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(Everyday Health)   What Suicidal Depression feels like. An old article with a relevant message   (everydayhealth.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Fear, Suicide, Seasonal affective disorder, Death, Depression, Major depressive disorder, Sadness, Robin's death  
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526 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 07 Jun 2021 at 1:20 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-06-07 9:50:27 AM  
I read this piece when I had to watch someone through it.  It completely altered my perception of their struggle.  Hopefully it helps someone else.
 
2021-06-07 11:15:24 AM  
The jumping out of the burning building is a very useful analogy.

I have likened suicidal thoughts to being trapped in a rollercoaster.  You just want off the ride.

It can be the ultimate fight of flight response.
 
2021-06-07 11:21:12 AM  
I've found that suicide & OD are very similar. Suicide is wanting off the ride. OD is wanting to change how scary the ride is.

Sometimes they steer themselves to the same place.

Tomorrow is my 42nd birthday. I'm with my family right now in Massachusetts. Sometimes I feel guilty about all the love an attention simply because I don't feel worthy of it. I feel like I haven't done nearly enough in life to deserve it. I often feel like I'm a fake, and if people saw me for who I am, they'd hate me.

I think about suicide often, but it would destroy everyone else around me. That's the only reason I haven't done it.

It sucks but it's true.
 
2021-06-07 11:27:17 AM  
I'm not suicidal, but damn if I'm not in a downward spiral. I can level it off at times, but it takes so little (almost all news now) to start another tailspin.

Work
Money
Aging
Environment
Unstoppable White Supremacists

(In inverse order of threat)

'Pointless' is a word that is never far from my thoughts.
 
2021-06-07 12:59:52 PM  
Worthless.

Useless.

Hopeless.

If you don't understand it, consider yourself lucky and hope like hell you never will.
 
2021-06-07 1:38:00 PM  
The most difficult thing I will ever do in my lifetime is to not take my life.

QFT
 
2021-06-07 2:00:54 PM  
Yep.  Been there, chickened out about half a bottle of medicine in (only to realize later that even if I'd downed the whole bottle the odds of actually dying from the OD were miniscule).

That was when I realized I needed to talk to my doctor.  Now, the meds take the edge off.  Therapy is just a waste of time for me, I'm such a reclusive person that I can't get myself to do any more than go through the motions with a therapist.
 
2021-06-07 2:10:41 PM  
It doesn't feel like much at all.
 
2021-06-07 2:18:50 PM  

Cafe Threads: Worthless.

Useless.

Hopeless.

If you don't understand it, consider yourself lucky and hope like hell you never will.


some people - i am one - have an internal monologue.  my thoughts are in a voice, usually mine.  the exception are the intrusive thoughts - worthlessness, etc.  there isn't something telling me im useless and everything is terrible, i just feelit.

i can't describe it beyond that but the jumping to escape the flames is really close.
 
2021-06-07 2:45:44 PM  
People survived the death camps of WW2 despite their objectively horrible conditions. Clinical Depression, otoh, is simply a mental state.  People in that state often feel that the condition is permanent or an ultimate judgment of their worth or that it's a result of a profound, uncynical perception of existence. Clinical Depression isn't any of that. Internal states can be changed. The cliche says "chemical imbalance" but I think that is a misleading description. which downplays the complexity of the ways to stem it. Returning our affective mechanisms to a non-menacing condition can be extremely complex, but it can be done, and our mental health workers have grown very adept at doing it.
 
2021-06-07 3:03:02 PM  
I'm not reading an article when I can just talk to myself.
 
2021-06-07 3:11:02 PM  
Too many people don't understand or don't want to understand that they can change their behavior.

I've my fare share of suicidal thoughts. Useless, worthless etc have never really been my thing. Society is a cesspool and I don't want to deal with this farking garbage. Including mine.
 
2021-06-07 3:58:08 PM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: I've found that suicide & OD are very similar. Suicide is wanting off the ride. OD is wanting to change how scary the ride is.

