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ZEPHYRA's avatar

What do you do when you have that "I want to die right now" feeling?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (20400points) October 10th, 2010

Do you go through such down phases, do you ever really wish you could just fade away into nothingness? Do you just stick it out or turn to medication or increase the dose of medication if you already take. How do you snap out of it?

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7 Answers

choppersangel's avatar

This is a short answer Zephyra, just for now. ‘Snap out of it’, is such an over-used phrase, it simply may not help at all. If you have frequent or regular ‘down phases’, there may well be medication to help – don’t rule it out, there are some useful chemicals around these days.

If your ‘down phases’ are more to do with a general state of mind, an approach to life, or due to difficult circumstances, perhaps actually sitting with the feeling for a while might enable you to understand the reasons going on underneath. It is a natural state to feel low, depressed, under the weather and sometimes to want it all to stop. You are not alone, there are people to share your feelings with – if you wish – but importantly, don’t give yourself a hard time for feeling low. It’s ok, it can pass…

good luck, may well put more down if there’s any interest.

flutherother's avatar

I haven’t felt like that for a long while I am pleased to say. When I did I just stuck it out. I am a bit sceptical of medication which will inevitable have side effects and is perhaps a way of avoiding the issue. My answer would be to get interested in something, anything, a pet, a book, a person, a philosophy. Even going for a walk or a cycle ride can help, especially if you go somewhere different where you don’t usually go. Good luck anyway, I hope tomorrow will be brighter.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I call my support network: case worker, therapist, psychiatrist, and I do what they suggest. If it means taking a pill, I do that. If it means going to the ER, I do that.

andreaxjean's avatar

I was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder when I was 17. It all started when my dad found me curled up in a ball on my bed, shaking like a leaf, and silently crying. My mom took charge and found me a good, young doctor who she thought would be easier for me to talk to than someone who was much older than me yet I still had trouble getting the whole truth out to anyone, especially her.. since she’s still like a stranger to me (I’m now 21). She’s so far kept me on fluoxetine and concerta and I’ve been ok. My medications have changed a number of times but these have worked the best for me so far. Medication isn’t always for everyone and even on medication you can still have feelings of depression and want to just end it right there… but that’s why there’s always a warning in the drug description to contact your physician if symptoms worsen.

I think just talking to someone trained in psychology could help without prescribing any meds right away. Maybe after 3 or 4 visits and you or the doctor don’t see any improvement then that’s when you should consider medication.

Like I said, I’ve been on medication for a while…. I don’t feel “perfect” but I sure don’t feel like fading away to “nothingness”.

wundayatta's avatar

You’re not going to “snap” out of it. It’s going to take work. A lot of work. If you are in a depression as deep as the one I was in, it might be the hardest thing you ever did, in some ways.

To me, there is a three-legged stool that helps get us out of depression. Meds are the first leg. I don’t know why people are against them. I understand there can be horrible side effects (my fingers shake to this day—not such a horrible one, but annoying none-the-less), but you can keep trying different ones until you find one that works and has tolerable side effects.

The second leg of the stool is therapy. This is the part you have to work hardest at, because you need to find a therapist (and a psychiatrist) if you don’t already have one, and then you have to work it. You have to be as honest as you can be. You have to trust the HIPPA regulations—that this person will never breathe a word of it to anyone else. You have to work hard on learning coping techniques.

The third leg of the stool is your support system: family and friends. In my case, it was my wife and a friend I met online who did most of the heavy lifting in saving my life. I worked hard, too, just as you are, by asking this question. You should see some of the questions I was asking when I first got here. fluther can be part of your support network.

My test for a true friend with respect to depression is this; they need to understand depression (most likely because they’ve been there), then need to not be afraid of talking about everything—including suicide, and they need to have a sense of humor. My friend rescued me… actually, we rescued each other… one night when I was really ready to throw in the towel on life. We were talking about how to do it and somehow, it started to get more and more absurd. At the end, we were laughing so hard, we couldn’t breathe.

No one wants to kill themselves. It’s just that the pain is so bad, you can’t imagine anything that could ever stop it. I know I couldn’t. Sometimes even now, I’m not so sure that person back then didn’t kill himself, and some kind of dopple-ganger replaced him. I mean, I was that certain it would never end until I died.

But we got the meds right, and I learned mental techniques in therapy, and I found a support group, and my wife (who doesn’t really understand, but really cares) kept me together, and my friend held my hand, and I worked and worked. I didn’t think I was working at the time. I denied that I was doing anything, but that was another symptom. I did work. It took me three years, but I am back to where I once was.

I feel very lucky and very grateful to have survived. What worked for me won’t work for everyone. Some people seem to be able to do without the meds. Some people use different therapies from what I use.

Anyway, that’s what I did. If I ever fall back there again, I hope I’ll remember it’s possible to get out of it. I get so self-destructive when I’m down there. I have no sense of self-worth. It’s horrible. But it’s over with. Right now, it’s wundayatta time. Just for today, I can remain stable. Just for today. I don’t have to do it any longer than that.

You don’t either. Just for today do you need to stick it out. Just today. That’s all.

arpinum's avatar

@wundayatta The problem with the meds is the shaky science behind them. It is hard to get double-blind studies with the side effects they cause. Measurement techniques are outdated. Even the biological mechanisms are not well understood. It is a peculiar science, where the studies find that where benefits are found, they help those diagnosed with the problem as well as those not. The idea of brain chemistry imbalance has not been substantiated by actually measuring these chemicals.

I can’t come out and say they are bunk, since a negative cannot be proven, but evidence for efficacy of these drugs, and even the specific diagnoses behind them, is weak at best.

wundayatta's avatar

@arpinum You have a good point. I think this whole area is compounded by many things, not the least of which is the definition of a specific diagnosis, and the ability of individual practitioners to make the diagnosis. Look at what is happening with the DSM IV now. It is very controversial, especially the proposals for new diagnoses. Also, it seems like there is not currently a good way of making sure that different psychiatrists are diagnosing in the same way. Of course, individuals are all different, so that doesn’t help, either.

If a med helps both those who are diagnosed and those who aren’t, doesn’t that show the med is effective? Not everyone who should be diagnosed is, and like I said, there are plenty a gray areas—mental illness occurs on a continuous scale, so it’s a matter of opinion where to draw the line.

I’m not sure where you get your idea about brain chemistry imbalances. There are an awful lot of researchers working in the field. There are genetic links to most, if not all mental illnesses. I’m not exactly sure what the issue is, but with bipolar disorder, it seems like the ability of cells to take in some element (sodium?) is pretty important in terms of regulation of the balances of all the “ines.”

Patients clearly notice differences when the right drug is found. Lithium seems to work awfully well for a lot of folks with bipolar disorder.

I don’t want to get into a situation where we demand citations from each other, but, unfortunately, that seems to be the next step. I doubt if either of us wants to spend a lot of time researching the issue. But if we can avoid it, I wonder where you have picked up your information about this topic. I am certainly not unsympathetic to your position, but my personal experience and the experience of my friends is enough to make me question your idea pretty strongly.

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