Desperate Dad

Thursday , 23, January 2014 Comments Off

Dear Susan:

I really shouldn’t have anything to complain about.  I have a good marriage and a couple of good kids.  My job is interesting.  We’re comfortable financially.  We have, friends, family, church.  I should be happy, but I think about ending my life almost everyday.  I put on a smile for my wife and kids, and I do really enjoy seeing them happy.  I just don’t understand why can’t I be happy myself?

I’m ashamed to tell anyone about it, but I make up elaborate plans for killing myself and compose suicide letters in my head.  I’m afraid some day I’ll go through with it.  I know it’s not the answer and that it was have a horrible affect on my family, but somehow it makes me feel better to think my life might soon be over.  I know I need to talk to someone, but I really don’t see how it will help.

Signed:
Desperate Dad

Dear Desperate:

Suicidal thoughts are serious symptoms.  If you ever feel like you are close to acting on these thoughts, you should call 911 or the crisis line, which in Kaufman Country is 1-866-260-8000.  Remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Please reach out for help when you need it!

You’ve done a good job of pointing out the cruelty of clinical depression.  It has absolutely nothing to do with your circumstances.  You can’t just buy something or take a vacation to change your mood.  Clinical depression is also almost entirely out of your conscious control.  You can’t just “perk up” or “count your blessings.”  And the fact that your life is going pretty well just means that people don’t take you seriously when you say you’re unhappy.

There are a lot of theories about what DOES cause depression.  Today the “chemical imbalance” theory is pretty well accepted.  So you should seriously consider trying an anti-depressant.  Visit a psychiatrist or the local mental health clinic.  I’ve seen a lot of good come from psychopharmacology.  It is certainly worth a try.

And yes, you DO need to talk to someone.  Remember that nothing happens in a vacuum.  Even if your depression is chemically based, a lifetime of being depressed has affected every aspect of your life.  Your beliefs, your thought process, your experience.  Talk therapy can help you gain insight and develop new coping skills.

Bottom Line.  The best practices treatment for depression is the one-two punch of medication and therapy.  Please get some help and enjoy your life!