The Value of a Life

You feel so alone, so worthless. The word depression does not begin to describe where you are at right now. So many negative thoughts. Perhaps you even think that the world would be better off without you.  But that’s where you are wrong. 

It may feel impossible to see when you are so depressed, but every life has value. Everyone who has ever lived has contributed something to society, no matter how big or small. Whether it was that young man who helped someone carry something for someone when they thought they were worthless, showing compassion and giving new meaning to their life. Or the young girl who simply smiled at a stranger who was thinking their life was worthless, we all have a purpose here. Whether we know it or not, each life has an impact on this world.

What if your purpose is not yet fulfilled?

The Downward Spiral

Depression often starts with a negative thought. That quickly multiplies until negative thoughts are rampant in your brain. Chemically, your brain is actually malfunctioning, which is allowing the negative thoughts to appear to be your reality, when in fact, they are not. Though you may be experiencing difficult things, your brain is not giving you an accurate picture of reality. It’s not just that your mind is clouded, your mind is being hijacked by negativity.

If this were your arm, and you burned it, your body would quickly tell you that there was a problem, something we call pain. But this problem is happening within your brain, so there is no one to tell you that there is a problem. Just like a computer might malfunction without being able to tell you about the problem, your brain doesn’t have anywhere to send the message that something is very wrong.

The Tragedy of Suicide

Eventually, if this is allowed to continue, your mind will conclude that suicide is the only answer. This is also wrong. Suicide has never solved anything. It ends your life prematurely, without giving you or anyone else the opportunity to see the full value of your life. It leaves behind people who love you and wanted to spend more time with you. It robs society of what you could have become and what you could have contributed, no matter how great or how small.

Taking your own life as the result of a chemical malfunction in your brain is one of the greatest tragedies in life. If your brain was functioning normally, you would be experiencing life and all of its ups and downs. You would be doing the things that will ultimately leave your mark on this world, impacting others around you in ways your brain can barely process. This is not like an accident or tragic illness where fate or whatever you believe steps in and takes a life. This is you. This is your decision. Up until that final moment, you have the choice to live. And although your brain may not be functioning properly, you still have that capability to choose. 

The Value of Choosing Life

The difficulty of choosing life in that moment is that your mind has skewed reality so far out of proportion that it is hard to imagine anything but the choice of taking your life. What your brain is not telling you is the value of who you are and what you contribute to the world around you. Your brain is lying to you, telling you that no one cares about you, when, in fact, there is always someone who cares about you. You are loved. 

In choosing life, you give yourself the opportunity to change the narrative in your brain. You give yourself the chance to see what happens after this moment. You give yourself the chance to find out who loves you. You give yourself the chance to find love, to perhaps have a family someday. You give yourself the chance to dance in the rain and to feel the sun on your face again. The value of choosing life is that having been in that dark place, you have the chance to live more fully than you have ever lived before.

Suicide is like closing the book before finding out how it ends. It is like turning off the movie before it ends, or only watching a few episodes of that epic show. That epic show is your life. Maybe it will never be lived on the big screen, but you will never know if you stop the movie before the end. And it’s not just you, either. The people whose lives you are meant to impact, the roads you are meant to travel, the jobs you are supposed to have, the things you are on track to accomplish all change other people’s lives, too. When you choose to take your own life, you ruin the ending for everyone.

There is hope, there is light after the darkness, and you have the strength to find it. Remember that your brain may not be functioning properly, and the decisions you make in this state will change the course of your life and the lives of all of the people you know now or ever would know. If you make this choice, you will never know the value of your life. And neither will anyone else. Call for help now.

This article is for informational purposes only and not to be considered medical advice. If you’re having thoughts of taking your own life, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for immediate support by calling, texting, or chatting 988. You can also text HOME to 741741 -the Crisis Text Line- from anywhere in the country to talk with a trained crisis counselor.

You can get help for depression by calling Embark Behavioral Health 1-855-809-0409 today. Find out why your life matters. Write your whole story.

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Embark Behavioral Health

Embark Behavioral Health is a leading network of outpatient centers and residential programs offering premier mental health treatment for preteens, teens, and young adults. Dedicated to its big mission of reversing the trends of teen and young adult anxiety, depression, and suicide by 2028, Embark offers a robust continuum of care with different levels of service and programming; has a deep legacy of over 25 years serving youths; works with families to adjust treatment in real time to improve results; treats the entire family using an evidence-supported approach; and offers the highest levels of quality care and safety standards. For more information about Embark or its treatment programs, including virtual services, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), therapeutic day treatment programs, also known as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), residential treatment, and outdoor therapy, visit