Depression Can Drain You Of Your Will To Live

Sunday, March 16 2014 Liana Scott

When depression drains you of your will to live, there's one key thought that can save your life. Don't know what it is? Learn how to stop the drain. Read this.

Depression can drain you of a lot of things: motivation, self-esteem, focus, decisiveness. The list is long (Why Live When You Feel Like Dying?). The very worst of these is when depression drains you of your will to live. I know. I've been there.

Depression Drained My Will to Live

I think about that day a lot, less than two years ago, when I almost killed myself. I sometimes wonder if I would have gone through with it. How much lower would I have needed to be? I was pretty low - holding the lethal pills in my hand. I felt so desperate, so sad, so lost and alone.

At the very lowest moment, I had one, very brief moment of clarity in which I asked myself to think about just one thing that I was looking forward to.

And then I lived.

The 'Just One Thing' That Stopped Depression From Draining My Will To Live (And More)

From that moment on, that technique of finding just one thing has become my saving grace. When I lack motivation, I tell myself to get up and do just one thing, like vacuum the rug. When my self-esteem is low, I remind myself about just one thing that I am good at, like writing. When my focus is blurred, I pick just one thing to concentrate on, like reading. When my depression threatened to swallow me whole, when I nearly took my own life, I thought of just one thing to stay my hand: my daughter's wedding.

Can Something So Small Stop Depression From Draining Your Will To Live?

It is a very rudimentary, yet powerful, technique I learned during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). People scoff at psychotherapy, calling it ineffective. When partnered with other treatments, psychotherapy and CBT can save your life.

Today, my particular battle is with this unbelievably long, brutally cold and snowy winter (What is Seasonal Affective Disorder, Seasonal Depression?). I'm trying very hard to think about just one thing I appreciate about the winter besides my love for wearing warm, cozy sweaters; the just one thing I appreciate about the winter is that is always ends (eventually), and it always ushers in the spring!

When depression is draining you of you will to live, of all those things that make you who you are, try, if you can, to think about just one thing that can help change your state of mind. Try it. It works!

Author: Liana Scott

View all posts by Liana Scott.

Depression Can Drain You Of Your Will To Live

sharon
says:
March, 17 2014 at 1:48 pm

I suffer with depression and I see a thrapist every week,as I told her my weakness and depression comes from a unsuccessful marriage and I found myself on a down spiral, when I feel like I am at the bottom I think of mt son,I have two other children,but it seems like my son and I have been through the most since he was born. He's 21 now,but he keeps me going,I talk with God a lot,but sometimes I need the physical to get through sometimes from day to day.Is there something I can do to appreciate more of me,instead of seeking out others for the campionship that I am needing.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 17 2014 at 2:46 pm

Hi Sharon. I'm glad you're going to therapy and that you have someone in your life who can support you. Thanks for commenting.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Cristain.j
says:
June, 7 2018 at 2:57 am

Hi im may not be able to understand much but I'm 15 years old as of now and when going through my days in life i always have to put on a blank face to show everyone else doesn't need to worry about me . it's getting nearly impossible to live with myself because my low grades in class keep pulling me down and my sister always just flat out complains about me on how I'm special due to being the first born, the last thing is that i can't help but feel alone whether I'm watching my favorite things on youtube or playing my videogames I'm starting to notice how thoses distactions aren't working anymore.

JohnT
says:
June, 10 2018 at 7:59 pm

Hang in there. Life is good but many times not easy. I never had good grades or GPA. Flunked numerous times. But with many struggles I did finish college and ended up with a decent career. Just be yourself and never worry what others think. You are you and that is what matters.

Jodie
says:
October, 3 2018 at 11:49 pm

To the 15 year old boy... I hope you're doing okay

MAria
says:
March, 19 2019 at 10:14 am

Reply to Cristain, J
OK to start with, the very fact that you at 15 wrote into this blog says you are very mature and smart and taking action. Your sister unfortunately seems jealous so remind her not to be jealous of the low grade likes of you¡! LOL As for grades in school. They are only important in that you need to pass and get into a college, otherwise they mean NOTHING...I got FULL academic penalty and flung right out of the college with four F´s. I got back in because I wanted a UN career, got back in after a year, went on to another and another degree and was third in command in UNICEF for a whole region of the world. You CAN get the grades if you WANT to. Try to get the BEST mark you can in your favourite subject or with your favourite teachers. Try feeding animals and nature activities or helping animals as electonics are ok but do not give that INNER good feelings we need as humans. Anyhow here is wishing you the best from one old lady across the sea.

