People who are depressed sometimes get to the point of despair where they consider killing themselves. I have been in that place, and here are some reasons not to take that drastic, irrevocable step.
1. The world and the people you love would NOT be better off without you. They don’t need a better or perfect child, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend—they need you, as you are now and will be in times to come. No matter how much your depression is affecting them or making them unhappy, too, your death will not “free them” to enjoy a better life or better relationships; it will plunge them into painful grief and perhaps despair, also.
2. Suicide will not be an escape from your feelings of despair. Death separates your spirit from your body, but you will take your feelings with you into the next life—death is not oblivion; in some ways, it is only a change of scenery. If part of your depression is related to your brain chemistry or other organic causes, then getting rid of your body won’t help and may impair your healing. If part of your depression is related to your relationships with other people, then cutting yourself off from those relationships may interfere with your healing. Stay here.
3. There is hope. There is comfort and healing and help. Gather your energy, even if you feel like you don’t have any, and get help. Make one phone call. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Hang in there.
4. Things will get better. All the research on depression shows that people who can stick to this life feel better in time and are happy that they did not kill themselves. As painful as things are now, and as much as it seems that you may always feel so terrible, you will not. Get from one minute, hour, day, and night to the next; don’t give up. You will be glad you did; things will get better.
5. Your choice of death will bring crushing grief and anger to those who love you, and there ARE people who love you or are meant to love you in the future. Your children especially, if you have any, but everyone else in your life also, will be deeply hurt for a long time that you chose to leave them—no matter how flawed you think you may be or how miserable you are. If you have children, your suicide will make it more likely that they will someday commit suicide—in a sense, you are giving them permission to take their lives. If you are a teenager, your suicide may give your friends and acquaintances the idea that perhaps they should commit suicide, too, beginning expanding circles of grief and despair for the people who love them. Suicide is one of the most selfish acts you could commit, and no matter how miserable you are, you can choose not to do that to others.
6. You are not the horrible person you think you are and life is not the terrible place you think it is. You have an illness, like a pneumonia of the mind and spirit, and it is coloring the way you see yourself and the world and your life. You are not living in reality; reality is better, and more hopeful, than the place you are now—and you will get out of that place if you can hang in there.
7. You are a precious individual, and you are meant to touch the world and the lives of others in many important ways for a long time to come. There is a God—he is your Father in heaven, and he loves you more than you can possibly imagine and has great things in store for you. He did not cause the awful feelings you have now; he weeps with you in your sorrow. Don’t cut short the life you are meant to live; it is vitally important that you have all the experiences you are meant to have. Suicide is never one of them.
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-8255