advice column ask question view feedback favorite columnist advicenators

Q: Personally, I have been very miserable all of my life. I have suffered from OCD as long as I can remember. I moved from New York to Florida when I was five years old. It was very traumatic for me. I have tried to commit suicide, but I just ended up in a mental institution. I do see a psychiatrist, but she does not help me. In fact, I only see her for the medication. I am absolutely miserable right now, especially with my job. I decided that I will no longer give any types of hints about suicide because I don't want to end up in a mental institution again. That did nothing to help me. I am going through preparations (getting my house ready, cleaning, trying to pay off bills).
I know that being suicidal and having OCD can be a double whammy - you can't stop thinking about suicide, even if you don't want to think about it, so you feel even worse. The key, I've found, is to break the cycle. This is where mindfulness comes into play. Mindfulness involves considering your actions before acting, and thinking about whether you should go through with them or not. If you catch yourself going into a downward spiral of self-loathing or suicidal ideation, you have to recognize it and interrupt your thinking pattern.

You can achieve this in lots of different ways. Exercise is one that has been highly suggested to me; really intense exercise doesn't leave much energy for thinking. Do something that involves thinking, that doesn't let you zone out: bake a cake, go out with a friend, do jumping jacks. In a very worst case scenario, I was taught by a past occupational therapist of mine that sticking your head in a bucket of cold water for a few seconds can really help. It sounds weird, but the shock of cold water and the forced breathing control that comes from being underwater can help to disrupt patterned thinking. Any good therapist should be very familiar with mindfulness training and should have some recommendations for you.

If things aren't working with your therapist, you should let her know. It can be awkward, but there's no point in continuing to go if the work you're doing now isn't helping. It may even be time to check out a different therapist. Different therapists use different techniques, so it's not a one size fits all thing.

I know that even when things are going well it can be hard not to deal with suicidal thoughts. Life can be lived with mental illness, and it can be lived well. I strongly suggest that you form a good support system. That can include relatives, friends or even peer support online. Other people (myself included) have been through things like you're going through. It is possible to keep going and to enjoy life despite our differences.

Q: Hi my parents finally found out that I want to be tested for being bipolar. It runs in my family and my emotions have been like a roller coaster since I was little. I'm kind of happy that I can get help, but Im scared. Like scared to the point were I would say I'm not going and wouldn't cooperate. And the thing is I don't know why! I've wanted help for so long but now that I can get it I'm terrified. I guess I'm afraid the medicine is going to change who I am and I've done some reasearch and the side effects are kinda bothersome to me. I dont know. Has any one ever been screened before for it and is now on the medication?
It's pretty scary. One thing to be grateful for is that you do have knowledge of a family history and can make an educated decision to monitor your mental health before things get beyond your control. This will make things so much easier for you.

There's no official test for bipolar disorder. A diagnosis is reached based on family history and symptoms being experienced. Lighting quick up and down emotions aren't necessarily an indicator; it's more about long-term patterns. You may be asked (and probably should, anyhow) to keep a mood diary where you track your mood and other factors like sleep, energy levels and events in your life. This can help patterns to emerge and can help you to maintain your mental health.

When it comes to medication, there is no one medication. There are lots of different meds and combinations of meds with different ways of working and different side effects. It took me years of constant tweaking to get on a medication regimen that works for me, and it only does a small part of the work. The rest is all about proper nutrition, exercise and maintaining a regular sleep schedule. Your doctor may ask you to change a few things about your lifestyle before putting you on a medication. If you are put on a medication, it may take some time to start working. The side effects can be nasty sometimes, so ask your doctor any questions you may have. It also may not be the right one for you; I had many medication changes and dosage adjustments. Be sure to stick to your guns and let your doctor know what works and what doesn't work for you.

The big thing when it comes to bipolar disorder is self care. It's really easy to let that slide when you're in one of your extreme moods, and that can make things much worse. Avoid caffeine and street drugs. Make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night, allowing for 8 hours (going without sleep for more than a week sends me rocketing off into mania). Exercise moderately, even if you don't feel like it. Most importantly, know yourself. Learn your patterns and what works for you.

It can be overwhelming living with bipolar disorder, but it is possible to live a full, productive, happy life. It can be tough to get the help you need, but the earlier you catch these things the easier it is; you don't want to go through all this while in crisis.

