This article is a follow up to the depression test you can take here: Depression Test
I’m so glad you submitted your details to receive this report on depression. It seems that, from the questionnaire, you’re probably severely depressed.
The good news is that, you’re not alone.
Severe depression was definitely my issue and I know many others who have faced the same symptoms. I’m always relieved when I hear that I’m amongst friends and not isolated with the way I feel. I hope you do too.
Still, you maybe having a particularly few bad days because you took the time to fill out the questionnaire and I’m guessing you were wondering if it’s anything serious and what you could do to feel better.
Depressed and have relationship problems? This article may help: When Depression Hurts Your Relationship
Firstly, I highly recommend you seek professional help. We cannot recover from severe depression in isolation. If you sign up to my newsletter, I will send you in depth information about medical support, treatment and the different types of medication.
According to Wikipedia, severe depression or major depressive disorder (MDD), is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of mood that is present across most situations.
It is often accompanied by low self-esteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, low energy, and pain without a clear cause. People may also occasionally have false beliefs or see or hear things that others cannot.
Some people have periods of depression separated by years in which they are normal while others nearly always have symptoms present. Major depressive disorder can negatively affect a person's personal, work, or school life, as well as sleeping, eating habits, and general health.
Between 2–7% of adults with major depression die by suicide, and up to 60% of people who die by suicide had depression or another mood disorder.
THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE
I want to talk about thoughts of suicide because in our most depressed state this can be a normal response to abnormal circumstances.
We can experience thoughts of suicide. We may feel ravaged by the world and think that the only way out is to stop living. But running from these thoughts may harm us more because it is the running that wears us down. We become too foggy- headed to make clear judgments.
Two reasons why thoughts of suicide hit us
Thoughts of suicide can hit us for two main reasons: either the pain is too much for us to bear or we are so enraged with other people that we want to punish them.
In either case we have given up trying to protect ourselves because we have failed in the past. We feel backed into a corner and there seems no other alternative. All reason has gone and we are at a loss to see any other option but to take our life and end the suffering.
It is at this point that we don’t want anyone else to try to talk us out of the way we feel. When we have suicidal thoughts, people may say things like this:
‘Oh, come on, it’s not that bad’
‘Don’t be silly, you don’t really want to do that’
‘Pull yourself together, you’re talking like an idiot’
When we hear those kinds of comments we want to show them exactly what we mean. It can fuel the desire to commit suicide even more and become very, very unhelpful.
What do you do if you have these thoughts?
If you have thoughts of suicide, accept the feelings that lay behind the thoughts. A technique to help you do this is to look down to the floor. This will help you to ‘feel’ whereas looking upward helps you to ‘think’.
Behind your thoughts lies the utmost pain that any human has to bear. You might feel the intensity of human degradation, the devastating pain of loss or the wretchedness of a lifetime’s neglect. You might feel your spirit has dried up and your essence has been ripped away.
You might feel like a ‘nothing’ or a ‘very bad person’. You might sense that everything you touch, you damage. You will probably be living in a dark tunnel. You might hate every part of you as much as you hate others. You might feel a desire to injure others as you have been injured. You might want to destroy others as you have been destroyed. You might simply be lost.
Whatever the extreme feelings are, then just for today stay with them and ignore the thoughts or the action.
Just for today hold yourself around the tummy as you recognize the emotions behind the thoughts.
In this moment acknowledge that you feel so bad that you want to end your life. Don’t do anything else except surrender into it.
Tomorrow you can take action, but just for today, accept the thoughts. Hold your hands up and give in to the feelings. Say out loud, ‘I accept these thoughts’.
Sometimes we feel too depressed to get help. This article may help:
When being heard is the only way
I was witness to a conversation between two men, Michael, 37 and Scott, 39.
At the lowest point of his depression, Michael felt as though he couldn’t continue because the pain of life was too hard to bear.
He took an opportunity to speak to someone he trusted, Scott, and this is what Scott said,
‘Michael, I understand that the pain is so great that you want to take your life. I can see and hear that you are considering this option. I recognize that you see this is the only option for you.
‘If you die, I will come to your funeral. I will grieve for the man for whom I had so much compassion and respect. I will be devastated but I will also respect that this was your choice and your right. I will tell your daughter what a wonderful father you were and how you always tried your utmost. I will speak in your honor and I will talk of our friendship without betraying you. I will keep your trust and honor your memory. You will be greatly missed.’
This was what Michael needed. It was the fact that another human being was able to see and recognize that he was in so much pain that he was considering leaving his life and his child because he could hardly tolerate it any more.
Michael's levelling out
Scott didn’t try to talk him out of it but accepted his thoughts of suicide. This was Michael’s ‘levelling out’ – he had hit the bottom. He was then able to tell himself that, yes, it was that bad.
From that moment, he was able to surrender to the emotions and allow the pain to rush through him like a rocket. This is the essence of surrendering. It is about paying tribute to us. It is about saying, ‘I have had enough; I can’t tolerate any more.’
It was the fact that Michael had been really, really heard that he was able to slowly climb down from the metaphoric ledge and re-engage in his life.
We are all so different
Some of us can reach inside ourselves and some of us need others to help us reach inside. Only you will know what your need is. People I have spoken to have stated that they felt so suicidal that they abdicated responsibility for themselves in order that they would become ‘medically sectioned’. This is more common than we realize and is a route that some people take if they feel unable to move beyond this point.
Some of us don’t come through it. Sadie, 38 couldn’t surrender to her depression and, after a long period of isolation, she committed suicide at home having organized her friend to come around that afternoon and find her in the bath rather than one of her two children. She left devastation behind her. That was Sadie’s intention and it was fulfilled.
This is the reality of depression. A few of us don’t survive. But most of us do.
However, we want more than simply to survive. We want fulfillment and fun, love and excitement, fairness and simplicity.
This is our right and this is what we are striving to achieve. We can survive thoughts of suicide and come through them.
Thoughts of suicide do not mean we will commit suicide; it means we are asking ourselves to stop and listen. It is the thought that we are at the end of the trail, and it is time to listen to ourselves and ask others to listen to us. Recovery is then possible.
*** Please note this is not a replacement for an appointment with a medic and never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this web site.***