A Hard Decision

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Recently I have been struggling intensely with thoughts of suicide. I have always told myself I would but, I have set up some guidelines to follow in order to minimize the pain such a thing would cause. My guidelines are to wait until the passing of my mother and grandmother. They have already had a child pass and I would not like to put them through that again. Unfortunately, the stresses of life have me well beyond my threshold and I find myself fighting back thoughts of death and it’s relief for many weeks now.
My question is whether or not I should check myself into an institution for this. It has gotten to the point that I feel like a real danger to myself. When driving I feel like crashing. Each night I take Nyquil in order to sleep, but lately I feel like it would be nicer to just drink myself to a more permanent slumber.
I am currently trying to quit smoking cannabis, because I sing for a living, but sobriety seems to be only adding to my pain.
I was seeing a counselor at the university I am attending, but I was not feeling like it was helping much.
Please advise, and thank you.

A: I very deeply appreciate you writing us here and being so open about your struggle. While it might not seem like it is helping, I would show this response to your counselor at the University and explain as much as you can about these feelings. While I know it may seem unimportant, the process of talking about the struggle to someone who can listen deeply has real value.

And yes, the short answer to your question is to check yourself in. The thoughts that you are having and the feelings that accompany them have been studied at great length and there is much that can be done. Give yourself a chance to feel better.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Feb 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). A Hard Decision. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/02/20/a-hard-decision/