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Lecole86's avatar

How do I keep moving through life when I keep having thoughts about death.

Asked by Lecole86 (16points) December 2nd, 2012 from iPhone

A few weeks ago I was fine, stressed about work and school, but happy with my boyfriend and family. I am pretty sure it’s depression that’s adding to my problem since I have been dealing with depression since I was 12. 2012 has been a great year for me I finished my therapy and was doing great. I will graduate May 2013. But I slowly found myself feeling a little detached and overwhelmed. A big part of my therapy was making sure I exercised and told the people around me how I really feel about things. But I got so busy I wasnt doing any of the self care techniques that my therapist taught me. I have made an appt with a new therapist, but I don’t know how I am gonna make it through finals when I feel like nothing matters since one day I’m gonna die anyway. As soon as I get my self motivated I get stuck on this thought. I’m sleeping only because of sleeping pills… And the only thing I want to eat is ice cream if that.

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10 Answers

srmorgan's avatar

It is not abnormal to think about death. It is constantly with us. Don’t get too upset about this. It will pass.

But just to reassure you, there is so much for you to see and to do between now and the day of your death. Since no one knows when they will meet their fate, you must enjoy every day that you have. Yes, things are tough. I have fought depression myself and fortunately got through the worst of it.

There were days when I thought I was barely functioning; the anxiety and thoughts of despair overwhelmed me. But I still fought, I went to work and no one really thought of me being in the throes of depression. Sure, they knew I was moody but who isn’t?

The reason I bring that up is that if you are on track to graduate in the Spring, (and btw, congratulations) then you are working through this, you have almost conquered it.

You will live a long time, don;t worry about death, You will be very old by the time you need to confront it. Enjoy your success in school. You are to be praised.

marinelife's avatar

It is totally your depression talking. Don’t give in to it. Fight it. Re-initialize self-care. Change medications. Seek help.

You are worth it.

janbb's avatar

Can you go back to your old therapist since they were of use to you? Sounds like you need a tune-up. It is not easy being depressed.

kitszu's avatar

If you don’t want to go into a downward spiral, to be in that same place again…you have to fight. You have to refuse the thoughts that make you feel unworthy, the thoughts that make you hate yourself (and the ones that introduce self-pity because “self-pity” is good for two things only. Feeling sorry for yourself and turning ‘putty hope’ into Concrete Hopelessness).

You don’t have to do it all alone but I will tell you, that you have to be capable of fighting it when you are alone. Otherwise, every hand offered to you means jackshit. It’s hard (often it seems impossible), it hurts like hell, it’s not as easy as I’ve made it sound but it’s essential. I don’t know what put you into this, maybe something I’ve never experienced but I think I know the essence of what you have expressed by heart.

nebule's avatar

Hi @Lecole86 I too suffer with depression and have done all my life. I won’t go into my story but I think something in my experience is pertinent here. Ever since I was 11 I can remember feeling like I wasn’t going to live very long – I have always believed I would die young..I didn’t think I would make it to 21. And when I did make it to 21 I was like… hmmm ok… I still live my life thinking that I am bound to die young (I am 32 now) and don’t seem to be able to plan beyond my 40s. I smoke, I drink, I’m overweight and I tend to think that it doesn’t really matter what I do – even if I started having a much healthier lifestyle – I would still expect to die younger than most. I need to explore this belief more as it is holding me back from doing the things that would make my life more fulfilled no doubt. These are BIG belief systems… I’m sure a lot of it is the depression, maybe I believe this because to believe that I will live for a long time is far too frightening for me. Life is often painful and tough. Yet death is even more frightening – to think that I won’t achieve what I need to…

I don’t have the answer I’m afraid but if you can possibly envisage your perfect life and take small steps towards that rather than focusing on death, you will become more fulfilled? We can’t possibly quantify how much of an effect we have on the world and those that we come into contact with, but I’d take a good guess that even though you might seem like it’s all worthless, it really isn’t. I know if I died tomorrow there would be people that would miss me terribly and that I have had a lasting effect on others…. life is about connection for me – connection to oneself and one’s loved ones… try to find that…fight for that…please xx

wundayatta's avatar

I would suggest learning mindfulness techniques. In the particular case of the thought that “nothing matters” you would observe the thought, not judge it, but determine if it is a useful thought to you or not. If not, you let the thought go. You place it on a mindful oak leaf, and set that leaf in the mindful stream, and watch it float away.

If the thought comes back, you do it again. And again. And again.

Eventually, you will learn to get relief from this technique.

Of course, you should still exercise and talk to friends. Sleep right. Eat right. Go to a support group (the website can help you find one in your area).

But get back to exercise. It makes an enormous difference. Sometimes within days, at least in my experience.

But learn yoga and/or meditation. Practice every day. Find friends to do it with you.

The idea that nothing matters is just that: an idea. It’s the truth, actually. But what that means is you are free to decide what matters for yourself. You get to choose. And since you get to choose, and you know you are going to die one day, you can choose to be nihilistic about that, or you can choose to do something you like to do. Like, in my case, fluther.

So I find the notion that nothing matters and then you die to be empowering. I choose to let people matter. I choose to let love matter. Those are the things that make me feel good and make me live another day. You can choose anything you want. It really doesn’t matter what means a lot to you, other than you let yourself have something.

If you don’t, it means you are punishing yourself. You feel you don’t deserve to have meaning. I understand that, but it’s not very helpful. I know you may not want to help yourself because you may feel worthless. But even your worthlessness can lead you to meaning, if you’ll let it. But that’s another story for another day. I have many stories about worthlessness leading out of depression into meaning and love. It’s kind of odd, now that I think about it. Maybe that’s the book.

Bill1939's avatar

Perhaps the approaching changes in your life, exacerbated by not having the comfort of your previous therapist, is so threatening that you have slipped back into an earlier way of thinking and feeling, neurotic mechanisms that evolved to transfer ambiguous fears into something seemingly tangible, albeit irrational. Fear of the unknown often produces such regression.

In addition to talking with the new therapist about what may be behind the feelings of futility, try talking to yourself as both the client and therapist (the way you might talk with a friend who is feeling depressed and overwhelmed). As other here have said, keeping up with your physical exercising is important. You know the techniques that work. Practice them and you will get through this temporary state of mind.

josie's avatar

The one thing you can absolutely count on is death. This fact is true for all living things, and it is something that all humans think about, and that some of us have witnessed many times. Accepting it is essential to a happy life. What are you waiting for?

Why is it that the rest of us figure we might as well live out our lives the best we can, and people like you give up before it is over. I will be perfectly frank-only losers quit the game, the battle, the challenge, etc before it is really over. What is the virtue in being a quitter? You must think there is some reward for bagging out, or you would not bother to entertain such thoughts.

What is that great special thing you get for tossing away the time of your life?

I suggest you renounce your loser status, and start being self interested for a change.

When it comes to ice cream, get the good stuff. Forget about Dairy Queen.

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