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Some Practical Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger, Suicidal Self

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Dear Younger Me,

I see how much you’re struggling with depression. There is so much I know now that I think you should know in order to help lessen your pain. It is my hope that by sharing all the knowledge I have gained with you now, you will not have to reach a point of crises and attempt to end your life by suicide.

Depression is a medical condition and can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your parents. They love you and would be heartbroken to know how much you are struggling. They may not completely understand initially, but they will want to help ease your pain.

It is important to seek help early. It is important to continue taking all medications as prescribed for as long as your psychiatrist tells you to. Do not stop taking your medications without communicating with your psychiatrist. You may feel better and think you can stop taking your medications. The fact that you are feeling better tells you the medications are working. Tell your psychiatrist. He or she will help you figure out the correct dosage and will tell you if you can stop taking any.

Find a good therapist and/or therapy group. Be completely open and honest with regards to how you are feeling and what you may be struggling with. Talking openly and honestly about your feelings and struggles does not make you weak. It requires enormous strength to ask for help.

Stick with therapy. You will learn new skills to help you handle your symptoms both in the short-term and for your lifetime. Be willing to discuss your feelings openly instead of stuffing them away. Not dealing with your emotions as they arise may lead to years of needless struggle.

Connect with people. Your depression will try to make you believe you are not worthy of the space you take up, but you are. You have more to contribute to this world than you can even consider. Follow your dreams, make good friends and spend time with people. Enjoy the life you are given.

If you ever feel unsafe, then tell someone. Do not be afraid to ask for help when those dark thoughts arise. You do not have to go deal with suicidal thoughts alone. You may be hospitalized. If you are hospitalized, then there is nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of. The health care professionals are there to help you. They are warm and compassionate. By taking part in all the hospital has to offer, you will learn many new skills.

Life truly is worth living. I want you to know you have a wonderfully fulfilling life awaiting you. You are a warm, caring and compassionate person. You have so much to offer. You are worthy. Take good care of yourself now.


If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Image via Thinkstock.

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Originally published: November 18, 2016
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