Sometimes they steer themselves to the same place.

Tomorrow is my 42nd birthday. I'm with my family right now in Massachusetts. Sometimes I feel guilty about all the love an attention simply because I don't feel worthy of it. I feel like I haven't done nearly enough in life to deserve it. I often feel like I'm a fake, and if people saw me for who I am, they'd hate me.

I think about suicide often, but it would destroy everyone else around me. That's the only reason I haven't done it.

It sucks but it's true.


I don't know if this means anything, but I hear you, and I hope you're able to get the help you need when you need it. No snark. And I don't know you. But we're glad you're here.
 
2021-06-07 4:00:11 PM  
Thanks subby, this is the 1st time I've seen this.  It isn't identical to my story but there are enough overlapping details.  EDIT - I really didn't mean to write all this, it just came out.

For me, it wasn't that I wanted to end my life, it was that I wanted this life to end.  Stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, depression all built up over a number of years until I almost pulled the trigger.  March 5th, 2019.  I was going to go for a swim in the lake until the cold overtook me.

So there is a behaviour content, I chose to stay in that place, like a frog in a pot of water warming to the boiling point, without doing anything.  I could have changed roles possibly, I could have learned earlier about feelings, how to describe them or cope with them, any number of better options.  I'm a dad to really good teenagers, active with them, coaching and trying to stay physically fit.  Financially stable so I'm not worrying where my next meal or mortgage is coming from.  My wife and I celebrated 25 years together and they've been mostly good and we're looking forward to continuing on.  And none of that mattered March 5th.

For a couple years my sleep had been broken and interupted until towards the 5th I was sleeping like 3-4 hours broken per night.  My diet was crap, I wasn't drinking more than usual but I was still having more than an occasional drink.  I gave up cycling, going to the gym or any exercise, I was just tired all the time.  I gave up reading because I couldn't care about the characters or concentrate long enough to read a page.  I used to go through a book a week or so.  I was disconnecting from my family, being uncommunicative and distant...

On the morning of the 5th, I was done.  I shambled through our morning routine.  Made my wife her tea, got dressed for work and then I began to tidy up my desk area.  Put away the books and brushes and all the other clutter I had scattered around.  I knew what I was doing when I was doing it and I felt so f'n sad about it while doing it.  I could have said something then and there but didn't.  Kissed my wife goodbye with my eyes burning and red and went to the office.  There was a conference call I was supposed to be on.  I'd do the call then drive to the lake.  But the call was changed at the last minute to the customer's site and I had just enough time to make it.  Did the 60km drive in a fog in wintery, icy weather but the sun was shining and warm.  Got through the meeting on auto pilot but everyone was just staring at me.  When I left the meeting, I got back into my truck and drove back to the office.  In the parking lot I just...broke.  Everything came out in a big wet blubbery mess of tears and yelling at nobody.  A friend saw and brought my manager out.  They were there for half an hour before I noticed.

I was told to go home.  Call my manager when I get there safe then keep my phone on and with me.  I spoke to several nurses and doctors that afternoon.  A lot was a blur.  I had to go over a lot of it with my wife when she got home but even then I wasn't fully truthful with her and still haven't been.  I think she knows or strongly suspects how close I was.  I'd be really surprised if she didn't know or suspect for a long time coming.  Her and a lot of people would always ask me if I were alright for a long time leading up.

I was off most of 2019.  Started behavioural therapy though I still don't know what it is.  Tried a couple therapist until I met one I could be open with.  For me, I'd never done any reading about this and terms like "mindfulness" and "behavioural therapy" were unknown to me.  Hell, it took until about September for me to look up the term mindfulness so I could try to understand what he was talking about.

