How Can I Overcome Depression on My Own?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve never been to a psychologist, though i really wish to. Atleast for another year i will be unable to seek professional help since I have issues with my parents who are more bothered about their reputation since they are in the medical field and we live in a small town. From the time I was eight I’ve been having depressive issues. I used to try and supress it. i’ve been suicidal and tried to take my life more than 15 times in the last 10 years. I have all the symptoms of depression. the problem is that from the last one year i have been so miserable that it is effecting my social life(which is as good as non-existent now) and my studies. I have been molested when i was 12 and have always had relationship problems with my parents. they are fed up with me and the mess i create. i have been promiscuous and can’t stay faithful in any of my relationships with the opposite sex. im unstable and can’t stay in a relationship for long. my longest has been a year and a half. i also can’t seem to stay single at any point of time. i’ve had casual sex. though i have stopped that now. i lost my virginity at 15… i was a victim of date rape and that has left an irreversible effect on me. 6 months back i was blackmailed and then forced to sleep with three guys. my then boyfriend helped me out of it. after that i am unable to have a normal sex life…with almost no interest in sex. i really want to lead a normal life. please help me. i cry for no apparent reason and i get angry for even the slightest provocation. i was a college topper but after what happened six months back i am unable to study….i keep thinking about it.

A. I know that you are interested in helping yourself out of depression but I am not sure that is a wise decision. My main concern with you helping yourself is your many suicide attempts. When you have tried to help yourself out of depression in the past it seems that you turned to suicide. Because of this I would strongly advise that you see a professional.

Is there any way that you can see a professional without your parents finding out? And if they did find out, what would be the outcome? Would it be that bad? Isn’t your well-being more important than their reputation? It would be unfortunate if your parents cared more about their reputation than about the psychological health of their daughter.

Have you talked with them about how much you are suffering? Do they know about your many previous suicide attempts? It could be that they are not aware of your depression and maybe if they knew, they’d try to assist you into treatment.

Try to steer your thoughts away from thoughts of suicide. I have written about suicide often and I always tell people the same thing: it is never the answer.

People with depression often think that suicide is a good way to end their emotional pain. People suffer so much at times that for them, dying would be better than having to live with the psychological pain they have to endure. Because they cannot think of any other way to feel better, they mistakenly believe that ending their life is their best way to solve their problem.

But what if they are wrong? People assume that suicide brings relief but no one really knows this. It’s an assumption often based on desperation and impulsivity and not based on any facts or evidence. In fact, people who have had near death experiences (NDEs) after attempting suicide report having hellish experiences in the “afterlife.” What if suicide brings more pain and suffering and not less?

There are many people who have attempted suicide and lived and eventually find a way to decrease their depression. Viktor Frankl explains this idea in his popular book Man’s Search for Meaning. He recalls interviewing over twelve thousand people who had attempted suicide during his time as a doctor in an Austria hospital. The common theme he discovered among his patients who had attempted suicide was that they were happy they had lived because they eventually did find a solution to their problem. He used this knowledge to help other distressed patients as way to prevent suicide. Speaking to patients who had yet to find an answer to their problem, he stated the following: “…who can guarantee that in your case, it will not happen one day, sooner or later? But…you have to live to see the day on which it may happen, so you have to survive in order to see that day dawn, and from now on the responsibility for survival does not leave you.”

What he means is that a terrible situation can improve but you’d have to be living to know and to experience that improvement. For you, this means that because your situation might get better, as it does for so many other people, it’s your responsibility to live to see that day come.

You need to know that you can recover from depression. There is an excellent chance that you will be able to overcome your depression, with the right help.

Do you have any friends to talk to? Do you have a person in your life that you trust or who you can spend time with that can keep your mind occupied and way from suicidal thoughts? Try to find others to spend time with but as I mentioned above, I would strongly recommend that you seek help immediately.

In summary, I would suggest that you talk with your parents, consider going to a therapist even if your parents would not approve and try to keep it a secret if you have to. You have to do whatever is necessary to get better. You need help from a professional and you need it now, not a year from now. Your well-being is paramount and you need to make yourself a priority, even if that means “embarrassing” your parents. This is a matter of life or death and getting help now is more important than preserving the reputation of your parents. Please believe this because it’s true. Get help now.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Nov 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Overcome Depression on My Own?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/24/how-can-i-overcome-depression-on-my-own/