I want to start by saying I realize stigmas are a very real part of life. It’s unavoidable. But I think it only appropriate we try to debunk stigmas where necessary.
It’s not that this subject is a particularly touchy subject for me, but I realized something last night and I wanted to share.
Per routine, I got depressed last night after work–simply thinking about the monotony that is life. Wake up. Go to work. See work friends. Leave work. Hang out with work boyfriend. Go home to sleep in my apartment shared with work roommate. Aaannddd repeat….
These thoughts tend to make me anxious. I feel stuck. Inside a bubble of molasses. Uninspired. And these thoughts make me angry, sad; they make me feel alone–so much so that I wonder when the day will come when I’ll just give up. I’ve never been suicidal, but I worry, pretty regularly, about what it would take to get me there.
I was texting my boyfriend, trying to get him to come over to keep me company. Being with someone I love seems to help me in those situations. Though I wasn’t being 100% straight up with him about my feelings, in terms of the severity, he didn’t seem to understand how serious I was when I said the words, “I’m depressed.” (aka, he didn’t run over right away) On impulse, a thought crossed my mind: “If I tell him I’m eyeing my open window right now, or the medication bottles on my bedstand, then he may understand. Only then maybe he’ll pretend to care.”
Now, I realize these thoughts came from a very spiteful place–commomplace for anxious/depressed individuals. And it’s these words that lead others to assume people who kill themselves or try to kill themselves are simply looking for attention. Most, if not all depressed people, respond with, “Of course not. You just don’t understand. Sometimes that’s the only escape we see left.” Perfectly reasonable I suppose. As a someone with depression, I can understand death feeling like the only escape.
But the reason I’m writing this post is not to argue pro-suicide. Not at all. The reason I’m writing this post is to say, maybe we are just looking for attention. Because maybe, in that tiny little blip of time, we’re feeling incredibly alone and uncared for. We’re feeling lost, not by our own actions, but because our friends, family, left us behind. Whether or not that’s true, the brain is telling the mind to feel this way. No depressed person WANTS to be depressed. But in those low moments, we’re desperate. We’ll resort to anything to make the pain go away. We’ll look for attention in the only way that’s proven successful–threatening others with our own lives. It’s a sad fact that people don’t understand until you throw it in their face.
I’m by no means saying seeking attention this way is the right thing to do, but before you ignore your friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or family member because you think they’re just looking for attention, consider the fact that maybe they’re only doing it because they’re in desperate need of saving. Think of it as a cry for help. And all that takes from you is company, caring words, and a listener’s ear. Having support can be the difference between light and dark; life or death.