Depression – straight talk about the reality of despair

Depression may result from any number of factors, including: changes in health, financial distress, concern over a family member, the loss of something or someone important to us, the mundane routine, the result of neurochemical changes, etc.

Professionals tell us that it is abnormal to experience suicidal thoughts, or they may view us in terms of whether or not that we fit into a diagnostic mental disorder category.

However, just about everyone that we have encountered – who has been soul-searchingly honest, – has at one time or another experienced suicidal thoughts, such as “others would be better off without me” or “my life is no longer meaningful”, or any other similar thoughts.  The difference between what is an immediate intervening factor might actually boil down to who will most likely act on these thoughts.  The reality is – not everyone who has these self-destructive thoughts, will act on them.

Therefore, this blog post should not be interpreted as a directive to ignore someone who is crying for help, nor for you (if you are suffering from debilitating depression) to not go about seeking help for yourself or your loved one.

Keep in mind that it is a difficult task for professionals to attempt to determine who will or will not act upon any thought of self-harm.  A person’s honesty about their intentions is what a professional often has to rely upon. Professionals are not mind-readers and the data suggests that professionals are poor at determining what someone will or will not do.

The intention of this particular blog post, is to provide a comforting principle:

“You are not alone!”  Don’t be ashamed of your thoughts or feelings to the extent of not getting support or help from others!

We may have difficulty seeing the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”, especially when multiple stressors come raining down upon us.  The same “device” (our brain) that helps us be uniquely different from those around us, may also go against us in the form of destructive thoughts, such as when we compare ourselves (negatively) to others who we view who are more fortunate, are have it better in life (in certain ways).  In our despair, we may examine our current situation through a filter of seeing the lack of meaning or self-worth, or make a determination based on our negative filter of depression, that our situation is so dire that there is no wonderful solution, or easy solution (which may be true, but not to the extent that we need to ruin our waking moments with despair).  It may be of little to no comfort to us, when we are suffering, to be told or have awareness that there are others in this world, who have it way more difficult than we do.

Finding some reason to go on, as well as, gaining the strength to do so, will often require us to be able to reach out to others, even if we don’t want to, or despite our mind telling us that reaching out for support will be of no use.

You are not alone.  I admire your perseverance.  Hang in there, or better yet, let’s hang in there together!  We will take this day by day.  Get help or support from community resources – because there are people out there who do understand.

We will strive to be brave in the face of adversity.

Be kind to yourself, you are worth it!




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