~Trigger Warning - depression, suicidal ideation, and imagery representing a claustrophobic situation.~
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
This is my depression and suicidal ideation from my point of view.
Imagine you are inside of a 12'x12' room.
The walls of this room are made of tempered glass and standing outside are your closest friends and family.
The room has an unpleasantly smoky scent.
None of your friends or family seem to detect the smell, but
it makes you uncomfortable.
More time passes and you notice that the odor has intensified, it is much stronger now and
it makes you uneasy.
Time slowly passes and enduring the stench begins to seem impossible, your friends and family still seem to take no note,
you are worried.
You attempt to alleviate the horrible stench but you cannot locate any doors or windows.
Having made this realization, you search again hoping to find an exit, but your search finds nothing,
you feel trapped.
You remember the ax, but that is far too drastic.
Smoke begins to lace the air in thin tendrils, adding to the funk.
You turn to your friends and family, but it is hard to see them through the building smoke, and they do no hear your calls,
you are scared.
You search the small room again, hoping to find some previously missed means of escape, but again find no escape.
You desperately being pounding on the glass walls, choking as you cry out to your loved ones for help.
Finally noticing your pleas, they begin to work wheels and levers on their sides, but nothing seems to have an effect.
The smoke now permeates the air and it is hard to breathe,
you feel panicked.
The temperature in the room has risen along with the building smoke, and you frantically search for some means of escape, your eyes fall upon the ax, but you dare not, lest you hurt those you love standing just on the other side.
Your family sporadically press buttons and flip switches to little effect, you can see their desire to help and the pain in their faces.
You feel responsible for their pain, and
you feel helpless.
You cough and stare listlessly, unsure of what to do.
You see only a few loved ones beyond the smoke and glass.
The ax catches your eye again, taunting from its garishly red perch, offering escape, but only at a horrible cost.
It seems hopeless.
What would you do?
We, the readers, have an escape route that the protagonist of this story does not possess. We can choose to leave the metaphor behind, easily dismissing these words and waking from this seeming nightmare.
A person struggling with suicide may perceive there to be only one way out.
In my metaphor there is no ceiling, to signify that with a little help we can climb out of the box.
It can be very difficult to know what a loved one is feeling when in the grip of a deep depression, and it is can be exceedingly difficult for someone in such a state to relay their feelings accurately, or to talk about them at all.
If you have a friend or loved one suffering from depression there is help and many resources. Educate yourself, your help could mean everything to someone. Check out: