Q: I am getting ready to turn 50 in the next month, and ever since I can remember I have set this date to die. I no longer feel wanted or needed by anyone and no one can understand this. Not only this, but past memories of abuse, sexual, physical, and mental are coming back to haunt me and the depression is getting worse and worse. I was put into foster care at age 10 until age 12 and this is where this happened. I am not a rich person and cannot afford to see a therapist. I will look at a family in a store and remember my family—both my family of kids I gave birth too, and my birth family, and then start crying and wishing that I could go back and do it all over again. Turning 50 is not a joke to me—it is a turning point of either life or death—doesn’t anyone care?

A: I am sorry you are feeling so down and that you have for so long. I’d like to clarify something not just for you but for everyone who might read this: you do not have to be rich to afford therapy. We have recently passed laws in the U.S. that require insurance companies to provide coverage for mental health issues just like they do for medical issues. If you have health insurance you would most likely just have to pay a copay or possibly meet your deductible. If you don’t have health insurance your county mental health center most likely offers a sliding scale to make it affordable. Your happiness and quality of life are certainly worth putting some money toward your care. I think it’s just as important as paying the mortgage and buying other necessities. You might also look for a local support group because that is free.

Having said all that, I wonder if you have ever heard of the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy?” You say that you have always imagined that you would die when you turned 50 so it is no surprise that you are feeling that life is unrewarding and not worth living. You have allowed this to become an underlying belief for yourself. This may be tough to change but I believe that with the right help and lots of determination you can change this view. There are many successful treatments for past trauma such as EMDR, EFT, Somatic therapy, etc. You might want to investigate these and find a local therapist who is trained in one or more of these techniques. Please don’t give up. Life really can be better.