What Others Have Said

Thoughts and suggestions from those who fight through depression and suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

Phone: 800-273-8255


In emergencies, call 911

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline:

Phone: 1-877-726-4727


Real People with Real Suggestions that They Have Found Success With

"Depression is a battle that you fight every day. It's mentally draining - it's a battle between the light and the dark."

When I talked to a young man about his fight with depression and suicidal thoughts (and attempts) this is how he described it. I asked him how he deals with it and what experiences helped him get through the darkest moments of depression. This is what he had to say:

"Making the effort to reach out - even if [the person trying to help isn't] very confident - it's the trying that makes the difference. You might save them for just one day. Don't be afraid to reach out; you might regret not doing it."

I asked him what that would look like from his perspective. How did someone try to reach out to him and what would he suggest to others who are trying to help their loved one through depression and suicidal thoughts. He said to "keep reaching out" and don't give up. If the person who is experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts isn't responding, don't take that "no" as an answer. When you know that someone is struggling with feelings like this, making the effort and being consistent can make the difference. That is what made the difference for him in his darkest moments. To quote him:

"Knowing that other people care about me and took an interest in me makes the difference. They keep reaching out - they don't take my no for a no - and when I end up having a good time with them... that keeps me from going through with killing myself. Actually having someone making the effort makes the difference."

Like Moss on a Stone

One woman likened depression to moss on a stone. She said:

"Depression is like a moss. If you don't disturb it, it will spread and grow. Believe me, you want to disturb the moss [depression] and keep it off. It's like scrubbing the moss off a stone. You have to keep disturbing it so that it doesn't keep growing back."

In our discussion, she was telling me that what helped was people continuing to reach out to her. They made her go places and do things with them. Her friends and family never let her isolate and when she would try to shut them out, they would keep coming back. They didn't take no for an answer. She said that if someone doesn't try to get the person who is experiencing depression to be active or social, that depression will grow like a moss on a stone that never moves. Her suggestion was to keep pursuing and encouraging the person to be active - and to act on it. Even if that means you feel like you are disturbing them. That could just mean that you are disturbing their "moss."