This is the sort of thing that happens to me. Indeed, I'm quite relieved that it wasn't in fact me that the story was about. And I suspect the person involved does not find it especially funny, but at least it's not yet another story about coronavirus. The other thing that caught my eye reading the news was this one about a young woman who got to the point of seriously attempting suicide, but surviving.
Towards the end of the story, it says - in a crisis - not to do all the things that you tend to do when you're feeling down - listening to sad songs, looking at photos on Facebook - and it also says not to drink or use some other drug. Hmm. It's the sort of thing that sounds like good advice. It might even be good advice for the more-or-less rational person who is thinking about suicide as a way of avoiding the future, and although suicide is a fairly robust way of avoiding the future, anyone who is capable of thinking in those straight lines can be persuaded that their vision of the future is wrong. I think - if I have understood the models of treatment correctly - this is the sort of thing that cognitive-behavioural therapy can help, because the rational bits of the person are still functioning at some level, just doing their job wrong.
I think there is a very different urge to suicide in some people. In fact, I can speak to this urge more faithfully than to the one I've just described. That urge is driven by pain so blinding that dying seems preferable to continuing to experience the pain. Just as with physical pain, though, it ebbs sometimes, enough to catch hold of the idea that actually the pain may not be permanent, it might change. That change might be through treatment in the form of talking therapy, or it might require the assistance of (sensibly chosen) drugs, or it might happen through a change in circumstances that you couldn't foresee. When I was at my very worst, I needed to hear the words (or read them, but I found listening easier as my thoughts tended not to wander as much) of other sufferers of depression, those who had experienced something like what I'm describing. As much as anything, I needed a sort of validation: yes, it really can be that bad. And it can change even when it is that bad. Perhaps I had a sense of what the first phase of my treatment needed to be, perhaps it was blind luck, I don't know, but I needed to know that my depression was real, and that there were people out there who could talk about their experiences of it.
I would encourage anyone to find a safe way to talk about how they feel, but I would go further. I would not say that I found comfort in talking, not initially, but it seemed to act to relieve that unbearable pressure that had built up inside me and was threatening to burst me open. Soon, though, as a result of those first moves - talking about myself and my feelings - I found that I was beginning to piece together a route through. Recovery is the wrong word, because it sounds like the depression is gone and all is right, but learning to manage might be better. And for now I'm managing.
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When to the sessions of sweet silent thought