Q: I know there are a lot of people who can feel depressed and have a death wish-and I know that I have a life worth living. However ever since I had a chance to think about life – death thoughts have haunted me. I have loving parents, family, and friends (who have helped me w/ my depression). I’m overweight, and have been this way since elementary. I am a talented artist-I draw, write, create etc. I am currently unemployed due to my depression. Besides that I’m in debt, due to hospital bills and moving out too early. And I just got out of another unsuccessful relationship. I know what it takes to get back on track-what’s bothering me is that I can’t find the energy or will-I almost just want to pay my bills, disappear and kill myself and no one would ever know. Although my family & friends remind me that they would miss me lots. Besides the fact that I have two companions (Leo & Frida-Pets) and I wouldn’t want to leave them unattended. So my question is – how do I overlook this feeling/or am I just doomed in general to feel like this all the time, and never better myself??? (Keep in mind I already feel like I’m doomed). I just don’t feel like continuing my life. I feel that it’s over and my purpose is complete (whatever it was).

A: It definitely sounds like you are struggling with depression which is most likely causing the thoughts of death. People with depression many times do experience a preoccupation with death, not just suicide. You also state that you are an artist. I have met some artistic creative types who tend to look at the darker side of things and experience more angst than the average person (I don’t mean to say all artists do this). However, the interesting thing is that these people have been able to turn their pain into creativity. Just think of how many wonderful songs have been written from heartbreak. You asked how to overlook these feelings. My answer is that you shouldn’t overlook these feelings. You need to deal with them. You didn’t say whether you have ever tried therapy or medication. If you haven’t, I highly suggest you get professional help. If you don’t have insurance find a local community mental health center, university counseling center or a therapist who offers a sliding scale fee. You need to get help soon so you can begin looking at the brighter side again and enjoy the friends, family and pets that you have. You have a loving circle. Rely on them for support while you get the help you need. You are not doomed, you just feel like you are. There is hope out there. I wish you the best.