Laura Gehrke
says:
March, 19 2014 at 4:32 am

My family is my "just one thing", I haven't seen them in 21 years, but will in May. I'm hoping to find that spark that will remind me on my dark days that I am loved. Until then, and even after my visit, I'm working on my physical healthand my mental health, the biggest rewards are the ones II've worked for.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 19 2014 at 5:06 am

Hi Laura. I so happy for you that you'll be seeing your family. And, making your physical and mental health a priority is huge as far as keeping depression at bay. Thanks for commenting.

Kelly Morgan
says:
March, 19 2014 at 5:17 am

The grief it would cause my family has long been my reason to want to live when I would otherwise gladly close my eyes and never wake up again. My depression is mostly seasonal since I hit my thirties. The twenties were a lot harder. Anxiety and guilt over my depression are an added kicker, especially watching my kids struggle with the same problems, and during long trying winters like this. Medication for both is the only way I made it through this winter!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 19 2014 at 5:30 am

Hi Kelly. Can you think of "just one thing" that you're looking forward to?
I hear ya about anxiety, guilt AND seasonal depression. You've come to the right place. HealthyPlace.com is an awesome website for information, coping techniques and personal experiences.

Faye Deaver
says:
March, 19 2014 at 10:00 am

I love this. This is article is my 'just one more thing today" . Thank you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 19 2014 at 10:37 am

Hi Faye! I'm so glad! If you can, build on it. :-)

Craig woodhead
says:
March, 19 2014 at 10:18 am

I suffer from deep depression.
It comes in waves of guilt and regret
The only light for me is my children
I'm only 31 but feel 70.
Hopefully the light will be strong enough

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 19 2014 at 10:38 am

Hi Craig. I am so very sorry. Children can be amazing with their light. Try hard not to feel guilty, thought as a parent, I get it. I hope you are seeking and/or get professional help for your depression. It can be managed.

Julia
says:
March, 19 2014 at 10:22 am

What if you can't find that one thing?????

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 19 2014 at 10:41 am

Hi Julia. It is very hard sometimes, I know. I had to reeeeally dig deep on that fateful night 2 years ago, to come up with something. Start small and try to build upon it. Your "just one thing" could be to go online and watch funny animal videos on youtube. Depending on where you live, it could be planting a flower or herbs and watching it/them grow. You can do it!

Kelly Morgan
says:
March, 19 2014 at 2:44 pm

I do try to come up with a reason every day. My four year old granddaughter, my dogs, my amazing husband and children. I volunteer. I fight it every day, even if it's just getting up to let the dogs out.monce I start, I can keep going, and I've learned to be happy with just one thing some days. Better than not doing anything :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 19 2014 at 2:48 pm

Hi Kelly. Good on ya! Sounds like you have quite a few "just one thing"s. :-)

Nikky44
says:
March, 20 2014 at 2:00 am

"Just one thing" is what I focus on. Sometimes I even find it hard to find. This one thing can seem impossible

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 20 2014 at 3:29 am

Hi Nikky. Yes... the one thing can be very difficult to find. During those times, I start very small. Focus on saying the words on the national anthem... in the right order... takes focus. Motivation... wash my face and put cream on it. Something to look forward to.... a tv show I like. Very small. Then build. You can do it! :-)

Dawn
says:
March, 20 2014 at 2:43 am

This is where I have been at for the last two days following a brief manic episode. I really crashed hard. Feeling better this morning. I think I am rapid cycling. I like this coping skill from CBT. I incorporated that "one thing" into my computer and facebook password so that I am constantly reminded of it throughout the day. It really helps.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 20 2014 at 3:30 am

Hey Dawn... that is a WONDERFUL idea... a continuous reminder to do just one thing. I never thought of that! HAHA - spell it out with fridge magnets :-)

Shan
says:
March, 22 2014 at 5:16 am

Need that I feel like death is the answer and I then remember my kids. What I'm afraid of is one day them not being enough. I have always been sad but I would hide it by helping others. Until last June I did good then I broke and found out my husband of 19 years and 3 wonderful children was living with someone while off working. It has knocked me so far down and shattered me. This is a man that I almost lost 2 times to a wreck and having to have pacemaker put in at 33. And I lost him to cheating. I never left his side in either and I still am waiting to be enough and him ce home. He reason I spent to much and didn't save. I feel I have no family except my kids BC I have shut everyone out. All they say is u deserve better and it will get better. They don't grasp how I feel how deep I love him. I would die for him or my kids. My life is meant only to protect and serve God my husband and my kids. So what use am I now!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 22 2014 at 11:51 am

