Finding a Reason to Live When You Have a Mental Illness

June 29, 2015 Becky Oberg

Do you need help finding a reason to live if you have a mental illness? For a long time I did. In spite of having a good treatment team, I just couldn't snap out of my depressive funks. I was frequently suicidal. Then I found my reason to live. Finding a reason to live when you have a mental illness can be just as vital to your treatment as finding the right medication and finding the right therapist.

My Reason to Live with a Mental Illness Is My Family

As I write this, I'm on the emotional high of becoming an aunt for the fifth time. My nephew doesn't even have a name yet, but I love him and have nicknamed him "my little blank slate." He reminds me of the need for a blank slate in life--for a chance to start over.

My oldest nephew is five now. When he was born, something happened. I could no longer feel suicidal without thinking of my nephews and niece. I didn't want my brothers to explain to them why Aunt Becky had killed herself--it was hard enough for me to explain that I was sick and it wasn't going to go away. I wanted to see them grow up. I wanted to live. My reason to live with a mental illness was my family.

Not everyone gets along with their biological family. Mine was emotionally abusive and we didn't reconcile until after I got out of college. But I define family as "a group of people that love and accept each other more than they deserve." In that case, maybe your friends are your family. Everyone is entitled to a family--choose wisely.

Finding a reason to live in family is just one of many options.

Before My Family, My Reason to Live Was a TV Show

Finding reasons to live when you have a mental illness can seem hard. Read about my reasons to live with a mental illness. My middle school years were awful. One of my classmates was treated so horribly that she has blocked out her entire time at that school--something I wish I could do. I was bullied relentlessly, ranging from mild teasing to sexual harassment. It drove me to the point of suicide--then I discovered a TV show called Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?

That show became my reason to live. Every day after school I tuned in to watch "Chief" Lynne Thigpen (RIP), host Greg Lee and the gumshoes (contestants) pursue the loot, the warrant, and the crook. I laughed hysterically at the Greg in the Chief's office skits ("The bright side? There's a huge stalk of celery on my desk and no dip." and "Greg, go away."). This show became the high point of my day. It became my escape--even if I never mastered the Africa map.

Looking back on it, it sounds a little silly to be that devoted to a TV show. But it's not silly. As we said in the Army, "If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid." Whatever your positive coping skill is, it is okay. It is helpful. It is good. Nothing that helps you in finding a reason to live is ridiculous. It is your survival strategy.

Possible Reasons to Live When You Have a Mental Illness

Here are some possible reasons to live with a mental illness:

  1. You haven't been to the Trobriand Islands yet (okay, so I stole this from a book, but I've got to admit I'm curious--and not just because of the sex).
  2. You have a dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail or sailing down the Mississippi River (and admit it, you want to know what the "castle" near St. Louis is for).
  3. You've found something that gives you joy, like a video game (I recommend The Elder Scrolls series), and you can't do it if you're dead.
  4. It might get better (something I would tell my middle school self if I could go back in time).
  5. You want to prove everyone wrong.

I have seen the stars and felt small. I have watched the ants and felt huge. I have seen children and felt old, or grandparents and felt young. I can live a year and feel that only seconds went by, or look someone in the eyes loose myself in them forever. I live to feel all I can feel and enjoy the simplest things with all my heart. -Anonymous

You have to find a reason to live with a mental illness. And that reason can be anything you want. Finding a reason to live is vital to recovering from mental illness.

You can also find Becky Oberg on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

APA Reference
Oberg, B. (2015, June 29). Finding a Reason to Live When You Have a Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Becky Oberg

November, 3 2022 at 9:15 am

video games can’t replace therapy can they? i had an opportunity to get therapy / a diagnosis but I messed it up now there’s nothing tooo doo but dieeee nowwwwww

November, 3 2022 at 4:32 pm

Hi Bella! I know it can feel like a missed opportunity means no other opportunities will ever come, but I promise that one chance isn't the only chance. HealthyPlace has a great resource list that can help you step in the right direction toward more opportunities like that. I highly recommend taking a look at the resources on this page:…

