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this doesn't make any sense


Ralph

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When I'm depressed I fantasize about dying. Then I get a panic attack and I genuinely think I'm dying. I'd expect myself to feel relieved but quite the opposite happened. Why?

Possibly panic was the only way my subconscious could force me to reach out to another person (namely through the crisis hotline) and reconsider the seriousness of my plans.

Possibly I don't want to die; I just want to stop being alive. I want it to stop hurting and if I feel and remember nothing, then it wouldn't hurt anymore. The main reason I don't do it is the pain would just be spread out to those closest to me, and they don't deserve that.

They deserve better than I have given them, not worse. I don't know how to do better though. Every thoughtless thing I do, I choose because the consequence or significance of my actions doesn't ever occur to me until well after the fact. I'm trying to learn to be better and that's what seeing a priest is all about. Yet the more I work on that side the worse my depression gets.

In the back of my mind I know why. I'm not ready to face it though. It's like stuffing all the junk in the closet because you don't have time to really clean. Yet the more crap you stuff in the closet the more careful you have to be when opening the door and that's kind of the state my psyche is in right now.

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Ralph a LOT of us get stuck in patterns of false comfort. Fantasizing about death feels "comforting"--- the end to pain and struggle. It is not true comfort though. :) and when you pull your head out of it you get a shock, suicidal thoughts are the direct opposite of comfort and care, of course!!! you were about to murder yourself!:eek:

The path to true comfort gets blocked for us... especially if you have suffered the confusion of abuse and are struggling against yourself over very painful, confusing content. :o

The block isn't permanent though. I believe each one of us can learn to care for ourselves adequately. The heavy trauma you've undergone makes the idea difficult to approach, and I am so sorry this was handed to you to deal with:(. It is ok to reach for the things you need, the comfort you need, things that really work. You are absolutely worth it. We all are.

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Ralph...it is as if you wrote what I've been thinking about myself, word for word. The wish to die -- only to run from it when faced with the reality of death. The inability to recognize consequences of behavior until it's "too late." All of it. I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. It's a lot to deal with. I can see that you're putting in hard work to change, though, and I believe it will pay off. Take care of yourself.

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"When I'm depressed I fantasize about dying. Then I get a panic attack and I genuinely think I'm dying. I'd expect myself to feel relieved but quite the opposite happened. Why?"

Because you don't really want to die.

I had a similar dynamic for a long time, except that it wasn't panic attacks that would bring me up short. For me, the death fantasies were a way of telling myself that I was in intolerable pain (in my marriage), because I was unable to hear that, to force myself to admit it, any other way. I didn't act on my death wish because it was really a life wish, but for a different life than I had.

There is a way out of your pain that doesn't involve dying.

But that statement is a matter of my own belief; it won't be useful until you believe it.

And yes, take care of yourself as best you can in the meantime.

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I second Mark's comments.

I'll also point out that you are making healthy life choices. That's also inconsistent with wanting to die. I do the same. For me, it's like getting the body prepared for the day I feel better inside. Plus I believe that if I didn't do what I've been doing on the physical side, I'd already be dead.

I guess we both have a little hope. I think it is really a life wish we have, because if you think about it, we are dead already and we desperately want to get out of that state. We don't really know what another state of death would bring, but my guess is that if it's at your own hands, it may be even worse than the one you're in.

What is the source of all this pain Ralph. Is it external (people, events) or is it internal? Or external on top of the pre-existing internal problems?

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Thanks for the comments. It really helps. It's mostly internal and starts with social anxiety, leading to avoidance of a social life, leading to loneliness. There is other stuff behind the social anxiety. So I went to therapy saying my goal is to learn the skills needed to deal with people so that I am not awkward and shy in public.

I've been thinking about everyone's feedback and concluded I'm not really suicidal. However I have been in the past and those thoughts have become automatic, so that even when I am not feeling suicidal I will have thoughts about it if that makes any sense.

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Thanks for the comments. It really helps. It's mostly internal and starts with social anxiety, leading to avoidance of a social life, leading to loneliness. There is other stuff behind the social anxiety. So I went to therapy saying my goal is to learn the skills needed to deal with people so that I am not awkward and shy in public.
I can relate big time. For me, it depends on the situation and the people. If I feel like an outsider, I get extremely uncomfortable. If I feel included, I'm OK. But regardless, close long term relationships just elude me. But it sounds like you have lots of friends. Are they the type you can just call up and go hang out with? Or is the problem that it's all just at a superficial level?

Is therapy teaching you the skills to be more comfortable with people?

I've been thinking about everyone's feedback and concluded I'm not really suicidal. However I have been in the past and those thoughts have become automatic' date=' so that even when I am not feeling suicidal I will have thoughts about it if that makes any sense.[/quote'] Yes, I have the same thing. One thing that really helped was something Mark said "If you wanted to be dead, you'd be dead". That's true. A few months ago, I had the means, the wish, the immediate crisis and the irrationality all hit at the same time. I always thought that would be a fatal combination. Plus I was withdrawing from a med I had stopped cold turkey and my T was away. And I seriously contemplated checking out at the time. But I realize now, I wasn't even close. I just want a different life, not the permanent end of it.

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I have many friends but only a few in the state I currently live in, so I spend a lot of my time alone. Currently more than is comfortable, but then the anxiety keeps me from going out to a bar or some social place like that.

It's not easy for me to make friends because I don't care about the normal stuff like football or golf so it's hard for me to make small talk. I've tried to get into football just so I can talk to other guys, but that seems a little superficial and I even resent having to care about a bunch of 400lb millionaires do on Sundays. I have more respect for college athletes but still never quite picked up on why I should know the name of every quarterback since 1972 or what the defensive coordinator has for breakfast every morning - and this is the type of stuff I hear my coworkers and my grad school peers talking about, all the time. Sorry now I'm venting.

Anyway I am making progress to finding a group to socialize with, but I seem to be taking some time to get used to the idea. Basically I joined Mensa (a high IQ society) with the hope of finding people with whom I have genuine common interests. Yet I am freaking out trying to plan to go to any of the events and that's part of what therapy is supposed to be for. We haven't really gotten to specific skills yet though as the therapist needs to know all about my sordid past and childhood, etc. first.

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...I even resent having to care about a bunch of 400lb millionaires do on Sundays. I have more respect for college athletes but still never quite picked up on why I should know the name of every quarterback since 1972 or what the defensive coordinator has for breakfast every morning - and this is the type of stuff I hear my coworkers and my grad school peers talking about, all the time. Sorry now I'm venting.
Hey, somebody's finally given me one reason to be glad I'm not a guy:D.

Anyway I am making progress to finding a group to socialize with' date=' but I seem to be taking some time to get used to the idea. Basically I joined Mensa (a high IQ society) with the hope of finding people with whom I have genuine common interests.[/quote'] OK, so now I know who to go to for answers to the REALLY tough questions:)

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