The way you feel is not a natural state of being. It’s the result of depression. It’s also evidence of the insidiousness of depression. It makes you misinterpret reality. It makes you come to incorrect conclusions and can lead to you to make choices that are not in your best interest.
Abraham Maslow quotes English psychoanalyst Money-Kyrle who says this about mental illness: “the neurotic is not emotionally sick he is cognitively wrong.” In this view, flawed thinking is the core of the problem and developing a more efficient perception of reality is the solution. These corrections are possible with counseling.
You might want to read the work of Abraham Maslow. He studied psychologically healthy people and described their characteristics in great depth. It can help you understand human nature and how to correct your thinking and attitude towards life.
People who are depressed and considering suicide are not thinking clearly. Their thoughts are tainted by the weight of depression. Depression tricks you into thinking that there’s no hope and that nothing is going to change. You have the power to change your thinking to be more in line with reality.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Depression is highly treatable. I have worked with people who have felt the same as you do and who were later able to have wonderful lives. Why? Because they corrected their thinking. If you don’t believe me, read this article, published in The New York Times, called “The Urge To End It All.” It’s about people who attempted to commit suicide but survived and who were thankful to have lived. They got help, saw that their problems were solvable and wanted other people to know that things can get better.
I would also recommend reading the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Many people have said that this book has changed their life. It teaches readers how to have meaning in their lives, even during the darkest of times. Frankl believes that depression stems from feeling that life does not have meaning. He believes that people have to have something to live for. He provides advice for how to discover a meaning for one’s life. One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from Frederick Nietzsche, a 19th century German philosopher, who said “he who has a why to live for can bear with any how.”
You may have visited many mental health professionals already but you shouldn’t give up. You should interview at least 5 to 10 or more if necessary, until you find the one with whom you can connect. The one with whom you have the strongest connection will likely be your best choice. Finding the right treatment can make all the difference. Not all mental health professionals and treatments are the same. Some are better than others. Things can get better for you. Please don’t give up. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255. Don’t hesitate to call.
Dr. Kristina Randle