Anyway, I didn't.  December I worked my way back into work and January of 2020 I was thrown back in the deep end.  March was the lockdown for the pandemic and for whatever reason housing and commercial construction took off like a frakin rocket and I was busier than ever.  A busy year for me, one that brought me to my knees anyway, was 40 or so sites in the course of a year.  2020 I managed 70 but my give a shiatter was broken.  No additional effort, no reaching out to chase stuff and only between 8 and 4:30.
March 8th this year I was relocated back to my home city, I had been commuting 40km to a different district, and it took until May 31st to back fill my role.  I'm so fried again.  But I've been talking to my wife.  I've been honest with my new boss.  I'll do what I can but I'm not, literally, dying for this job.

Hopefully, I can stick to this...

There was a thread last week about who can you depend on...I'm still the go to person for friends and family though I don't seem to receive any when I do reach out and ask for help.  One Farker told a story about a friend of his that had a similar reaction.  Nice guy always willing to lend a hand, actually liked being helpful...his exit was a hand full of pills until he fell asleep in the cold on a hill in the winter and that made me think...

everybody I've spoken to has different analogies but it's easy to see how people believed in demonic possessions, but that little voice is your own makes it even more scary
 
2021-06-07 4:39:29 PM  

rockymountainrider: everybody I've spoken to has different analogies but it's easy to see how people believed in demonic possessions, but that little voice is your own makes it even more scary


One description that stuck with me: Depression is self-bullying.

Chronic depression can rob you of hope, making it impossible to imagine a future where you aren't depressed. There comes a point when you actually dread feeling hopefully because it mostly ends up being a mirage in the desert.

I work at a place that is at the top of hill. The road going home curves down at the bottom, with a concrete barrier dividing the uphill and downhill traffic. During the worst of my depression, every day as I drove past I would think about steering into it. More often than not, what stopped me from doing that wasn't a will to live but the likelihood that I wouldn't be able to do a complete job of it.

You can try your best to keep yourself away from situations where you can make an instant step that you can't take back - stay away from balconies and train tracks so to speak. It doesn't fix anything but it can keep you alive. It gets harder when you go from feeling like you want to step in front of a train to feeling like you want to find a train to step in front of.

It doesn't make sense; it's irrational behaviour. And that way, it's another nasty mind trap as you get stuck in a loop trying to make rational sense of irrational behaviour.
 
2021-06-07 5:52:51 PM  

yakmans_dad: People survived the death camps of WW2 despite their objectively horrible conditions. Clinical Depression, otoh, is simply a mental state.  People in that state often feel that the condition is permanent or an ultimate judgment of their worth or that it's a result of a profound, uncynical perception of existence. Clinical Depression isn't any of that. Internal states can be changed. The cliche says "chemical imbalance" but I think that is a misleading description. which downplays the complexity of the ways to stem it. Returning our affective mechanisms to a non-menacing condition can be extremely complex, but it can be done, and our mental health workers have grown very adept at doing it.


Yeah it's hard not to feel that way sometimes and it just piles onto the whole sorry mess.

My depression would ebb and flow like the tides but it was always present. At my worst it was torment. Just absolute emotional anguish that left me sobbing in tears because it hurt so bad. My mind would crash against the rocks of my depression over and over and over and the worst part was not knowing if it would ever get better. There was no relief. Constant physical or emotional pain takes a toll after awhile. It wears you down eventually. You get tired of dealing with it and you begin looking for a way to make it stop.

I know it wasn't rational to feel that way but I couldn't make it stop either. Something broke and I didn't know how to fix it. Meds didn't help. Therapy didn't help. I put some effort into cognitive behavioral therapy trying to break the cycle of these negative thought patterns. My mind would dwell in dark places so often it became stuck like a wagon in a well worn rut. I turned to escapism to cope. Books. Video games. I came up with reasons to live. For me it was movies I wanted to see. I didn't put much thought into my future because I wasn't sure I'd have one. That went on for years.

And then one day I discovered quite by accident that caffeine was a trigger for the depressive feedback loop I was experiencing. Without caffeine, I leveled off and was able to find some relief. My depression became MUCH more manageable. A huge part of my initial relief was finally being able to identify my enemy and DO something about it. Finally I had something I could work with.

