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.
There are also some actions you might take to improve your outlook. According to Psych Alive’s website, “Studies show that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants when it comes to treating depression and anxiety. Try to get your heart rate up for 20 minutes a day, five days a week; it has been scientifically proven to help you will feel better emotionally. Even just taking a walk around your neighborhood can help your body start to release endorphins, which reduces depression.” They also emphasize getting a full night’s sleep. “Lack of sleep can contribute to depression and lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts. Try to regulate your sleep, aiming for eight hours a night. If you find yourself without any energy and sleeping most of the day, it is important to get up and try to do something active. Even if it feels, like the last thing in the world you want to do.”
It is important for you, though, 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.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on March 16, 2007.