Feeling like you're at the end of your rope... The world feels heavy, and your problems seem too big to handle. But hey, there are ways to find a bit of light during those dark times, you know? We've all been there, but yours may be just too heavier than others to talk about it. Let's break one thing down at a time. What should you do when you feel like dying? Here's what you should do.
Did You Know?
- Global Impact: Nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is roughly one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Suicide Rates in the US: In 2020, the CDC reported that suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with over 45,000 Americans dying by suicide.
- Youth and Suicide: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals aged 10-34 in the United States, per CDC data.
- Gender Differences: Worldwide, men die by suicide at a significantly higher rate than women, often by a factor of 3 or more in Western countries.
- Attempted Suicides: For every suicide, there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. Estimates suggest that approximately 20 attempted suicides occur for every suicide death.
When the World Feels Too Heavy
Sometimes, life can feel like you’re carrying a backpack filled with rocks. Each rock is a problem or stress, and it just keeps getting heavier. This weight can make you wish for an escape, maybe even think about giving up.
1. Dealing with Loss
Losing someone you love or something very special to you is like having a part of your heart taken away. It’s not just about missing them. It’s also about the big changes their absence brings to your life. You might feel lost, like a ship without a compass, not knowing how to move forward.
This deep sense of loss can make the world seem less colorful, less meaningful, making you wonder if it’s worth going on.
2. Overwhelming Stress and Anxiety
Imagine you’re juggling balls, and someone keeps adding more to the mix. That’s what overwhelming stress and anxiety feel like. Every ball is a worry or responsibility, and you’re scared to drop any because you think everything will come crashing down. This constant pressure, the never-ending feeling of being on edge, can be exhausting.
It makes some moments feel like you’re trapped in a room where the walls keep closing in, and you desperately want an exit.
3. Feeling Utterly Alone
Feeling alone in a crowd is a strange thing. You can be surrounded by people and still feel like you’re on an isolated island. When you think no one understands you or cares, it’s like shouting into a void and hearing your echo as the only response.
This loneliness isn’t just about being physically alone; it’s about feeling disconnected from others, feeling invisible. It makes you question your place in the world, wondering if your absence would even make a difference.
4. Facing Failure Repeatedly
Imagine trying your hardest at something and still not making it. Now, imagine that happening over and over again. Each failure is like a small cut, and with enough of them, you start to feel drained.
It’s not just the disappointment that hurts but also the loss of hope and the fear that maybe you’re not good enough. This cycle of trying and failing can make you feel like you’re stuck in a loop, and the idea of stepping out of it for good can seem like a relief.
Did You Know?
- Mental Health and Suicide: The WHO estimates that depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- Access to Means: Restricting access to means of suicide (e.g., firearms, pesticides) can lower rates, as impulsivity plays a significant role in many suicide attempts.
- Veterans and Suicide: Veterans have a higher rate of suicide compared to the general population. Data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs indicate that the suicide rate for veterans is 1.5 times greater than for non-veteran adults.
- Economic Impact: The economic and human cost of suicide to society is enormous. In the US alone, suicide and suicide attempts cost the nation over $70 billion per year in lifetime medical and work-loss costs.
- Suicide and Stigma: Stigma around mental health issues and suicide leads to underreporting and decreased seeking of help among those at risk.
The Weight of Stress
Our minds and bodies are designed to handle stress, but only up to a point, right? Beyond that, we start feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and sometimes hopeless.
It’s like running a marathon with no finish line in sight. This constant pressure can make the idea of just stopping - of wanting to give up - an attractive escape route.
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Imagine your emotions are like a cup of water. Every stressor, every problem, adds a little more water to the cup. Eventually, the cup overflows. That’s emotional overload. Our brains are wired to feel a wide range of emotions, but when we're flooded with them, it becomes hard to manage.
So we feel desperate. We want to escape the pain, leading to thoughts of giving up or feeling like dying. It's not that we want to end our lives; we just want a break from the relentless emotional turmoil.
Feeling disconnected or isolated amplifies these tough feelings. Humans are social creatures, and we need connections to thrive. When we feel alone with our problems, the hill we’re climbing seems steeper. Isolation tricks our brain into thinking we’re the only ones struggling, which isn’t true.
Sharing our load with others can make it lighter, but when we don’t, or feel like we can’t, the weight feels unbearable.
The Need for Relief
The thought of wanting to give up is not necessarily that we want everything to end, but rather that we’re looking for an escape from the pain, you know?
Our brains are trying to tell us something important - that our current way of coping isn’t working, and we need to find a new way.
Did You Know?
- LGBTQ+ Youth: LGBTQ+ youth are significantly more likely to consider suicide, with the Trevor Project reporting that 40% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.
- Global Suicide Rate Decline: Despite the high numbers, the global suicide rate has decreased by about 36% between 2000 and 2016, according to the WHO.