Am I cured? No. I still have bad days but it's manageable now. I should probably give anti-depressants another try. They'd probably work now.

I hope others are able to find their own relief in time. It just sucks that it's such a crap shoot right now. It'd be nice if they could take the guesswork out of it. Do a brain scan or something, look at the image, and go "oh, your brain is doing X. Take Y to fix that" instead of relying on trial and error trying to find something that works.
 
2021-06-07 6:03:15 PM  

Drearyx: Too many people don't understand or don't want to understand that they can change their behavior.

I've my fare share of suicidal thoughts. Useless, worthless etc have never really been my thing. Society is a cesspool and I don't want to deal with this farking garbage. Including mine.


It's not always as simple as changing behavior. You can tell your car to knock it the f*ck off and drive right but that's not going to fix the transmission.
 
2021-06-07 9:03:13 PM  

Drearyx: Too many people don't understand or don't want to understand that they can change their behavior.

I've my fare share of suicidal thoughts. Useless, worthless etc have never really been my thing. Society is a cesspool and I don't want to deal with this farking garbage. Including mine.


Not sure what you mean here. But do not make your happiness depend on other people's behaviour.

Other people's behaviour gets filed under "things you cannot control". You can only control your reaction to their behaviour. Getting worked up about other people's behaviour only hurts you, not them, it's the classic you drinking poison with the hope that they'll be the ones who die.
 
2021-06-07 9:17:52 PM  

rockymountainrider: Thanks subby, this is the 1st time I've seen this.  It isn't identical to my story but there are enough overlapping details.  EDIT - I really didn't mean to write all this, it just came out.

For me, it wasn't that I wanted to end my life, it was that I wanted this life to end.  Stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, depression all built up over a number of years until I almost pulled the trigger.  March 5th, 2019.  I was going to go for a swim in the lake until the cold overtook me.

So there is a behaviour content, I chose to stay in that place, like a frog in a pot of water warming to the boiling point, without doing anything.  I could have changed roles possibly, I could have learned earlier about feelings, how to describe them or cope with them, any number of better options.  I'm a dad to really good teenagers, active with them, coaching and trying to stay physically fit.  Financially stable so I'm not worrying where my next meal or mortgage is coming from.  My wife and I celebrated 25 years together and they've been mostly good and we're looking forward to continuing on.  And none of that mattered March 5th.

For a couple years my sleep had been broken and interupted until towards the 5th I was sleeping like 3-4 hours broken per night.  My diet was crap, I wasn't drinking more than usual but I was still having more than an occasional drink.  I gave up cycling, going to the gym or any exercise, I was just tired all the time.  I gave up reading because I couldn't care about the characters or concentrate long enough to read a page.  I used to go through a book a week or so.  I was disconnecting from my family, being uncommunicative and distant...

On the morning of the 5th, I was done.  I shambled through our morning routine.  Made my wife her tea, got dressed for work and then I began to tidy up my desk area.  Put away the books and brushes and all the other clutter I had scattered around.  I knew what I was doing when I was doing it and I felt so f'n sad about it ...


I hope things start looking brighter for you. Depression is an evil thing, and the way it saps energy makes it so debilitating. People who don't have it don't realise how hard it can be just to exist through each day with it. You've done really well to come this far, just take things a day at a time, and remember each day you make it is a victory.

(When it comes to people not helping when you ask, maybe there are some who simply don't know how.)
 
2021-06-07 9:21:04 PM  

MechaPyx: then one day I discovered quite by accident that caffeine was a trigger for the depressive feedback loop I was experiencing. Without caffeine, I leveled off and was able to find some relief. My depression became MUCH more manageable. A huge part of my initial relief was finally being able to identify my enemy and DO something about it. Finally I had something I could work with.

Am I cured? No. I still have bad days but it's manageable now. I should probably give anti-depressants another try. They'd probably work now.


