Finding Our Way Out of Depressive Thoughts: Suicidal Ideation

By Nancy Virden (c) 2020

In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care. If you are suicidal, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  or go to your nearest emergency room.  (international emergency numbers, go here )

This series about common thought patterns among people whom I have met, who struggle with depression, clearly states that each person is different. The extent to which one thinks any of these topics is strictly individual.

With that said, thoughts of suicide will cross nearly everyone’s mind at least once. Serious consideration of suicide as a viable option is less common, yet not rare.

The series topics include: self-doubt, hopelessness,  toxic shame,  jealousy and envy, dependency, self-loathing, blame,   anxious isolation

Suicidal Ideation (Suicidal Thoughts)

 I cannot get back on that relentless cycle; there is no hope for change. The pain will never stop. Losses keep coming; they are more than I can carry. I want to join my loved one who died. Everyone will be better off if I am gone. I do not deserve to live; I see no reason to be here. My life is over.

Nine out of ten suicide deaths are preceded by a diagnosable and treatable mental illness. Substance use exacerbates or incites suicide attempts. Irrational thoughts cause us to dismiss the reality of how much people care, or that treatment works and our lives have worth and potential. 

Suicide loss survivors (those who have lost a person to suicide) tend to feel guilty, wondering what they may have said or done to prevent this outcome. I have never met a suicide loss survivor who does not continue – for a lifetime – to ask the question, why?

One suicide in a family or community increases the chances of another. Vulnerable strangers are affected by the news too, and suicide contagion is real.

But I am trusting you, O Lord,
saying, “You are my God!”*

I am a suicide attempt survivor. When death was all I wanted, the understanding that God was in charge did not escape me. Once the irrational thought that suicide was the only way began to dwindle, my prayers changed to a desperate plea for help from the only One who could. My testimony is this: 

Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer (Psalm 94:17-19).

In suicidal ideation, our regular lifelines seem to have disappeared. It is vital we have an anchor- an unmoving strength beyond our own to which we can turn.

Psalm 31 is the prayer of a man in a great struggle. He describes it this way: “I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away” (verse 9). In faith, he believes God is greater than his feelings. Verse 7 says, “I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.”

A prayer during suicidal isolation

Our anchor, should we accept it, is the unfailing love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. The following prayer will help you or someone you care about to discover this anchor personally:

Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
    for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
    or I will die.
 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
    for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
    for I give myself to you.
Rescue me …   I run to you to hide me.
 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
    on a firm footing (Psalm 143: 7-10).

Yes, there is a reason for staying alive. A new perspective and fresh energy of mind are not too far away. Our thoughts can change from life is over to God has the keys to all I’ve been longing for. I will trust in him.

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 143:11

“For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.” Amen.

 

Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016
Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. 

*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

*Psalm 31:14

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