Understanding a depressed state of mind (1 of 4): Suicide Kills

I hope that with this series of posts you can understand how a depressed state of mind works, and how you can start seeing the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

“Many people are scared of death, but death is not enough for those who choose suicide.” – Gabi Brandao

This week I was going to write about something completely different (about stress and exercise, and how we should work out when under chronic stress), but I decided to change the subject of my post after hearing about the death of Anthony Bourdain.

In fact, as someone who has survived my own suicidal mind and attempt, I decided to write a series of 4 posts on this subject in hopes to raise awareness and help people who are under that dark state of mind, as well as their families.

It’s difficult for me to be vulnerable like this, but I feel like I have to. It’s even more difficult for me to hear, again and again, that so many people from all over the world, have reached a point of depression that lead them to take their own lives.

This series of posts maybe should have been written during the month of May (Mental Health Month), but now that I’m thinking about it, it’s better this way. Why? Because a lot of people who need to hear this message were probably staying away from posts like this. You’ll understand why by the end of this post, or maybe after the end of this series when you understand the state of mind of people with depression completely.

Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the Happy Feet Press Junket in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. (Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images)

There’s NEVER going to be just “another suicide”. 

As you can tell, a depressed state of mind doesn’t have to do with the amount of success, money, fame, or even love that someone may have in their lives. Someone may be loved by many (like I’ve always known that I am), and have everything yet, they may still find themselves worth-killing.

Depression does NOT have to do with outside sources: family, friends, material things, career, etc. This is why I tell the families of suicide victims to please not feel guilty because even if you told and showed them that you loved them every day, it still wouldn’t have helped them. It’s not your fault and it’s never going to be.

We “reach bottom” when we lose total respect for ourselves, enough that we can’t even stand listening to the sound of our voices, neither the sound of our voices in our minds, when we think, in total despair.

I remember, the day I jumped off a building, I just wanted to make my mind SHUT UP. I hated myself so much, I couldn’t take it anymore. The same happened during one of my ex-husband’s alcoholic episodes when he put out one of his cigarettes on top of my hand, as he held shut the sliding door against my arm so that I wouldn’t move,  That night, after he was done burning me, I looked at my hand and saw my bone. And here is how I can show you how a mind of a clinically depressed person works: instead of caring for myself, going to the hospital, and calling the cops on him, you know what I did? I took a lighter and finished burning my hand until I passed out on the floor.

It’s very hard to put it into words to explain how my brain thought or how I felt, but when I woke up, I liked that feeling. I liked knowing and feeling that I was suffering and in pain. Deep down I had some sort of satisfaction. And it’s not like I was doing it all to tell other people – because not even the people closest to me, my own family, knew that I was in such a depressed state, nor that I was in an abusive relationship.

In fact, being in an abusive relationship was quietly fueling my dark spirit.

I was very passive with my ex-husband, and would let him do whatever he wanted with me: hit me, push me, burn me, kick me, bang my head against walls (I had 12 concussions during my 7 years of marriage), you name it. And by not reacting, I was being aggressive towards myself. I really didn’t care.

Of course I didn’t know any of that while I was going through it all. I wasn’t aware or conscious, or even thought I should be. I was just going with the flow while the flow took me to very dark places: places that I shouldn’t be going.

Me, in one of my darkest years: the way I looked when no one was looking.

Me, in one of my darkest years: joking around with family and friends.

Now that I am mentally healthy, I can see myself from the outside and have a much better understanding of what went on and of who that person was – because that girl wasn’t me. The weird part of it is that I can only see it now! That’s why I can empathize so much with people who are going through depression and am so willing to help however I can.

This is why when I hear that someone committed suicide, I suffer, even when they were people I didn’t even get to meet or know personally. I know the amount of pain they were under and that makes me lose sleep, in sadness for their deep self-despair… Self-despair hurts more than anything else I have ever felt in life.

On my next post, I will explain to you how I think we get to such a state of depression, lack of self-respect, and self-despair. After that, I will be writing about what we can do to help ourselves, while being in that dark state of mind, even when we don’t want to. It is hard, but it is possible. It’s hard but it is necessary for you to come out of it alive. I will also write about what family members and loved ones can do to help.

I remember when I started seeing therapists. I would tell them about my ex-husband being abusive, and they would respond to me by saying: “you need to leave your husband now, otherwise you’ll leave him when you are dead.” And I would think to myself, as I hated the therapist (and everyone else who ever tried to help me – including the people who love me): “You say that because you have no idea what I can do to myself.”

All that I am writing on this subject has not been studied nor is the result of a psychological study case. All of it is based on my own experience, pain, and recover.

As I said before, all I want with this post series is to be able to help someone who is going through what I have experienced, somehow.

For now, I just want to tell you 4 things (as tears roll down my cheek).

If you are reading this know that:

  • You are worth your life,
  • You are loved,
  • And you, yes YOU, ARE ENOUGH,
  • You WILL get through it.

Much love being sent out to everyone who is living in a depressed state, and also to those who have lost their loved ones to mental illness.

And to Anthony Bourdain, I hope that you are eating bowls and bowls of spicy noodles from wherever you are!

“Anytime I’m eating spicy noodles in a bowl, I’m happy,” he told Bon Appétit Magazine in an interview published last year.

Gabi Brandao.
Disease Prevention Advocate, Blogger, Author, Speaker, Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and Licensed Medical Massage Practitioner by the Virginia Board of Nursing

48 thoughts on “Understanding a depressed state of mind (1 of 4): Suicide Kills

  1. Nabanita Dhar says:

    It’s very easy to advise people when they say they are depressed but it is so difficult to actually feel and understand what they are going through. And yes, no suicide is the same and it is not something to be made light of.
    You are doing good with this series.