Fantastic. And yes, the meds keep getting better. RBT is (in my estimation) the only good thing to come out of Objectivism. Don't frame your internal "editorial voice" in large, metaphoric, emotional terms. Reframe your internal dialog into specific, rational ones. It helps to see one's problems at a manageable scale.
 
2021-06-07 9:46:04 PM  
lots of alcohol and a razor.
I spent a week in the hospital.
depression and anxiety suck.
 
2021-06-08 6:32:20 PM  

yakmans_dad: People survived the death camps of WW2 despite their objectively horrible conditions. Clinical Depression, otoh, is simply a mental state.  People in that state often feel that the condition is permanent or an ultimate judgment of their worth or that it's a result of a profound, uncynical perception of existence. Clinical Depression isn't any of that. Internal states can be changed. The cliche says "chemical imbalance" but I think that is a misleading description. which downplays the complexity of the ways to stem it. Returning our affective mechanisms to a non-menacing condition can be extremely complex, but it can be done, and our mental health workers have grown very adept at doing it.


Good to meet you Pollyanna Whittier! Loved your books!

You are way too optimistic about the effectiveness of how easy it is to stop. Sure, the clinical treatments can work pretty well on the ones whose cases are easily treated. The ones who aren't? They die. Sometimes the case is ruled a suicide or alcohol or drugs or "accident" or "loss of will to live". I've been through a bunch of them, and the only things that have worked so far are a strong ethical belief against taking another person's life except in self defense including my own, a refusal to give certain people the satisfaction, and the occasional flash of rationality that tells me the couple of people I care most about WOULD NOT be better off without me.

It's worked when the best answers of the medical profession didn't do anything useful. So far. But every day is a new fight.
 
2021-06-08 6:39:43 PM  

anuran: yakmans_dad: People survived the death camps of WW2 despite their objectively horrible conditions. Clinical Depression, otoh, is simply a mental state.  People in that state often feel that the condition is permanent or an ultimate judgment of their worth or that it's a result of a profound, uncynical perception of existence. Clinical Depression isn't any of that. Internal states can be changed. The cliche says "chemical imbalance" but I think that is a misleading description. which downplays the complexity of the ways to stem it. Returning our affective mechanisms to a non-menacing condition can be extremely complex, but it can be done, and our mental health workers have grown very adept at doing it.

Good to meet you Pollyanna Whittier! Loved your books!

You are way too optimistic about the effectiveness of how easy it is to stop. Sure, the clinical treatments can work pretty well on the ones whose cases are easily treated. The ones who aren't? They die. Sometimes the case is ruled a suicide or alcohol or drugs or "accident" or "loss of will to live". I've been through a bunch of them, and the only things that have worked so far are a strong ethical belief against taking another person's life except in self defense including my own, a refusal to give certain people the satisfaction, and the occasional flash of rationality that tells me the couple of people I care most about WOULD NOT be better off without me.

It's worked when the best answers of the medical profession didn't do anything useful. So far. But every day is a new fight.


Sorry that you are having such a struggle. I didn't intend to sound like Pollyanna. I said, "Returning our affective mechanisms to a non-menacing condition can be extremely complex." Your ethical approach is fantastic and I hope your depression eases soon.
 
2021-06-08 7:19:03 PM  
yakmans_dad:

Sorry that you are having such a struggle. I didn't intend to sound like Pollyanna. I said, "Returning our affective mechanisms to a non-menacing condition can be extremely complex." Your ethical approach is fantastic and I hope your depression eases soon.

One of the problems is that a lot of the received wisdom is that treating acute depression is central and that, in fact, depression is the problem that has to be solved. In some cases it's feelings of worthlessness. In mine it's a PTSD-induced imperative to escape. You would be shocked at how many decades it took to find a mental health professional who understood that. And how counterproductive it is to suggest to someone who suffered years of abuse in an institutional setting that they voluntarily sign away their civil rights and "try out" being trapped in an institutional setting.

The process is, as you say, complex which means there are many points at which it can be interrupted. But so are the conditions which lead to the crises. I fear the profession's checklist needs updating.
 
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