July, 7 2020 at 7:40 am

I'm sorry if this is scattered. I was just typing as thoughts went through my brain.
To be perfectly honest, I find these lists humorous, but useless.
I don't want to go outside.
I don't want to visit who-cares-where.
I don't care if I live to 20. I'm 15.
I've given up on finding love.
And what if the source of my depression isn't bullying, or an abusive family, but just myself.
I hate myself for hating myself.
I want to die and that only makes me more suicidal. I've basically stopped caring. My death won't change anything. My mom might be sad, but that's part of the job description of "mother". My "friends" won't care, they've never cared. My brothers never cared, nor could they ever understand.
Sure everyone says I have a bright future. I'm in the top ten in my class of 228. But I don't care. I don't want to go through life.
I don't have any reason to live, and I don't want people telling me "if you're dead you can't feel relief". That's exactly the point of suicide, that I can't feel. If you're dead, you can't feel pain, either.
I also don't want people telling me anything about God or Jesus. While I respect your religious beliefs, I'm an atheist and don't like it when people try to force feed me religion. It only gives me one more reason to feel like an outsider.
Please don't try to talk me out of this. It's not going to happen.
And if you never cared during my life, please don't pretend to care in death.
And as usual, no one will read this.
I'm going to be forgotten. Even in I lived to 90 years old, 10 years after I die, I'd be forgotten.

July, 7 2020 at 12:20 pm

Hi Cordell,
Thank you for the comment. I am so sorry that you are in the midst of this pain and suffering. Here are some helpful resources and hotline numbers to find connection and support:…. I know it can be difficult, but please reach out.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
HealthyPlace Blog Comment Moderator

July, 9 2020 at 10:04 pm

Cordell, there is still hope for you. You have youth on your side. I am 58 years old and have suffered through my whole life with social anxiety. Never getting help the mental problems just kept building all my life. I never had friends or a relationship with anyone and still don't today. I to never have been able to learn to believe in God so I don't have a church to turn to. While I was young I was never offered any help or sought it. Now that I am old I look back at maybe if I would have talked to someone, parents, uncles or aunts, a canceller at school, a doctor, maybe they would have helped me figure out who I needed to talk to to get the right help I needed. I bet that you know what your problem is. I did. I felt that there was no hope for change. Now that I look back there may have been if I could have gotten help. I want to blame my parents for not helping me but I never talked to them about what was going on. Maybe from their view, they didn't see the problem I was suffering through. So if you are still around. Seek out help. What's the worse thing that could happen? Maybe there is something about you that you feel you won't be accepted by the people you know. Family will care no matter what. It may be that the people you've grown up with may not accept you but if that's the case you eventually lose contact with them anyway as you grow up and as you finish up school and start your own life, and they start theirs. If you feel you can't face the people you know anymore, maybe you could start over with your problems out in the open, maybe at a new school. Hang in there, and good luck.

October, 9 2019 at 1:20 pm

I am 56. I was 6 the first time I tried to kill myself. My children will be sad when I succeed but they will also be relieved. My life has been mostly failure after failure, my children being the only thing I have done of any real worth but even they don't keep in touch any more. I think if I could afford to live alone, in the middle of nowhere I could keep the suicidal thoughts at bay for a few more years but I have no money, no job, no skills, no real qualifications. I have BPD so find it difficult to stick with things. All these years I kept telling myself things would get better if I could just hold on. So now the earth is dying, we have governments intent on nuclear annihilation and I am fast running out of platitudes to tell myself.

October, 10 2019 at 1:00 pm

Hi Sharon,
I'm so sorry you're going through that. It sounds extremely difficult. Borderline personality disorder can be very challenging to live with. It sounds like you are feeling very desperate. I understand desperation. I have been there. Maybe you need to find new help. For example, have you had intensive dialectical behavior therapy? That is proven to work for borderline personality disorder and many people find it gives them light like they have never seen before.
Regardless as to whether you feel like that is the right therapy for you, please reach out and get help for how you are feeling right now. Here are some hotlines and resources that can help:…
Please know that things do not have to be this hard but you have to reach out for things to get better.
Megan Rahm

