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3 Things People With Depression and Thoughts of Suicide Should Know

3 Things People With Depression and Thoughts of Suicide Should Know

On July 14, 2014, Conrad Roy killed himself after reaching out to someone when he was fighting thoughts of suicide. The local authorities released a series of text messages between him and his girlfriend at the time, Michelle Carter. Unfortunately, instead of helping, she encouraged him to kill himself and then held an fundraiser to honor his death. If Conrad was given either words of encouragement or hope when he went to the person he trusted the most, maybe this situation would have had a different outcome. (You can find more about the case here.)

Here are some points that people with depression and thoughts of suicide should know.

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1. Your thoughts matter.

You may not always feel like it, they do. There are many people in the world that care what you are thinking about and your opinion on things. They don’t have to be thoughts on big decisions like buying a house — but it’s the small things that count, right? Even your laughter at a dumb joke means the world to someone in your life.

Everything that you do on a daily basis: the kind things you say, the smiles you flash people, and the conversations you have based on the thoughts that are going on up there in your noggin, shows that you matter. Your thoughts matter because a spark of an idea in your brain may turn into research for a new treatment for a disease, or may relay a song that someone holds onto when they’re contemplating taking their own life.

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2. You will always have at least one person to talk to.

I know there are times when you feel alone, but you are not. There is always someone that will be there to talk to you if you need them. There are plenty of people dedicated to volunteering their time to help out. There are places like Lifeline which offers the option to either call or chat depending on what is easier and best for you when you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to about your thoughts about suicide. There are also hotlines if you are feeling depressed; you can find the list here. Most of these organizations depend on volunteers, so they want to be there for you and they want to hear what you have to say.

They are there because they want to be, not because they have to be.

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3. By staying alive, you encourage others that aren’t as strong to stay alive as well.

There was a study done in 2014 that shows that a parent who committed suicide while their child was under the age of 18 increased the likelihood of the child committing or attempting to commit suicide in the future. By staying strong throughout your depression, you are able to give your child the strength to carry on as well. (You can read more about the study here.)

Remember, as Josh Billings once said: “Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well”. Even if you are not a parent, there are people in your life that consider you a strong person. They may not say it out loud, but they think that if you are going through what you have to each day, then they can keep going too. Your strength is strength for those who do not have as much as you.

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No matter what you are going through or how alone you feel, there will always be someone out there that cares and that is willing to spend the time to talk to you. According to Save.org there is one suicide in the U.S. every 13 minutes. I hope that by knowing these three things, that you do not become a part of that statistic.

Your thoughts, your emotions and your life matters.

Featured photo credit: 98 Browse more: abstract, blowball, blowing, dandelion, girl, nature, sunbeams, sunnyTest Drive image Take a look how this image can be used! Girl Blowing Blowball/Dandelion- Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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