19 May Bonus YSS: Is your train on the tracks?
Here is an analogy that might be helpful to some struggle with depression and/or suicidal thoughts: Imagine you are driving a train. Imagine something happens and the train goes off the tracks. Do you pump more coal into the engine to get where you want to go? Take time out to tune the engine? Steer in a different direction? NO! Even though those are all wonderful things that would help a train arrive at a destination, they won’t work unless you get the train back on the tracks! Nothing is wrong with the actual train, it’s just not going to go anywhere until it is back on the tracks.
Some people have a chemical environment in their brains which makes them feel like the train – off the tracks… so no matter how much wonderful work those people do to power their trains and drive them in the right direction, they won’t get anywhere until their train gets back on the tracks. Medication has proven to be very effective for people with depression and thoughts of suicide because it puts their train on the tracks so then they can fuel, tune and drive the train in the right direction (often through CBT).
So, if you are (or someone you know is) feeling depressed and/or suicidal, first you need to see a doctor to determine if your brain chemistry is contributing to the problem. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, then begin work with some of the other suggestions. But please keep in mind that if the methods suggested here don’t work, your train may need to be put back on its tracks (your brain might need some chemical support in the form of prescription medication). If you don’t find some improvement, please do seek the help of a medical professional. Medication could change your entire experience.