Hi Shan. Sounds like you've been through a lot. I have 3 kids too and they're all over age 20. You know... they never stop needing us, really. And, besides God, your husband and your 3 kids, you need to take care and protect yourself, as well. Be well.

mary worzel
says:
March, 22 2014 at 5:47 am

I have been to that place where I have come so close, and have even taken an od, not knowing or caring if I ever wake up again. Besides battling bi-polar depression, ptsd, anxiety,@&the last 2 years,-breast cancer, it's getting more difficult to find that"one thing." I do love my family and few friends,who have been there for me, but I m so very tire of the constant struggle, with no future in sight. My Dr has suggested ect treatments, but they offer no hope to me. Maybe it's just my time? I'm more afraid to live than I am to die.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 22 2014 at 11:30 am

Hi Mary. You've been through so much. I hope and pray you find the strength to continue to find just one thing. Hugs. <3

Barbara
says:
March, 22 2014 at 9:03 am

when depression hits me, I have no self esteem, want to end my life...I pray... thank God that I have a roof of my shoulder and fortunate that I am still here.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 22 2014 at 11:38 am

Hi Barbara - depression and self-esteem are so connected, it's awful. Honestly, start writing down things you're good at in a journal... write down everything! Such as; I'm a good cook... or, I have good taste in books... or, I like my hair.... or, I'm generous with strangers... All those things. When you're at your lowest, you reread this stuff and it reminds you or what a good person you are. And you really are!!!

Lisa
says:
March, 22 2014 at 9:20 am

That one thing would be my 90 year old mother. Throughout my life she has been my rock, and even though now she has mild dementia and I can't lean on her like I used too she is still there for me to look at her beautiful face. I am only 50 and I know she won't be around forever, but she will always be in my heart.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 22 2014 at 11:39 am

Hi Lisa. We're almost alike; my mom is 88 and I'm almost 50. You're right, they won't be around forever.... but their love always will be! My mom will ALWAYS be there for me.... as will yours. <3

Heather Fay
says:
March, 22 2014 at 5:32 pm

I have been battling depression most of my life.I have had many treatments including ect and it did help.I have noticed that now that am an older female with grownup children and no partner,I feel that I have very little to offer.I can' go back to be young again and do the things I always dreamed of doing.I believe that my life is over as a vital contributing member of society. I feel drained and have no emotion.I would love to feel again.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 23 2014 at 4:59 am

Hi Heather. You're mistaken if you think you have nothing to offer. While we can't go backwards, we can go forwards. When I'm feeling less than vital and valuable, I volunteer to help somewhere where people need me. It doesn't have to be much at all. Help with a charity. Donate blood. Help with a battered women's shelter. The list is endless... and volunteering can really help.

awakeinadream
says:
March, 22 2014 at 9:55 pm

I am a single Mother/ Both My children have been given a mental Illness Label Of each there own issues. Son 17 (he lives outside my home)anger issues.
My daughter 14 yrs of age just recently was hospitalized and has severe anxiety. an eating disorder, depression. Its so hard to help them as I myself was Dignosed with bi-bipolar.
I am holding in there but when its gets bleak and dark. They are the light at my tunnel.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
March, 23 2014 at 5:07 am

Hi Awake. It's so hard when our kids have mental illness, like ourselves. I <a href="http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2013/10/mental-i…; rel="nofollow">wrote a blog about</a> it a while ago. I know it can get very dark. Keep them in your focus. They need you and I know that's hard.

KATHLEEN WOOD
says:
June, 2 2014 at 9:24 am

I have depression &amp; anxiety for years. I have BPD. Im feelinf donw today fvarious legitamate reasons. A lot of times I cant wait till the day is over. For a year now iv'e craved getting high to feel good even if its temporary.. I would do this at night if I had the resources to get anything.. oxycodone, hydrocodone is my happy pills. I dont drink. Im also a self harmer. I really dont have anyone besides a therapist &amp; 2 friends I can talk about this stuff with. Im also still grieving the loss of my dad summer 2011. He was the last of my family.. mother, brother gone too. Just my daughter &amp; myself. She also has mental illness, but is in a home that can take care of her. Yesterday was a good day.. hard to come by, hope to have many more one day. Never felt sooo alone since loss of family. A couple nights ago I felt the bad urge to cut my self. Sorry, guess I've said enough here. Good luck to yall.

Scott D.
says:
June, 8 2014 at 5:26 am

I have the urge to end it all often and to ashamed to say anything to anybody. I had a wife who was a psychiatric nurse. she says I have bpd. It runs in my family. My ex-wife divorced me because I took to the drink when I lost my life savings in a bad choice and I didn't give her the attention she needed. I'm alone now and trying to find that "just one thing". She wants to be friends but it hurts to much for me. I live with guilt and shame but still seem to have some common sense. I think I need to accept that I have BPD and get help for it. Thank You for this site!!!

Hala Peniazek
says:
October, 6 2014 at 5:42 pm

I've been depressed for as long as I can remember. No one understands unless they have it them selves....even the Drs don't get it.I've had ETC, brain stimulation and I have The fisher Wallace "zapper". Because of all this , my memory is soo bad I can't even keep a cashier job. I put myself in the hospital 2 years ago...don't remember any of it.I went there because I want to live but I thought I couldn't because of my feelings. Right now the medication is keeping me stable but I am scared to death when the meds stop working, and I know they will. This stuff sucks!It's a very horrible disease but so many people think it's bullshit. They're so lucky they don't understand it.

LaVita
says:
October, 8 2014 at 10:58 pm

Just reading your article made me feel a lot better. Finding one thing is finding life. Every day above ground is a good day. And I look forward to the challenges of each day. Becoming a fighter and staying strong. I'm telling myself 'BRING IT ON WORLD I'm not going anywhere and I'm not running. I won't self destruct and I won't let what other's do or say destroy me. I'm strong and will remain that way until GOD and only GOD see's fit to take me out of here. Not and never by my own hands. Love yourself first. You are the greatest thing since slice cheese and believing that you are and telling your self that goes a long way... Hold your head up high and your spirits even higher. Every day is a new beginning Believe it and make it so...

Deena. Deshetler
says:
October, 10 2014 at 2:31 am

I'm all alone in my mind,in my heart and soul. One day at a time.

Katherine
says:
October, 10 2014 at 11:18 am

I separated from my partner six months ago, lost my job two weeks ago, my girls left home, and I have GID. Hard to find even one single reason to live.

julie
says:
October, 11 2014 at 12:54 pm

hi Liana
i have struggled with depression since a nasty break up with a man i thought i was deeply in love with. He was a narcissistic, bi-polar mess. he took me on the roller coaster and the merry go round. when i finally got off the rides, i realized i was majorly depressed. i had never been depressed a day in my life. i thought "this too shall pass"... it never did. a few years later my mom ( who i was very close to ) was diagnosed with cancer. that really spiraled me down. i drank and drugged to numb myself. i moved with my job (travel nurse) to many locations trying to outrun the sadness, but it only followed. after my mom passed, i really hit bottom and got arrested several times for DUI's, domestic disputes... i never had kids (thank God). so i never felt i belonged to a family after my mom died. i have finally put down the drugs and alcohol so i could feel reality and it's a struggle every day. i am back on the upswing after nearly losing my nursing license due to my criminal background. i just wanted to share and say thank you for your article. it is the "one things" that keep me going. if i committed suicide, it would hurt my sister so bad and i couldn't do that to her. &lt;3

Mia
says:
October, 12 2014 at 2:20 am

Thank you. This is beautifully written, and is such good advice. It is good to have a refresher from someone who truly knows. Im so glad you are still here too.

survivor
says:
October, 12 2014 at 3:45 am

Coming up eight years since my 16 year old son died by suicide. Didn't understand depression. Do now, grief showed me what it is. I still struggle and wait for the day to find my boy but I will wait. I beat you depression. I have and will survive. I can't let you win. My other children need their mum to. You took my son, I hate you.

Elizabeth Woodfield
says:
October, 17 2014 at 5:07 pm

From the time I was a little girl until I started taking antidepressants in 1998, never a day went by that I did not think about killing myself. The most serious was the day I thought about driving my car into a bridge abutment. I didn't do it is because my girls were ages 2 and 6. How could I do that to them? Antidepressants totally changed my life. I no longer felt the deep despair and emptiness. I am a different person now: I have confidence, I feel loved, I feel like I have control over my life.

When I read the FB entry about the bravest thing you ever did was continuing your life when you wanted to die, my stomach spiraled in complete understanding.

However, when I read your

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Theresa Sipes
says:
May, 26 2018 at 4:49 pm

Really? I’ve been fighting this depression for more Beth’s now... getting worse everyday. I spend my weekends in bed only get up to work. I’m overweight and used to love to cook and eat... I have no energy to eat nor desire to eat. List 30 lbs in 2 months. I have been reading self help books etc. I’ve been doing EVERYTHING to avoid antidepressants. #1 weight gain. Gaining more weight will depress me more. And people say you have no emotion or sex drive?

vivienne leijonhufvud
says:
February, 10 2019 at 8:47 am

There are that increase weight gain, here are two Matazapine & Venlafexine, found out the hard way. Six years on Venlafexine (dreadful drug, horrific night mares all through, developed pyles due to hard motions had two ops to remove now have an enlarged liver. Was prescribed because Spouse would not address his own issues (asperger's spectrum) Made myself ill trying to fix him and keep the peace. Matazapine went up two dress sizes 12 -16. There are good products out there get a good psychologist with a Medical degree or a savvy GP. It's bad enough being depressed but putting on weight only adds to the problem. As a consolation the last three days have laid in bed till 10.30 reading instead of getting up, feeding the ponies, checking on the wild birds and looking in on the Geese in the pond. Got rid of the husband in 2015 who had the gaul to seek legal advice on divorce from an ex Madame now the pair of them have caught out. I saved our marital home and paid for a legally binging Separation Agreement. Have to say still cleaning up the mess and still not motivated as much as I consider I aught to be, since I have achieved quite a lot against hard odds. Get a decent Doc and I can only recommend one drug which I am on Cymbalta or maybe Seraquel but has to be in right dose. As for sex drive the right drug will diminish this speaking from experience. Good luck.

rexxtigger
says:
October, 23 2014 at 11:44 am

I have no will, husband dying, no money, house in foreclosure, cannot get work. Have pawned wedding bands, ele will be cut off on Mon., no more credit cards, no more savings, 401K, 7 years of this, no vacations, no dinners out, no holidays, no fun. NO HOPE&gt; I pray to die, every night. God hates me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

vivienne leijonhufvud
says:
February, 10 2019 at 8:25 am

If you are still with us I know where you are coming from. Having read your comment I considered my own position. Unlike you when threatened with an absconding husband of 25 years I had the presence of mind to ring fence our marital home, and enforce a Separation Order at my own expense. Unlike you we had plenty of dinners out, holidays to stabilize or cement our marriage. I was determined to keep what little money we had from the sale of my own home. He left €12,000 debt, I covered the lot. Let me say this two weeks after he'd returned to collect his heirlooms which I insisted he do I wrote off for Nembutal. One line saved me from wasting $1500 and I quote Louis the pharmacist wrote back and informed me I had 'beautiful & compassionate eyes' this lifted my spirit. Now I am soldiering on dealing with this errant husband's fraudulent claim of a married man's International Pension for the last four years. His ex-Madame landlady who has duel British & Swedish passports has also been reported for fraud and for initiating divorce proceedings she is unqualified for, further submitting three names on the divorce summons from Sweden which denied my right to appeal, falsely claiming to have power of attorney and more. All that is wrong with me today is lack of motivation even to clean the damn bathroom, my daughter did it for me. I hope you are still with us I'd be glad to correspond if it is of use to you.

Jill
says:
November, 6 2014 at 10:33 pm

I turned 40 years old yesterday . I have no will to live . I lost my husband the love of my life 16 months ago . He was my life for 18 years . He took me to work one morning and never came to pick me up after work because he passed away . I am the time was my grandmothers caregiver for 4 years . After my husband passed away I could barely care for my grandmother with Stage 5 Alzheimer's Disease and she was placed in a nursing facility 3 1/2 months later . They were my life when I woke up to when I slept . I am now homeless living in the vehicle , everything has been stolen , most people quit speaking to me . My job of 17 years is slowly fading away and I see me getting laid off within a year . Bills are stacked up so high I have to decide who gets their money first . I wish God would call me home soon because I cannot take this anymore .

Leave a reply

Follow Us

Most Popular

Comments

Mental Health Newsletter