May, 21 2018 at 11:26 am

I apologize in advance if this is inaccurate or makes little sense, I've been looking through the most top rated "Reasons to live" articles for a while now, and I've found that they all share a similar theme. The majority of these articles follow the idea that suicidal mental illnesses are caused by society and bullying and cruelty; they stem from the idea that there is a source of your suffering and you can stop it. And you can, but they act as though all depression is and ever will be is caused by bullying, and wrongs being done to someone. And they can be, I'm not saying they aren't. Many cases that can cause depression and other depressive disorders or worsen symptoms that have been there from birth are involved with these factors and enemies. What I'm worried about though, is what about the others? What about the kids who don't get bullied; don't get abused? Who can they prove wrong? Maybe I'm just a weird case, but I don't have people telling me to kill myself and that I'm useless in this world. That's not how it works for me. This might be kind of selfish, but I want to see a reason why I should live. What am I supposed to do when the source of my struggles is myself? What reason do I have to live when I want to die so badly? I don't want to see the Aurora Borealis, I don't want to go outside. I don't want to do anything anymore. I've stopped caring about everything and I don't know what to do. I realized a little while ago that I'm basically a nihilist and that everything that I could ever do is meaningless and I'll be forgotten anyway, so what's the point? "My Mom will be sad." Yes, she will be sad because that's what she's obligated to do. But after that she will stop caring. That's it. That's the only sound argument that I have heard to not kill myself, and it came from me. I honestly can't find another reason. My friends won't remember me in two years, I've only known them for three months. The rest of my family will have a lesser reaction than my Mom, but otherwise the same. My cat will continue her life and forget about me, she's a cat. My interests aren't nearly important enough to continue this pointless life for. There's nothing I want to be around to see, and I won't be able to contribute anything to society. So why should I? Once again, I'm sorry if this makes no sense. I don't know about these things I'm just a stupid thirteen-year-old.
P.S.- Please don't just tell me "It gets better" you don't know that, and you can't prove it. It's such an open phrase. It's the same as saying "I don't have an answer for you, but have this empty promise so I can feel like I'm helping"

May, 22 2018 at 4:18 pm

Emma, as a mother, I can promise you that your mother will not ever stop caring or feel sad because she is expected to feel sad. If you die, she will hurt everyday that you're gone. Tell her what you're thinking. Let her know what you're going through. If you can't bring yourself to do that, call 1-800-273-8255, or visit to chat.
You're obviously an intelligent person, and I know you can research this fact: Your brain isn't fully developed at 13. So not only do you have a lifetime to discover how you make a difference in this world, but you have at least 10 more years until your brain matures. Right now, your impulse control puts you at risk, and I worry for you. Depression is an illness that acts on your thoughts. Depression tells you that you're worthless. Depression tells you that there's no reason to go on. Depression lies to you, Emma.
I live with depression lying to me, too. Sometimes I think I'm not worth a lick (some of those times go on for weeks). When depression lies to me like that, I remind myself that there are people who love me (like your mom loves you). I trust those people. And if they think I'm lovable, then I'll believe them for as long as it takes to get through the darkness.
So please, use the link I gave you above and talk to your mom. You are valuable, Emma.

August, 13 2018 at 9:09 pm

Sometimes, when the depression is really bad, you tell yourself that people will be better off when you are gone. You won't be a problem of any kind for them. Won't take up their time or they won't feel guilty that they didn't have time for you. You feel like they will be sad for a while and then forget about you except for a memory every now and then. You try to rationalize how much it will hurt them if you are gone. Even when you know they love you and you hold an important title in their life such as mom or daughter. After years of battling those thoughts and recovering only to relapse back into them, it starts to feel like it is all pointless. I wonder sometimes how people live to be very old. But I don't want my children to hate me for leaving them by choice. That would add a problem to their life and I don't want to do that. I'm just trying to hold on somehow. Mental illness runs in my family on my mother's side. I am cursed with it and am afraid that one of my three children is, too. Medication helps but there are still spells where the illness overrides it. I'm not able to offer encouraging words at this point as I am in the midst of a very low time. I can only say that I know what it is like to feel there is no reason to keep living and I sympathize with anyone who is feeling that way.

Ethan Lindsey
December, 15 2017 at 6:26 pm

"Family" I seem to find my family the reason i'm like this, Yknow, little sisters always have a fit that ends with me getting in trouble when 95% of the time i didn't do anything to them, I try to be nice to everyone, I've found that after 4 failed suicide attempts i'd rather just be alone, i'm too stupid to properly kill myself and being around people makes me feel worse, so being alone doing nothing, in a small room without much food, water, or fresh air, is my best option.

Ramon Frias
November, 12 2017 at 6:29 am

I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord , the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.
Psalms 121:1‭-‬8 . come to JESUS CHRIST he'll take care of you and he'll accept you just as you are . HE Loves all of us Amen

October, 22 2017 at 12:38 pm

I tried to kill myself last week on Monday, it was a very puny attempt but it was the best I could do. Anyway, after a lot of doctors I am getting medicine for depression. However I honestly don’t understand why people want to keep me alive. I am expensive non attractive, tired, smart enough to do good in schoo but don’t. I’m on new meds, but I am 21 and I really don’t want to struggle until I can die at 80. I have goals, but it is only because I am too stupid to kill myself correctly.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Scott Riddell
March, 23 2018 at 5:38 am

Hey, my name is Scott and I just got done reading what you said. I honestly feel the same way you do and my struggle is still going on for me and it started when I was 14, and I'm 30 now. I have attempted to kill myself about 7 times at least from what I remember and I have been soo close to being gone but for some reason I'm still here. I was bullied real bad starting in 7th grade. I'm not a bad looking guy at all, I'm very smart, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve though. But it is such a incredibly difficult struggle for me to even get out of bed recently, and I don't have anybody. I have no friends, no girlfriend, and I don't have my own family. All I have is my mother, so I want you to know that you are definitely not alone feeling the way you do. I apologize if I said to much or talked off your head.

October, 10 2017 at 4:24 am

Ive typed several complete messages trying to say what i wanted to say. But in the end it doesnt even matter. When you have no loved ones, no family and nothing left to live for, whats the point?
People say things get better. Well im sorry to burst your bubble but ive been trying for 10 years to have a better life. It only gets worse and worse. You know the best part? Life teases you with glimpses of a happy life, year here, or there, where you think youve made it to the top. Only to be dropped back down and even further than before. Sadly o have come to the last drop of my rollar coaster. I submit this to you as a reference. Proof. That life does not always get better and i wished i ended it many years ago.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 10 2017 at 4:39 am

To save myself from all the pain ive gone through in those 10 years. I would have.
If i could go back in time id have two choices. Tell myself to end it there and then as nothing but pain and misery awaits. Or give the knowledge i have now to prepare myself for a better life, when i was still young and healthy.
People might say, why dont you use that knowledge now for a better life today? Simple answer, i am too old and unhealthy to bother now.

August, 12 2017 at 2:24 pm

So basically I'm really suicidal and I can't be bothered to keep going. If I wasn't afraid of it I'd be dead already. I can't think of any reason to go on. I'm neglected by my family, I lost the only person I care about and I'm failing in school. Everyone on the internet says things get better. But I can't be bothered to suffer through however long that takes. It could be 10 years. All I ever wanted was someone to actually show they care about me
When I was younger (I'm 17 now) my parents went through a divorce. My mam got custody and my dad never made any attempt to contact me. No one at home seems to care when Im depressed and on the very rare occasion I get asked if I'm ok. I panic and leave saying that I'm fine because I don't really know how to talk to people and I'm really awkward.
Honestly my whole life has been stressful. Parents divorcing when I was young then moving. After that I got bullied in middle school and slightly in high school. Then exams hit. After that my Granda died. Now a year later and all I think about is how can I die painlessly.
I just need some help. I can't think of any reason to continue and I can't pull myself out of this. I haven't been diagnosed by a doctor or anything because I'm too scared or awkward to actually go and see one but I'm a certain I suffer serious depression. If anyone could just give me some guidance I'd be more than grateful.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 26 2017 at 11:26 pm

Yo Andrew, you're far from alone. I can empathise with everything you've said and there's nothing wrong with feeling this way, it happens. I'm 22 and I constantly think about killing myself.
I've lost all of my friends, was bullied in school and even at work. Now my gran has cancer, I've started a new job that I suckkkkk at and in general it feels like I'm so out of place in the world. As if I simply can't function.
I never knew how to speak to anyone either (still don't) but my mum found out about my depression because one day I broke down into tears and told her that all I could think about was dying over and over and over, yearning for pain relief and peace from my own thoughts. She's been great with it, I think it's brought us a bit closer aswell seen as she's been suffering aswell lately.
Anyway, it's hard to imagine that anyone cares about you, I know the feeling too well but there's 2 possible ways to go about getting better.
1: open up to your family, even if they're just asking if you're okay that's still a good sign, fight through the tears and tell your mum what's going on.
2: if you can't find support with other people then put your time into something constructive and don't let others bother you, people fucking suck.( I've been writing tv show and movie scripts in the hopes that one day I'll be able to make something of myself.)
I don't Know you personally Andrew, but keep your head up. I won't say it gets better but try your hardest to kick the world's ass, hone your skills, do something you love and sink all of your time into it, get a job and buy the things you want. With enough work, you'll be happy one day.
Stay safe bro x

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Juraj Brandobur
December, 11 2017 at 4:02 am

It is not easy, and not the best thing. I learned that it is our choice, if we wanna have a positive experience. Hiking, or travel in the woods. There will be no easy, fast, fix up. Only the way we can make the best to have positive emotions. A bit of working out, to feel more great. Eat better, because a stomach can change your mood. Try to do things, that leave a good experience. Sometimes the best thing you can do, is to change the surroundings. The world around us, is what create us. Life in prison, makes you a prisoner. Life in a ghetto, makes you a person for a prison. Life there, makes you that. Learn about the best surroundings for your type of personality, or your type of soul. A Priest has no place in a brothel, and so so.

Sydney minter
June, 24 2017 at 4:42 pm

I wanna kill myself I have nothing in life I wish I was dead but I'm too scared to die so I need answers I'm in bullied and I don't like myself and everyone hates me everyone says I'm wierd and ugly and I say okay and in my head I say I wanna die I don't what to do plz help m

April, 8 2017 at 3:25 pm

When your old and all you have lived for the past five decades is ripped from you, you can't replace it with video games.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 12 2017 at 8:28 pm

I know your pain, too John. All too well. I have no family. No friends left. No life. I hear you and hope you're alright tonight.

May, 19 2016 at 9:37 am

I am having the worst time of my life at age 51. I need a reason to live. I am isolated in my apartment and there is no reaso for me to be alive. I'm suffering terribly.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 17 2017 at 6:28 pm please visit this. I will pray for you miss Martha. you are a beautiful soul.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 27 2017 at 6:11 am

Try joining a group group of believers. "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 10 2017 at 12:02 pm

When you don't believe religious myths, a group of "believers" is not helpful.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 31 2017 at 2:35 pm

Martha, you're smart enough to ask existential questions and require a fundamental reason for your own.
a series of events have left you painted into a corner, emotionally and socially. whatever reason you started backing away from people, you now realise that the distance is far wider than you intended.
what begins as a safety gap, turns into a chasm of cliches..... its 'the hole we dig for ourselves'
'time to build bridges' but it isn't easy because you put yourself where you are for safety. so it becomes 'unsafe' to close the is a risk.
you get bored a lot in the monotony of daily isolation, but on the other hand boredom is good...boredom means nothing bad is becomes 'comfortable' and we start to justify it by assigning it merit.
the physical walls around you, may keep people out, but they also keep you in, and if you are not equipped to deal with it, the isolation is soul destroying.
sometimes you find yourself screaming inside, then scouring the net, and posting a few lines....maybe it makes you feel less isolated for a little while.
but it isn't the long term solution.
you need contact with other people, if even on a superficial level to begin with, there are many ways to do that...clubs organisations..hiking groups, exercise classes at local sports venues, cooking classes...all people just trying not to be lonely, or at least to share a bit of their life with others in a constructive environment.
but you need to break out of your comfort zone to do it.
at least the amount of contact can be controlled by you.
myself: i am a hermit... i locked my home seven years ago, have no contact with anyone and go out for less than an hour a month...only then because i absolutely have to.
i am the same age as you, i was a psychiatric nurse and counsellor for 25 years + everyday surrounded by numerous people, and my withdrawal i still see as 'me time', but i am all to aware of the pitfalls of only having the one person for conversation, accept whatever junk you tell yourself...and one of the sad facts about people is we need someone to tell us how very wrong we are, someone to argue against us (the basis of all good marriages)
fortunately i know that i am usually wrong......and that one thing helps me balance :)
you dont need a reason to be alive Martha, you just need to feel that you are.
go volunteer in a day care centre, or make cookies and drop a bunch off to the neighbours...lie and say you made way too many by mistake..whatever you do, is a start, and you can start something new everyday.

October, 8 2015 at 1:43 am

Bernie - my heart goes out to you! Through the years when your son used various types of treatment - was there on which particularly stood out as having helped him the most? If yes, then perhaps it might be an idea to try that again...?
I have suffered from depression my whole life. (I am 59 now) There is not one single antidepressant which I have not been on and as I look back over the years, my *sickest* periods where my depression was at it's worst was when I was taking antidepressants.
THIS IS ONLY MY OWN EXPERIENCE SO I HOPE NO ONE WILL WANT TO SHOOT ME DOWN FOR HAVING SAID THAT as I know that there are literally billions of people world wide who were and are being helped on antidepressant treatment.
For me the *worst* medications to use is any kind of anti-anxiety med! If I take one - two hours later I am totally suicidal. The same applies to me if I use alcohol of *any* kind. Alcohol is actually a depressant and so many people reach for it when they feel really down but all it does is to make the persons mood go even lower down.
I reiterate again that what I am saying is the treatments which stirred my own troubled brain into an even worse place!
I have known a number of people who were also totally not helped by any of the AD's and they agreed to have brain shock treatment and today - they all seem to be doing well. (I made the decision to not have brain shocks but if someone is so down - over a long period of time and they have tried everything possible, yes, perhaps look into brain shock.
Have you ever considered admitting your son to the treatment center which Dr Phil often speaks of on his programs? Something to do with 'brain plasticity.' I am sure if you were to write to the program - they can supply you with all the necessary information. A friend of mine - her daughter was also booked into this center. They did loads of blood tests, etc, etc, etc, and it was found that her endocrine system was not working sufficiently, her hormone tests were also really bad - her iron levels were dismally low and once all of the biological issues had been cleared up - her work started with a psychiatrist and psychologist.
I only mention this as perhaps, unbeknown to you, your son might also have a few or loads of biological things which are totally out of whack and in the end - I would think they would be brilliant to advice you how to deal with your son's depression.
It's total nonsense to say that someone who just sits around and to even walk to the kitchen is just lazy. That is a load of bullocks! When I was at my lowest during various depression periods of my life; I did not have the energy to shower, to make a meal for myself, to do necessary chores - I could have happily to just lie on the couch and *never* get off it again! That is simply a sign that your young lad there is in a serious depression.
Sorry I cannot phone my friends daughter who was admitted to that USA center (the one which talks about brain plasticity) as she is on a hiking trip through Brazil so there is no way I can contact her. I know the head of the team of doctors there is called Dr Frank Lawliss. Perhaps you son does not even need brain shock treatment - maybe it's something organic. If you can afford it - I would definitely write to this Dr to see what his opinion would be.
I really think that all you can do now is to just love this young man as best as you can because he sounds so ill - no family member, or silly opinions of others is going to help him. I am sure you can Google, Dr Frank Lawliss and that you will find this particular treatment center via the internet.
My friends daughter made a totally miraculous 360degree change. This child was already on psychiatric medications from the age of 11 - right through till she was 22. She herself was just SO tired knowing that not one pill or potion had been found to cure her that she attempted to end her life one day. Today she is unrecognizable as her depression is totally gone and she is enjoying her life to such a level that no one who could have seen/experienced her before would be able to recognize this incredibly sick and depressed young lady.
I wish you luck with your son because as parents we all desperately want our children to be happy and to enjoy their lives but if something biological, mentally or physical goes wrong and you really have tried most avenues, perhaps this is exactly the place who can show your son that there is happiness and joy in this life.
Wishing you and your son all the best. I believe he CAN become better. He just needs a correct diagnosis!

October, 7 2015 at 8:56 pm

When my only son died 4 years ago a part of me died too. It seems I've been depressed most of the time since that day and I have totally lost my will to live. I am taking medication for depression but no amount of medication will bring back my son.

September, 29 2015 at 12:17 pm

I have a son who suffers and has suffered from mental illness since he was quite young. He went through 4 years of therapy, many drugs, help through his school and recently in patient at a mental hospital when he told me he may kill himself. His suicidal thoughts had occurred before. His anxiety and worthlessness feelings leave him unable to move. He is stuck and miserable! My heart is breaking. I don't know how to help him! I feel alone too since everyone close to me/him feels that he uses all his mental problems as an excuse to do nothing. I have gently pushed. Then I back off. Nothing seems to help. He just turned 22 and is lost. I am so worried every day. I know under the smiles I get there is hurt and anger. I am exhausted. He just told me he wants to go to the mayo clinic for some kind of shock therapy! Any advice?

