Table of contents:
- Many depressed people contemplate suicide but claim they will never do it. Whether suicide is a personal risk for you, the therapist will decide. Important predictors of risk include previous attempts at suicide, desire to die (sometimes attempts do not "imply" lethality), self-harm (self-inflicted cuts or beatings), access to firearms, stocking up on pills, writing a suicide note, threats to commit suicide, drug abuse, or alcohol, lack of support from others, a sense of hopelessness, lack of reason to continue life
- You can't get better if you don't give yourself a chance
- The question for you right now is, "Is the present moment really hopeless?"
- To be alive is to be aware. It means to be fully aware of it. Give up judgment, the need for control, let go of the future and stay in the present
Video: Three Exercises For Getting Out Of Hopelessness In Depression - Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
Many depressed people contemplate suicide but claim they will never do it. Whether suicide is a personal risk for you, the therapist will decide. Important predictors of risk include previous attempts at suicide, desire to die (sometimes attempts do not "imply" lethality), self-harm (self-inflicted cuts or beatings), access to firearms, stocking up on pills, writing a suicide note, threats to commit suicide, drug abuse, or alcohol, lack of support from others, a sense of hopelessness, lack of reason to continue life
People who have suicidal thoughts may think of causes of death, for example, as a way to avoid pain because life is too difficult, or as a way to stop being a “burden” to others. But I ask my patients to think about the reasons for going on with life, and I ask you to do the same.
Their reasons sometimes include guilt for hurting loved ones, hope for possible help from therapy and drugs, for a change in the situation, the likelihood that their depressed mind does not reflect reality, fear of life after death, moral doubts, fear of a failed suicide attempt and missed opportunities that might open up after getting out of depression. If depression is preventing you from doing this exercise, ask yourself, "If I didn't have depression, what are my reasons to keep living?" This is important because the number of reasons for continuing life can increase significantly after the depression disappears.
Taking your own life is not an easy decision. Is it reasonable to accept it when perception can be sharply distorted in a negative direction? When have all the options not explored?
You can't get better if you don't give yourself a chance
However, if the depression is so severe that you are afraid of yourself, it is time to reach out to family members, friends, and your therapist for support. It may be helpful to consider taking a short “respite” in a mental hospital setting where you will be safe, receive medication, and take a break from the stresses of daily life.
Take suicidal thoughts seriously and discuss them with your therapist or loved ones. It is necessary to find positive ways out of this situation. Many of my depressed patients have once thought about suicide. Sometimes we look back at those terrible feelings of hopelessness together and feel relieved that they chose treatment rather than taking their own life.
See also: What is the benefit of feeling hopeless during depression?
Hope isn't always easy. Hope requires work, includes frustration, and promises an unknown future. But hope is real - it is not a fantasy, and I can tell you that I have seen many examples of hope made a reality through persistence and openness to receiving help.
As the saying goes, "he who saved one life saves the whole world." I'm sure of it. Just as confident that you can save yourself. But you have to give yourself a chance.
The feeling of hopelessness is always connected with the future: "I will never be happy again", "I will never have the relationship that I want." You are in the business of predicting the future, so by definition you are not living in the present moment.
The question for you right now is, "Is the present moment really hopeless?"
What do you know about the present moment? As you read these lines, you may be sitting alone in your room. But as you read these words, you focus on what you are thinking and experiencing at the moment. So let's see what can be done with the present moment.
- Concentrate on your breathing. Notice how it flows, like air waves, from the inside out and back. Abstract and observe your breathing as if from the side. Do not try to control, evaluate, slow down. Just watch the air go in and out of your body. Take a few minutes to do this. If other thoughts come to mind, let them go and return your attention to the breath.
- Now grab something that smells good - an orange, a pine cone, or a perfume. If it's an orange, peel the skin and smell it. You may have never really noticed how it smells. How does the smell enhance the pleasure of eating an orange? If you are holding a pinecone, run your fingertips over it. Touch individual scales. Do they have resin on them? After choosing a perfume, apply a few drops to your wrist or neck. Now inhale slowly. Try to distinguish the individual notes of the scent. Take a few moments to do this. Note the similarity of the scent to the waves.
- Now let's try something else. Close your eyes and imagine a moonlit forest. Ground is covered with snow. Snowflakes are quietly falling from the sky. You follow the slow flight of each snowflake, feel the coolness of the air and snow. You notice the shape of the snowflakes falling to the ground. Now imagine yourself as falling snow. You float like a snowflake, repeating over and over again. You are spinning in the night air. You are falling snow every second, over and over again. You fly to earth at night, in the glow of the moon, and silence, peace and tranquility reign around you. Hold on to this moment. In the silence of the night, in the glow of the moon. At rest.
If you were able to do these three exercises - observe the breath, smell the scent, and see the snowfall in your imagination - then you have momentarily abstracted away from the feeling of hopelessness and have fully lived the present moment in time.
The feeling of hopelessness does not exist at the moment. This is a given. This is not the future - it is happening now, at this moment in time. At that moment, you simply exist. Moment after moment, snowflake after snowflake, breath after breath. By repeating and coming back. Staying in the here and now, and then letting go of time, waiting for the next moment. And you are reborn.
As you live in the present moment - experiencing, hearing, feeling, touching, feeling - you know you can find something that makes you feel alive right now.
To be alive is to be aware. It means to be fully aware of it. Give up judgment, the need for control, let go of the future and stay in the present
Here at the present moment there is no sense of hopelessness - and there is no such thing as hope. There is only the experience of the present.
More on this: Leahy Robert. Defeat depression before it defeats you. - SPb.: Peter, 2020