Depression can come with a whole host of horrible symptoms – some of which are extremely distressing.
Sometimes, we can be plagued by intrusive thoughts that don’t reflect how we actually feel. Our depression might tells us we want to end our lives, when in reality we very much want to keep on living – but we want the pain to go away. The marked difference between these thoughts (that we seemingly hold in our heads at the same time) is confusing. The constant conflict in our heads is exhausting.
We Have Things To Live For
Thoughts about ending it all can be all consuming, we want them to stop. We rationally know that there are lots of things to live for, but depression is an irrational illness. We’ll have family we care about, or friends, or pets, or partners or children. We might have a job we love, a hobby we revel in, a holiday we’re looking forward to. We have plans for our future, dreams and ambitions. The dark thoughts in our head make no sense.
We Know Our Loved Ones Need Us
Depression is cruel. It whispers to us and tells us that people would be better off without us. That we’re a burden. That other people would be happier or more free if we weren’t around. These lies aren’t true – our friends would be absolutely devastated if we weren’t around any more. Our families would never get over it. Our pets would miss us. These things can be huge motivating factors when it comes to staying alive. As much as depression tries to tell us that people would be better if we weren’t around, it’s absolutely not true.
The Thoughts Are Relentless
The thought just don’t stop, nor does the pain. They niggle at us. Consume us. Rationalising thoughts is exhausting, they’re always there in the background. And if we’re isolated, there’s no other perspective to be had. Our brain acts as a friend and an enemy. It’s a conflict that leads us to feel uncomfortable in ourselves.
Depression Presents Us With False ‘Evidence’
Depression tries to convince us that we’re worthless as ‘evidence’ we shouldn’t be here. It tells us that we offer nothing to the world. It tells us that we’re not good at anything and that we’re replaceable. Depression says that people don’t actually like us, they’re just putting up with us. It says we’re a waste of space and a waste of oxygen. Even though deep down we know this ‘evidence’ can’t possibly all be true, sometimes it’s really hard not to believe it.
IT FEELS AS THOUGH OUR CHOICES ARE LIMITED
When things get really bad, when the thoughts become particularly nasty and our energy has ebbed away, ending it all seems as though it’s the only choice we have. And that’s terrifying. Depression is a convincing liar too – it keeps telling us that we don’t belong here, that we’re not enough. Every tiny mistake we make, feels as though it’s giving depression the ‘nod’ that it’s right. It’s shocking and it’s painful.
Sometimes emotions come in waves. Sometimes they feel as though they arrive in one huge wave and try to drown us. They can become overwhelming. They smother us. We’re feel like we can’t breathe. In those moments, we lose hope. When we’re flooded with bad feelings, depression’s lies are easier to believe.
We Feel Trapped
Depression can be very persistent. It keeps going. It doesn’t give up. Our thoughts grind us down until we are so tired that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We’re exhausted. We don’t want to do the things depression is telling us to do. We don’t want to end it all. But we feel completely backed into a corner. We feel like we can’t keep living life with the constant thoughts of death circling round and round our head. But we can’t work out how to make them go away. We feel horribly trapped and panicked.
We Want The Pain To Stop
The truth is, we don’t want to end it all: we just want the pain to stop. We want to stop feeling so absolutely awful about everything. Sometimes we might feel like we’re doing a little better for a while. But then it comes back again. We feel like we don’t have the strength to fight it again. We’ve fought it so many times before and we are tired. We need the pain to stop.
We Want To Get On With Our Life
Depression weighs us down, and we hate it. It pulls on all of our limbs, holding us back. We want to be free of it. We want to be able to wake up on a morning and take a deep breath, and live our life like our peers seem to be living theirs. It’s unbelievably frustrating. We don’t know why we can’t shake depression off. However hard we try, it seems to cling on.
Help is out there
Suicidal thoughts are horrible to live with, it’s really hard to describe their ferocity and erosion to our sense of selves. Added to that, we feel guilty for having them (what have we got to feel so bad about?) and we feel as though we’re past the point of saving.
It doesn’t always feel as though there is, but there is support out there. We don’t need to struggle on alone nor be ashamed to seek help – we’re all worthy of life, and of help and support, despite what depression so insidiously tells us. If we are in crisis, it’s crucial we get help.
- Sane Charity provide crisis support between 4.30pm and 10.30pm 365 days a year on 0300 304 7000.
- The Samaritans provide 24 hour confidential emotional support. It is also free to call them and their number won’t appear on your telephone bill 116 123.
- If you can’t talk, IMAlive offer an online crisis intervention service.
- If don’t feel safe and are worried about an immediate risk of harm, please call 999 and ask for the police or ambulance service.
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