July, 14 2015 at 4:23 pm

Well done! Great insights! I really hope my young adult daughter can come up with some reasons soon, too. I can see how individualized this can be. -KC

July, 10 2015 at 12:58 am

great information. family support is very necessary during mental illness.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 10 2017 at 12:03 pm

And when you don't have a family, then what?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 12 2017 at 8:17 pm

Jake, I've read all the old and newer comments as always when I see something like this that you've read and replied to. I read what you said. I know the pain of no one even answering as well. I have no one myself. No family. Most any/all friends long gone and given up on me. I have my dog. I'm already worried about what I'll do the day she takes her last breath. She's the only reason I've been getting up out of bed at all for the 5 years I've lived where I'm at now, after a horrible, humiliating, purposely damaging in every way, Divorce, from the most toxic malignant man I could have ever fallen in love with way back in 1995. He deconstructed me piece by piece, alienated me from everyone. My adult daughter from a first marriage out of high school, now hates me and hasn't spoke to me these 5 long years along with never seeing my 3 granddaughters who once loved me and thought I was the "cool grandma". They're now 13, 11, & 9 as of this last spring. I know the youngest can't remember me and I can't remember her voice. My now ex husband started brainwashing her years before I even realized it. You see, I started slipping into a deep depression back in 2005 and lost a great job in 8/2006. 11 long years ago. Disabling me with depression to where I don't want to live either. I don't want the pain of having to find a way that I won't fail. I can't allow myself to fail. They'll all look at it as a ploy of some kind. I don't want anyone back on a pity term. I've lived 8 miles from them and have never crossed paths and I've isolated myself so much that my physical health is beginning to fail too. I'm 56, but have always been considered younger than I am or look or act. I was always the "pretty one" as my ex used to belittle me after losing my job and him criticizing and manipulating me in ways that narcissists do to make things your fault and then the victims. He did that all very successfully all while making my daughter believe he loved me but couldn't stand the pain of me neglecting him, (he told that to many people to draw sympathy and women into his deceit) I found out for years after we were all over after separation and divorce of almost two long horrific years. I suffered complex ptsd during and after my long divorce was drug out ridiculously long. I was blamed for that as well when all I wanted to do then was hide and have it be over. He made me feel ashamed of myself and the judge discriminated against me saying I looked fine and walked into the courtroom unassisted when I asked for a continuance after my Atty dropped me after my spouses first two attys dropped him for lying. Nobody knows these things but him and I and the attys and judge involved that told me she didn't like me. There was much worse things that occurred that I'll never be able to speak of in places like this, but even the most hurtful and violating traumatic events were made to look as if they were my fault. I don't trust law enforcement. I don't trust the legal system. I don't trust a cop driving behind me because I've been through things no typical person would ever be subjected to. I wish each night that I won't see the sun come up again. I cry when it does. I cry a lot. I cry at night because the loneliness of isolation is going to be what kills me along with the unbearable emotional pain of losing my daughter to this evil monster who moved within a mile from her with his girlfriend who's now acting as my granddaughters grandma. My ex hated my daughter. Hates kids. Hates his own grown son. He only cares for himself. The gf is a need he had to not be alone himself. He's not capable of taking care of himself at 55. But yet he's made everyone including the county in which we all reside believe he's upstanding when I know for fact otherwise. I've been blamed for doing hard drugs. Hard drugs that people don't sleep for days when they do them. Anyone would know that someone with major depression does not stay up and go go go for days and talk miles a minute. He's a functioning addict. Has been for all the years I've known him. Didn't know it until years and years later. Never knew I'd lose myself and the only people I thought I would never lose to a pathological liar, but I believed his lies for years behind closed doors of our marriage trying to keep hidden the things I started learning from counseling and psychiatrists. They pegged him as having narcissistic personality disorder by proxy after meeting him in a few sessions. I've not seen him now in nearly 4 years and hope I never do but don't doubt it'll happen. This was my area and he'd left then returned with the second gf who my daughter got along with fantastically after they both convinced her that I'm in fact the crazy one and not him. A very common trait. It's 1 a.m. where I'm at and I'm tired and ill but fight sleeping when the pain of my life won't stop in my head until I finally collapse. If you see this and read this I hope you don't feel worse but know that you're not the only onc with no family support or any for that matter. I have none. There's nothing coubselors or Dr's can prescribe to heal any of the pain. The social avoidance because I don't fit anywhere. The only thing I try to do is walk my Golden Retriever but it's been 2 months now and I've been sick and I've failed her too. The only living thing who gives me unconditional love and needs me. Sophia. She's me angel here on earth. I can't say I believe in God because I've prayed forever for help and forever He's only given me more burdens while I watch the only things I loved in my mind hating me. How can a God continue to let someone suffer so much? I've begged him to take me instead of others who'll be missed who are loved but he's not heard that plea either. I'm only becoming more desperate by the day. Fall is nearly here. The holidays I dread and have spent each and every single one here alone with my dog. Oh! I've not watched TV for the 5 years I've been here. I don't know how I still have my mind. It was my only entertainment. Now I have none. This place is not a home. Only because she is here is it home at all. No visitors. No care to cook or clean regularly. Or go anywhere other than when I'm finding myself in urgent and survival modes do I finally leave and dread the panic attacks of just shopping because I can't stop the panic of never having enough money for things either. I've struggled with next to nothing so long I don't feel a part of anything at all. I'm not. There's nothing that interests me that I find real joy in other than the times I do walk Sophia. I talk to her constantly. Then and here when she's not bored and sleeping.
I'm tired. My eyes are strained. I only have my cell phone as well. I hope you'll possibly answer me back. I'd like to hear from you. If there's one thing I've learned is that mental illness knows no age barriers very often. We all have the need to be cared for and care for others. I hate to know of your own pain. And just maybe by talking we can find little ways to help each other by talking about anything even our thoughts on why we wrote these comments and I saw your plea and nobody saw yours like mine many times but I didn't want to see that not a soul responded to you. I'm a good soul with a loving heart but broken and damaged and I'd still like to help anyone I can by letting them know they are heard and are cared about. I hope you see this and reply. It'll give me a big boost myself that I need. Thank you and I hope you're alright tonight or today wherever you're at.
Good night from me in the central time zone. The Midwestern United States.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 20 2018 at 12:52 am