  2. Olga Zak says:

    The decision in hopes to raise awareness and help people who are in that dark state of mind, as well as their families is really great. You are really great.

  3. sammi says:

    It’s difficult to be in a state when you don’t want yourself to escape the pain. people can be depressed for many reasons but to be in a state of self-harm, is hard to fight. Our subconscious stores all the aspects of our personality and our impressions. If you are a kind of person who is efficient in understanding situations, and you are forced to accept a wrong situation as right, the rebel in you subconsciously may develop the habit of punishing yourself. It is very important to be always fair with children so that they do justice to themselves. May God give you strength and more power to reach out and uplift lives.

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      Thank you, Sammi. You said it all so beautifully. I thank you very much. <3 Much love being sent your way!

  4. Tanya says:

    It’s so easy for people to turn a blind eye or not be informed enough to know how to deal with someone who has depression and suicidal thoughts. Posts like this are so helpful for people to understand a little more and I think it’s amazing that you have taken the time to be so open and honest with your readers

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      Thank you Tanya. It’s difficult to write about it, but it’s even more difficult when I hear that someone took his/her life and I did nothing about it. I really do hope that my posts from this series can help someone. <3

  5. Sheryl Thompson - The Wilderness Wife says:

    In my present state of mind, I cant even imagine wanting to commit suicide so I won’t claim to have any understanding as to why a person would. But obviously there is a level of hopelessness that they reach that makes life to much to bear. So many people want to be famous, thinking that celebrity and money are going to answer every problem that they have. Obviously it doesn’t. We need to become more spiritual and seek an inner peace that lets us be happy no matter where we are in the scheme of things. Personally I have found great peace in studying the teachings of the Dalai Lama.
    “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
    – Dalai Lama

  6. Shannon Gurnee says:

    Suicide is such a sad thing. I think that everyone deals with depression differently and sometimes it’s hard to recognize that something is wrong with someone we love or care about. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Tara Pittman says:

    I struggled with depression for many years so I know how dark it can be. Mine was the result of losing my brother. It was the love of others that helped me.

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      I’m sorry for your loss, Tara. I’ve also lost a brother and know how difficult life gets afterwards. I’m glad that you feel better now. I wrote about how others can help on my other posts. Yes, love is what helps, every time. <3

  8. Maysz says:

    Depression is a poison and it’s not easy part I’ve been through that before I fell the unhappiness and ignorance thank you to those people who post about this topic! Kudos! I have mental ill before I know what it feels!

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      Thank you for your input, Maysz. Stay strong. You’ll get through it as well. I hope that you are getting the help that you need, if not, please look for it!

  9. anshul says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Mental health needs more conversation and in extension, awareness. It is always a great loss when someone you loved goes away.

  10. Kamapala Chukwuka says:

    First, just want to say you are a beautiful soul. Anyone who takes the time to create awareness around an issue that is so devastating as depression/ suicide in my book is a hero. I’ve never had a close encounter with anyone who has been affected by this issue but I’m so burdened by the overall mental issues our society suffers today.

    I’m currently studying to become a certified counsellor for this reason(also believe I have the gift of encouragement😊)But yes, you are beautiful and I’m grateful for your life and what you are using your voice for. Keep up the amazing work. Lots of love x

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      Thank you so very much, Kamapala! I am glad someone who cares (you) will soon become a counselor! It’s very hard to find a therapist whom actually cares. I wrote about what I think of therapy and medication on the last post of this series. Check it out when you have some time, if you’d like!
      Thank you again for your comment. You are also a beautiful soul. 🙂

  11. Pradnya says:

    I know how difficult this might have been for you to write about. I have started to write but haven’t still been able to put my own experiences out there fully. Very inspiring!

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      Thank you, Pradnya. It’s definitely hard to talk about this subject… I hope I can help someone with my experience – It will make everything I went through, worth it! 🙂

  12. Leo T. Ly says:

    It’s very braves of to to share your experiences with the world and tries to encourage people to help themselves. We definitely need to find a reason for living and remind ourselves that our lives are worth living and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel if we keep on going towards it.

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      Thank you so much, Leo. It’s a delicate subject to talk about, but I hope I can help someone with my experience. It will make my experience worth it!

  13. Kristie Cirak says:

    Its a topic that is not talked about enough. When we see those in the public eye such as Robin Williams its a sense of scare that people didnt see it coming in such a public figure. Its such a sad subject that needs more awareness.

  14. Emma Riley says:

    Wow, this is such a nice post, very interesting and very informative. I am glad that you are able to talk about it and share this with us you give us an awareness about this matter.

  15. Abrah says:

    Beautifully explained. We so need to remind ourselves to keep going and that we are valuable and worthy.

  16. Ruth I. says:

    Those 4 things you mentioned are really uplifting. I do have depression and it is awful. I keep telling those words to myself each time I am down.

    • Conscious Health Writer says:

      You’ll get through it, Ruth. I’m glad I was able to help you in some way. Please read the rest of my posts if you can. It may help you even more. Much love being sent your way! <3

  17. Dalene Ekirapa says:

    You will get through! That’s definitely what I believe so even when it gets so tough, those words give me hope. Anyway, you’ve been through a lot and you are an example that we can get through…even before the face of suicide. I’m inspired!

  18. anosa says:

    This article is so powerful. Sometimes life can just seem so harsh, and when things aren’t changing despite your best efforts, this can feel like the only way. To anyone who’s feeling this was or has ever felt this way. Talk to someone, it helps more than anything.

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