis hotline numbers.
  • Create a List of Activities That Make You Feel Better, things that you can do when you feel down or have suicidal thoughts. What things can you do to boost your mood—even if it’s only temporarily? Take a walk, take a relaxing bath, watch a silly movie, go golfing, play with your pet, call your Great Aunt Betty, listen to your favorite song, decorate your bedroom, go to Barnes & Noble and browse through the books, go for a drive, bake a cake—anything and everything you can think of that can help you relieve some of your distress. Then use the list and when you’re feeling low, do something that makes you feel better!