Nancy and Jake - I just want to say I feel your pain as well. Life is lonely and painful with no family.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 18 2018 at 1:00 pm

I can truly relate...I thought 2018 would be my year to give up or fight for my life. I do have relatives in my life, but I am losing them to not being able to be appropriate enough for them; and unfortunately I don't blame them. But I do blame them for being abusive in general and rejecting if I need any kind of support. Then I stumbled over celery juice on an empty stomach, but remove the pulp with strainer....and I've started getting well!!! I might not lose my family after all! The physical pain, within a week was easing up - it's been 10 months of celery juice and the anxiety and physical pain is down to a fraction of what it used to be. Just in time to keep my job! I have gotten lucky, but only because I kept talking to people and the celery was put under my nose. Next week I will be subjected to doctoring that usually leaves me in worse condition and shamed for being sick. I am terrified. I find that only by taking "baby steps" and doing my daily life affirmations (whether I cry through it or not) I am managing to survive. Thank you so much for sharing your story - narcissistic personality disorder folk do plenty of damage and I pray that you receive blessings to help you move forward too. Know that you are not alone - and I thank you for letting me know I'm not alone either.

November, 15 2018 at 2:43 am

Counselling, advice & a million reasons to live may be of use to those that seek help.
But it can't help & is not sought by those without hope. I acknowledge & am grateful for all the help I've been given. But with the guilt I now feel for the lack of improvement, my sense of hopelessness is overwhelming. Maybe one day, soon I hope, it will be accepted that the use of antidepressants do not give the hope needed for help to be effective. They just make you feel less about everything and yourself. Nothing feeds hopelessness more than feeling less about yourself.

November, 15 2018 at 5:49 pm

Thanks for your comment. Have you talked to your psychiatrist about how your antidepressent is ineffective? If it's not working, would you be open to trying a different medication? Taking medication is a trial-and-error process, and it could take some time. However, it's worth it when you find the right medication. When I found the right medication, the change was pretty drastic. It's like you don't really understand how sick you were until you feel better. You shouldn't feel less of yourself or hopeless when most likely you just need to try something different. Stay open and honest with your treatment team to make that happen. Take care.

June, 29 2015 at 12:51 pm

Very nice and timely article Becky. Going off what japeth stated - for me it's always been family that provided me the strength to keep going and fighting to see another day.

June, 29 2015 at 2:15 am

This a great story. family for me has seen me through very tough time. these are the people who stuck with me all the way. Will always be grateful to each one of them.

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