"I’ve been thinking about suicide a lot lately. I finally started telling people I need help but it feels like no one is listening to me. It’s like they don’t take me seriously. My depression destroyed my college career, my job is about to fire me, I’m losing friends, everything is a mess. I feel so far in over my head. How can I make things better?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Allyee Whaley of The Trevor Project as part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions.
I really appreciate your strength to share your story openly and whole heartedly. Feeling depressed and suicidal is very difficult, but when you also feel completely alone, life can sometimes feel like it is too much to bear. So many young people struggle with similar situations and by you being brave enough to speak up, it can help others know they too are not alone.
All of the things you described are common consequences of those who struggle with depression. When one is depressed, it can be very painful to feel, can make you isolate from your friends and family, cause one to be tired all the time and take away one’s motivation to do things, not enjoy the things they usually like to do, sleep and eat much less or more than usual, and make one see everything in their life in a negative way. Sometimes the depression can get so bad it can make a person think of ending their life. Sometimes people think about ending their life when they feel very depressed, feel like things will never get better and helpless to make things better in their life. You can learn more about depression here.
Please know that if you were no longer here, the world would be a much, much emptier place. If you ever have thoughts of killing yourself, it’s very important for your safety that you immediately tell someone you trust about your thoughts of suicide. If you ever feel you’re going to act on those thoughts, immediately call 911 or get to your nearest hospital emergency room. If there’s no one you feel comfortable talking with or would like more support, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, 24 hours 7 days a week. Our caring, understanding and supportive counselors are here to talk with you about everything you’re feeling and going through and want to do whatever is needed to keep you safe.
I know that so far you haven’t gotten the results you’ve wanted by reaching out for help and that is really unfair. Finding someone supportive you can talk to is really important for everyone and I think your instincts to reach out when you need help will serve you well, once you find that person you can lean on. That person can be a therapist, friend, family member, Trevor Project Counselor, or anyone you can trust. When we have direct conversations with people about what’s happening in our life, we want to be met with someone who just listens. We want someone who doesn’t try to immediately solve our problems, but someone who can just sit with us in that pain and tell us “hey, that really sucks!” Sometimes our friends or family don’t know what to say, or might even be scared when we reach out to them for help. It is important to remember that other people’s responses to your feelings aren’t a reflection of you! Your problems are worthy of empathy, validation and respect.
While there is no magical answer on how to make things better, I can tell you, depression is a treatable condition, and it is possible to build a wonderful life for yourself. When it feels like everything is falling apart, trying to take steps to feel better can be one of the most daunting tasks. It isn’t going to be easy. The struggle is REAL, especially for those who struggle with depression. A number of things can be helpful, but it really just depends on what appeals to you, or what kinds of things you like doing. Some things you can ask yourself are: What things have you enjoyed doing in the past? What makes you feel good? For example, Do you like to draw, write, sing or dance? Does a bubble bath help you relax? You might not be the bubble bath type, but more of the “let me put on super loud punk music,” type. Whatever works for you and makes YOU feel good, as long as you aren’t harming yourself or others, is enough! It can be really hard to find the motivation to take care of ourselves especially when we get really depressed. You’d be amazed what a big difference it can make to add in a little bit of self-care in your life. And you don’t have to do it all at once. Allow yourself the space to make mistakes, to try new behaviors and see how they feel. We all have to continue to grow and adjust the way we cope throughout our lives, and that’s perfectly okay! Maya Angelou, once said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Part of this struggle you are experiencing right now might be helping you grow into this wonderful butterfly that is totally and uniquely YOU!
What I can see, is that you are a strong, brave person who is able to stand up, share your story and ask for help. You’ve already made a strong first step by reaching out for support! You don’t have to go through any of this alone.
Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c04/h04/mnt/182820/domains/everyoneisgay.com/html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 399