I’m not sure where to begin

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m not sure where to begin. I struggle with depression and am off my meds right now until I can get in to see a psychiatrist.

I’m not sure if this is technically being suicidal or if I’m reading too much into it. I’m scared to discuss it with my therapist because I don’t want the attention it will bring. I have been thinking for a long time now about wishing I could go to bed and not wake up, disappearing or vanishing from everyone’s memory and sometimes wishing I could just drive off a bridge somewhere. I don’t have any plans and I do trust myself to know I won’t do anything. I just can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m confused and frustrated. I was sexually abused as a child. I didn’t tell anyone until I was an adult and I was told I made it up and they didn’t believe me. After that, being my worst fear in telling anyone had come true. I decided I wouldn’t talk about it to anyone ever again. I’ve been trying to stuff it out of my mind for so long and I think this is why I wish I could just disappear. I’m in therapy right now and haven’t brought any of this up as we’ve only had a few sessions. I’m not sure if I can bring it up and discuss it. I use to cut myself and haven’t in seven years, the more I think about the abuse the more I have the urge to cut. I feel like too much of a mess right now and I would rather smile and say I’m just fine then face my problems, yet I know I can’t move on without facing them.

Is what I’m feeling actually being suicidal? Where do I go from here? How can I bring this up to my therapist?

A: Not only can you bring this up with your therapist, you absolutely need to. From what you wrote, I don’t think you are suicidal. I think you are working up the courage to get down to the business of therapy. The reason that your thoughts about vanishing keep pushing up to the surface is because your wiser inner self is pushing you to find a way to deal with all that disturbing and painful history. Therapy is a safe place for you to finally bring it into the open. Your therapist isn’t just “anyone.” Your therapist is the person who can help you find ways to make peace with your past and look to the future. But unless you share what is going on inside, the therapist is pretty much helpless. Please trust the part of you that wants to start sharing. It’s the route to making therapy successful.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Sep 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I’m not sure where to begin. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/09/03/im-not-sure-where-to-begin/

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