Suzanne Says

Questions & Answers

November 2004

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Question: What do you know about depression? Since my daughter's breakdown, we have been through the most horrific time! I hope the worst is over; but I'm not at all sure, as she spoke to me this morning about "ending it all." Can you imagine how afraid I am when she speaks of the possibility of suicide? sweet beloved daughter! I know I would be coming from a place of fear then, but I feel I couldn't handle it if she dies/died like that!! Have you had much experience with depression?

Answer: Before I begin, I need to say this newsletter response is not a substitute for professional help. Your daughter may need to be hospitalized if she is suicidal. Contact her psychiatrist immediately for guidance. Contact a mental health center or hospital in your area if she does not yet see a professional.

One way to view depression is that the light switch from the little, conditioned self to the greater Self is broken and turned off. The subtle, early warning signs from within your daughter that were telling her that her life was off track were not heeded. Thus she was not able to communicate to you that she needed help, more help than usual.
Depression is the inner self (or soul) screaming for attention. It is a call to realize that what one is doing or not doing is off track and not in one's best interest. If one will heed this call and take the time to probe the inner-self, one can see what is off and where changes need to be made. If another person is there to listen, not judge, not give too much information, the depressed person in time will learn that it is safe to explore these unhappy feelings and thoughts, eventually taking baby steps to make the needed changes on one's life.

A breakdown, to the point where suicide is considered, is a crisis situation. The person no longer can cope with the switch being "off" and needs help from outside of self. I am not addressing here the various methods professionals use to help suicidal people; rather I am addressing your inquiry for more information about depression.

By all means take your daughter seriously when she feels like giving up. It is normal for her to feel like it is too hard and to think, "I don't want to do this inner work." If she is expressing this it is good. It is not normal, however, for her to have a plan and know exactly how she would end her life. When your daughter expresses feelings of not wanting to be here and wanting to end it all, ask her specific questions such as, "Do you feel you are suicidal?" or "Do you feel that you could really take your life?" or "In your heart of hearts could you really take your life?" If she says, "Yes," then ask her how she would do it. If she tells you a way, such as taking too many pills, take her seriously and make sure someone is with her at all times until the acute episode of depression is over. Again, I must emphasize it is imperative to get professional help for your daughter.

Most people are not serious about taking their life. They want to be reassured that they are loved and that there is hope for making changes and getting to a better place in their life. Hopelessness and despair need to be turned into hope. Loved ones are needed to reassure them that they are loved and that there is hope.

If your daughter can believe that there is a reason for this breakdown, she may gain the desire to want to find that meaning. In the very least, she can gain courage to move through it if she knows that you have hope that her life can be different.

When people are in crisis, they are ripe for new information that normally would fall on deaf ears. It can be comforting for some people to learn more about connecting to a higher power, especially if they have been divorced from their spirituality. Again you can remind her to pray or ask for help from her Higher Power. Remember to put into practice your own methods of finding comfort, guidance, deep peace, and the courage to make changes. Here you have some of my perspective on depression.





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