Q: 19, male. So over the past few months I've changed my perspective on many things. A few months ago I would have never behaved how I am now. It just seems like everything around me is fake. I've been planning on bringing an escort to my house as soon as my visiting family guests leave. I don't see the point in having a normal relationship at my age. I don't have the time for it anyway. My last relationship ended because I was always at work. Every time I see couples, they seem so fake and generic. Like everyone follows a made up standard of how a relationship should be. To add to it, I no longer see the point in being all emotional. Once you fall for it, if anything goes wrong, you get hurt. I let that happen to me before. I ended up ruining a friendship and slowing down my own progress with my life goal endeavours. So why should I put myself in that situation again? I'll actually save money and time by seeing escorts. No one gets hurt and I help the economy, along with gaining experience. A few months ago I would have disagreed with myself. I just don't want my friends and family to find out.Ironically, a lot of people think highly of me. But they're not going to understand, everyone's view on what's right and whats wrong is different. I bet if there were a guaranteed no judgment setting where nobody could judge them , they'd do things they would never do now , cause there'd be nobody around to tell them they're wrong. And I know the risks of STD's. The dilemma there is that someone you love and trust can give you one too. So there's no way to be completely safe from it. I honestly see more pros than cons, the cons are mostly universal in the fact that they can be found in normal relationships anyway. But the pros seem to heavily outweigh the cons, I get to stay working, I could focus on my goals, I get what I want, and I save time and money.How am I wrong for this??And I know it's selfish,but you need to be selfish to succeed, I'm not living and working for other people so. Just can't let my family and friends know.
Depending on where you live, it may be illegal to hire an escort. You would also be contributing to an industry that often ends in women being harmed.

I agree with your thinking that you should hold off on dating for a while. You have a recent breakup to process, and you've got a lot going on in your life. There's no problem with holding off on dating. That said, I don't agree with the idea that hiring an escort will solve all of your problems. If anything, I would think it would damage your self-esteem to only see women who are paid to be intimate with you.

So wait a while before trying to date again. Focus on your relationships with friends and yourself for the time being. Sex isn't all that important; you can take care of those needs on your own. Just work on being as happy and self-fulfilled as you can, and you'd be surprised how easy relationships can be after that. I met my husband while we were both on breaks from dating. Since neither one of us was trying to impress the other, it meant that we liked each other the way we were. Things can work out in ways you would never imagine!

Q: Okay, so I was really freaking bored and stupid and came across something called "MK Ultra" and things about mind control. I researched about it and it's really scaring me. Like, seriously. I'm still confused about it all, but what if I get it or I have it? 2 million of Americans were victims. I'm so terrified. I have really bad anxiety and depersonalization, causing me to get scared over this and think I'm being controlled by somsone. What are symptoms? What happens?! I'm so terrified.
WERE victims is the key here. The MKUltra program ended in the 70s. It is interesting to read about, but it was an unsuccessful program.

The government was experimenting in mind control for military purposes. Their techniques were questionable, and the studies involved no consent from participants. Any study done now requires full consent from the participant.

Unless you took a bunch of LSD from a guy in a suit back in the 60s, you should be fine.

Q: Okay so im 14/f and since i was 11 ive identified as a lesbian (that was when i figured it out) but now im starting to question myself. I know im definitely not straight, 0% chance, and i highly doubt bisexual, i dont know it just doesnt quite feel right, neither does pansexual but it does sound closer to what im looking for. Im romantically and sexually attracted to girls, but sometimes i meet a boy, (and when i say sometimes i mean this has happened twice in the past 3 years) and im just like, "You. You are sweet and really cute and i want to be really close with you and hug you but i cant necessarily see myself with you or anything" but its just confusing me bc it *feels* pretty freaking similar to a crush but im just not attracted to boys?? I dont think I am?? I feel like I might be maybe homosexual and panromantic? does that sound right or am i just confused with all the labels? Thank you in advance to anyone who helps
I\'m going to echo Adviceman here; don\'t bother with the labels. It took me until after I was married at 25 to figure out what exactly you would call my orientation. You\'re way too young to know exactly what you\'re looking for at this point, simply because you haven\'t had the experiences to confirm it. You\'ve got a lot of growth and development to go through before you\'ll really know for sure.

Q: What meds seem to be most effective for those with bipolar?
There's no single answer, even when it comes to what meds are most effective for one person with bipolar disorder.

In trying to get on a good medication routine, I've had to try 6 or 7 meds in different combinations. Some worked temporarily, or some only covered one symptom. Some gave me terrible side effects that I couldn't live with. I've had continuous adjustments to dosages. It hasn't been easy, but my doctors have led me through the process.

Bipolar disorder isn't like a headache: you can't choose a medication based on a general consensus. Your doctor will select medications for you to try based on your body chemistry and what your particular needs are. For example, I'm a student so there's one that's effective that I haven't been prescribed because it causes difficulties with reading comprehension. Medication is on a case-by-case basis. If you're put on a medication that isn't working for you, then let your doctor know that a change is in order.

Q: it makes no sense to me that most people like to think about sex all the time as in masterbating boobs nudity and ect that is just plain sick and ps im not one of those people that do think about that crap hollywood even making cartoons that show that kind of stuff why is it so popular now .
Sex has always been a popular topic for us humans. In the ruins of Pompeii they've even found vulgar graffiti and mosaics!

