This is life ruined

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Lost my job because of suicide attempt at work. Except is wasn’t suicide attempt. I was on xanax and it made me have serious side effects. Now, I am losing my home, lost my dream job, lost every friend I worked with for six years, and I have no income to support a family of four. Everyone I know thinks I tried to kill myself. My reputation both professional and personal is destroyed. My family torn appart. My dream of working and living here gone. Now I really want it over. Tried therapy. Doesn’t work. Tried meds. Doesn’t work. No help now. This is life ruined.

A: This is what depression sounds like. Everything looks black. You feel helpless to change anything. The situation feels totally hopeless.

But I tell you: People are enormously forgiving of mistakes, especially mistakes that are due to something like a medication side effect, once they understand it. Think of all the celebrities that have made major, major mistakes and yet make a comeback. There is no reason that you should be any different.

You say you tried therapy and medication but they didn’t work. Sometimes it takes interviewing a few therapists to find the right one for you. Sometimes it takes trying a few medications to find the one that works with your particular body chemistry.

If you want to get out of the black hole you are in, you need to find the energy to make another round of appointments and to give it another try. If you can’t manage it, ask your wife to make the phone calls and to go along with you. If she doesn’t understand that you are ill, please show her this letter to make a start. Then include her in at least a few sessions of your therapy. A therapist can help you both understand depression and what the two of you can do to help you out of it. The therapist may also be able to direct you to services in the community that can keep your family afloat while you heal.

In the meantime, if you ever feel like hurting yourself, call the Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Counselors are there 24/7 to help people who are in despair.

Depression hurts. It shadows everything. But it can be treated successfully. Please do what you need to do to get treatment.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Dec 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). This is life ruined. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/12/18/this-is-life-ruined/