- Rural vs. Urban Suicide Rates: In many countries, suicide rates are higher in rural areas compared to urban settings, attributed to factors like isolation, access to firearms, and limited access to mental health care.
- Suicide and Social Media: There is growing concern about the impact of social media on suicide rates among young people, with studies linking high usage to increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Pandemic Impact: Preliminary reports from various countries suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has had complex effects on suicide rates, with some areas reporting increases and others decreases.
Write It Down
Let's start with the simple act of writing. Grab a pen and paper. Or type on a device. When thoughts are bouncing around in your head, they can get overwhelming.
Writing them down is like letting air out of a too-full balloon. It can prevent that balloon from popping. You don’t have to be a “writer” to benefit from this. Just jotting down what you’re feeling or going through can make things seem clearer and more manageable. Plus, looking back on what you wrote can show you how far you've come over time.
Create Through Art and Music
Art and music speak a language all their own. They let you express feelings that words can't always capture. Ever heard a song that perfectly describes how you're feeling? Imagine creating that yourself.
Drawing, painting, making music, or any creative activity lets you pour out emotions in a constructive way. It's not about making a masterpiece; it's about the process of creation and the relief that comes with it. The best part is, you get to decide what your art or music means. It's a personal escape that can bring a lot of comfort.
When you're moving, your body releases chemicals that naturally make you feel better. It's not just about fitness or skill. It's about giving your brain a break. Whether you're into team sports, solo activities like running, or just taking a long walk, moving your body can shift your mindset. It's a way to step away from the noise in your head and focus on something entirely different, even if just for a little while.
The Joy of Learning Something New
Ever thought about learning something new? It could be anything from cooking to coding, playing an instrument, or even picking up a new language. When you focus on learning, your mind has to concentrate on this new thing instead of what's been bothering you. It’s a great distraction that also brings a sense of achievement. Every small step in learning feels like a victory, and that can be a big boost when you're feeling down.
Finding an outlet for your feelings isn’t just about distraction. It’s a way to process what you’re going through in a healthy, constructive manner. Whether it’s through writing, creating, moving, or learning, these activities offer a break from the internal chaos. They give you a chance to express yourself, clear your head, and even find a bit of joy along the way.
Did You Know?
- Suicide Prevention: Effective suicide prevention strategies include public awareness campaigns, restrictions on access to suicide means, and early intervention for those at risk.
- Cultural Factors: Cultural attitudes towards suicide vary significantly around the world, influencing both the prevalence of suicide and the strategies used for prevention.
- Suicide Bereavement: People who have lost someone to suicide are at a higher risk of developing major depression, PTSD, or suicidal behaviors themselves.
- Healthcare Access: Access to mental health services is crucial for suicide prevention, yet many people worldwide do not have adequate access to such services.
- Reporting and Media: Responsible media reporting on suicide, following guidelines to avoid sensationalism, can reduce the likelihood of suicide contagion.
People who believe that life after death is better often hold various perspectives and reasons for their beliefs. Here are a few common ideas and arguments put forth by individuals who hold such beliefs:
- Eternal existence: One belief is that life after death offers the opportunity for an eternal existence or a continuation of the soul beyond physical life. This perspective suggests that life on Earth is temporary and filled with suffering, while the afterlife provides an eternal state of peace, happiness, and spiritual fulfillment.
- Rewards and justice: Some people believe that the afterlife is a realm where individuals are rewarded or punished based on their actions and moral conduct during their earthly life. They see life after death as a just system where good deeds are acknowledged and evil deeds are appropriately addressed. This belief provides a sense of fairness and accountability.
- Reunion with loved ones: Many people find solace in the idea that life after death offers a reunion with departed loved ones. They believe that they will be reunited with family members, friends, and loved ones who have passed away, creating a sense of comfort and continuation of relationships.
- Spiritual growth and enlightenment: Another belief is that life after death provides an opportunity for further spiritual growth and enlightenment. It is seen as a realm where individuals can continue their journey of self-discovery, learning, and transcending to higher states of consciousness.
- Liberation from earthly suffering: Some people view life on Earth as a place of hardship, pain, and suffering. They believe that life after death offers liberation from these earthly struggles and a transition to a state of peace, serenity, and bliss.
These perspectives vary across different religious and philosophical traditions, and your interpretations may differ. Beliefs about the afterlife often serve as a source of comfort, hope, and meaning for individuals as they contemplate the mysteries of existence.
What Should You Do When You Feel Like Dying?
Feeling like dying. It does not mean you have to give up hope. There are people who care about you and want to see you happy again. Take things day by day, seek support when necessary, and allow yourself time to heal.
You are not alone in your pain. It may seem unbearable to you now but have faith that with time comes healing. May we all find solace in knowing our loved ones still live within us even after they've passed away!