Today in one of my classes at school, I felt like I wanted to kill myself, I even put a knife against my wrist, wondering what would happen if I did, feeling that no one would care. I have felt like this before and I think I do it because I want attention. Please help it is really starting to scare me I also feel very sad for no reason.
Help me, how do I deal with this? What can I do to stop wanting attention as much?
Rachel Scared, 16-year-old woman
You posted you call for help over a year ago, but I just stumbled across it. I do hope you have not given in to the whisperings of Depression and hurt yourself. I hope that you are still alive, and physically undamaged by any suicide attempts, and no longer with the occasional urge to do yourself harm.
My dear, you are not alone. In Western countries like ours, suicide is one of the major causes of death and disability among young people. (Disability, because of course sometimes people try to kill themselves, and instead end up crippled for life, maybe the next 50 or 60 years. I am a nurse as well as a psychologist, and have looked after a number of people who were "living veggies" as a result of brain damage from a failed suicide attempt, many years before. And these poor people are kept alive, year after year!)
There are very few youth suicides in the desperately poor countries. Why do you think this is? What is our society doing to people like you?
I don't know your personal story. I don't know anything about you beyond the few words you've written down. In fact, probably, your call for help went unanswered simply because you haven't left enough information for a counselor to work on. All you say is, you think this was a call for attention. Did you feel completely ignored? Did you feel that it was as if you didn't even exist, and ANYTHING was better than that, even being thought crazy, even inflicting pain and suffering on yourself?
You are now more than a year older. Look back, and try to recall how you felt. And, being more mature, what do you think now?
Rachel, Depression is a liar. It distorts reality. When it has you in its grip, you feel absolutely worthless, although nobody else thinks of you that way. It makes you focus on all the bad things in your life, and forces you to ignore or discount the good things. And I am sure, there are many good things in your life, and there were last year too. I am sure your life was, and is, a lot better than for teenagers in India. And finally, Depression would have you believe that things will never change, will always stay terrible. Look back over the past year. I don't know what happened in your life, but I am CERTAIN that this included many good things.
The next time you feel depressed, force yourself to make a list of all the good things in your life, all the good things you have done and achieved, all the times an apparently endless period of misery was succeeded by good experiences.
You don't have to believe Depression. You exist as a wonderful person, whether other people notice you or not. And I am sure you have friends and relatives who care about you.
You are welcome to email me if you receive this answer.
Good luck with the rest of your life,