January 24, 2020
When you are depressed, the world slowly fades into the darkness, and there is only you. You and loneliness, darkness, worthlessness. Everything becomes a chore, even basic things like eating and sleeping don’t matter. Your mind is telling you that you don’t matter, that people would be better off without you. In this moment, you may ask yourself, “Why should I stay?”
You should stay because you matter. Your life matters. Your existence on this earth matters. There are actually plenty of reasons that you should stay, but you are the one who has to find the answer for you. You should stay because of you.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 10 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 reported suicidal thoughts in 2017. Suicide was the second highest leading cause of death in the United States for those ages 10-34 that year as well. Data released in June of this year showed that suicide has risen by 56 percent over the past decade. This is not a trend you want to be a part of. You are definitely more original than that.
When Life is Not Worth Living
Depression can trick us into thinking that life is not worth living anymore. Perhaps you have been abused, assaulted, bullied, or more. Perhaps you have done something with great consequences. Perhaps you are in great pain. Perhaps you have done nothing, you are just depressed. And that depression makes you feel undervalued or worthless, as if no one would notice if you would just slip away.
But they will.
Not just because they will have to clean up after you, maybe have a memorial service, and answer lots of questions from the police. They will remember you well beyond the photos of you, the things you did or made, all of the people you impacted and didn’t even realize. They will miss seeing you, seeing your smile, hearing your voice, smelling what you smell like, even if you forgot deodorant again. They will miss your words, your talents and skills, your contributions in classes and on the job. The people you leave behind will miss everything about you, and everything they knew you would become. Even people you didn’t realize were watching. If that is not enough reason to stay, then keep reading.
The Call of the Darkness
Suicide may seem like the easy way out of all of your troubles, the easy way for everyone else to be rid of you. But this is not what they want for you. However strained your relationships are with family and friends, whatever you have done, whatever has been done to you, taking your life does not solve anything. It leaves more questions than answers for those who are left behind, and it leaves you without any way to give those answers.
When the darkness calls to you, you should have an answer to the question, “Why should I stay?” The darkness is actually your brain malfunctioning. Your mind is made with survival as a primary goal. So when your mind is telling you that you should take our own life, you should know that it is not functioning correctly. Like the epic “error 404 not found” message we are given when seeking something online, our natural survival mode is bypassed and unable to be accessed when depression takes hold over our minds.
If you have ever been depressed, ever thought about suicide, and definitely if you have ever attempted suicide, then you need to find the answer. The answer to that question, “Why should I stay?” In a lucid state, you will probably have multiple answers. Whether it is family, friends, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, or favorite things, there are always reasons to stay. In lucid moments, you will remember that first time you saw a beach or a particular flower or the snow or a cloud formation or went hiking or played your favorite sport or instrument. When your brain is functioning normally, you would never dream of suicide.
So find your answer. What is it that would keep you here? A person or people? An activity or hobby? Your future? Just to spite people who told you that you can’t? The world is full of answers, you need to find yours. When you find your answer, you need to keep it. Write it down if you need to. Remember it so when your brain short-circuits your natural survival mode in the depths of depression and you ask yourself, “Why should I stay?” you have your answer.
Depression is bad enough without suicide. When the darkness calls you, answer back, tell the darkness that you have a reason to live. Then ask for help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Talk to a parent or trusted family member or friend. Go to the hospital. Do whatever you need to do to be sure that you preserve your answer, that you preserve your life. Every single human being is important. You are important. The reason you don’t feel that way is because of depression. It’s not even about you, it’s about chemicals in your brain. Don’t give up because of a glitch. Your life is important. You are important. Find your answer. Choose to stay.
If you are having thoughts of taking your own life, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. NOW. 1-800-273-8255.
You can get help for depression by calling Embark Behavioral Health 1-855-809-0409 today. Find out why your life matters. Find your answer.