There's nothing wrong with sex, masturbation, or the human form. It's a perfectly natural part of life, and one that you'll eventually come to terms with in some form or another. It's something all mankind has in common.

Q: I think you all suck major balls. I've been trying to find a painless way to kill myself for the past 2 hours. If someone wants to kill themselves then they probably have a very good reason for it so why don't you fuckers just give some fucking answers instead of the FAKE bullshit like "your too young to die" or "You have so much to live for" or "think about how your hurting your loved ones" in most cases what the hell makes you think we HAVE loved ones??? I'm so fucking sick of seeing those bullshit answers and i'm not even the person asking it on the fucking forms. If you can't answer the question then don't say anything at all! for me, as i'm sure it is for most, it is NOT for attention. It's to die PAINLESSLY. We don't give a fuck about how wonderful YOU think life is. The worst one i've seen yet is someone who has an illness and is in pain 24/7. no one could even help that poor soul end it. FUCK you all for not helping. FUCK YOU. go die. You are the reason for suicide. You are all stupid. I hate you. FUCK YOU ALL. You are NOT showing compassion you are being fucking HEARTLESS.
Echoing what Alin said, we can't tell people how to commit suicide. It's a serious legal issue, and you could be arrested for providing that kind of assistance, even in a seemingly anonymous situation.

I was one of those people who came here asking for a painless way to die, back in 2006. I asked an anonymous question, and I was hoping to find a way out. I was just starting to spiral into the worst depths of mental illness, and I saw no hope in my future. Mostly, I felt worthless and miserable and isolated, and I didn't feel like I could possibly live another day.

Here's why every response to a suicide question is important:

I came to Advicenators looking for a way out, but I ended up finding a reason to stay. The outpouring of concern from total strangers, the assurance that someone, somewhere cared if I lived or died. When everyone around me was abandoning me and my life was falling apart, I found solace in this website. Not every answer was solid gold. I got some religious commentary, which was useless for an atheist like me, and I got some young teenagers telling me "Life's not so bad :D". I also got some really smart, compassionate answers from experienced individuals. Every one of those answers meant that someone was taking the time to tell me they care, which is what a lot of suicidal people feel is lacking.

So, was everything sunny from then on? Hell no. Since that date there were multiple suicide attempts and hospitalizations and absolute mental breakdowns until I found the right treatment regimen with the help of my doctor. It was 5 years of hell before I could even pick myself up enough to start leaving the house on a regular basis. Did Advicenators fix all of my problems? No. But I found just a little strand of hope here, something I could fix my gaze on when everything else was a howling black void. I could come back and ask questions about how to deal with my situation, whether I should call the doctor after overdosing and how to cope with the aftermath of my really bad episodes.

I answer suicide questions when I can, especially when people go into their reasons. Why do I do this? Because I wouldn't be here if it weren't for this website. I wouldn't have met the man of my dreams. I wouldn't have lived to see us buy our first house, and I wouldn't have walked down the aisle on my perfect, sunny wedding day. I would have given up on myself, never believing that things could get better. I don't want anyone to sell themselves short like I did. Everyone has hidden strength within them, and sometimes all it takes is someone telling them that they're worth the fight.

I agree that someone who is in chronic pain from a terminal illness should be given the option of physician-assisted suicide. I don't believe that someone who is looking to suicide as a way to escape a bad situation, a traumatic past, or a mental illness should be helped along that path. Every death that results from something like that is preventable, and we do our best here to prevent it.

So no, we're not all platitude-spouting asshats. You'd be surprised at how many of us have scars. The difference between us and the rest of the world is that we're willing to show those scars to total strangers and tell them that they're not alone, that we care and that things can get better.

Q: Billie Joe Armstrong. I know-yesterday, he turned 41, and I'm just a teenager. I know every thing about him, and Green Day and Sweet Child and ... Billie. I'm not asking for advice on how to stop liking Green Day since I spent more than $500 of Green Day/Billie stuff just this year, plus having every song of him possible, plus tickets to see his AI show in my area soon but ... is there anything wrong with me? I'm sorry if I disturb you, like, I know he's married, but I've had these dreams and all kinds of ... oh god, I'm ranting, I'll stop. Should I tell my parents, since they already know I like Green Day and all, and my friends like Green Day too. I feel stuck. I have a journal filled with Billie Joe Armstrong drawings and lyrics and desires and entries of why I like him and all ... btw, I'm a girl, just thirteen, and anything would be good. Thank you.
When I was 13, I was in love with Dexter Holland of The Offspring. Like, seriously in love. For some perspective, he's my father's age and I'm 25 now. You're not alone in this sort of thing.

Obsessions are part of being 13. I can pretty much guarantee you that by the time you hit 16 or 17, you'll have calmed down a lot. There's no harm in fantasizing about a famous person, so long as you recognize that nothing will come of it. So enjoy, and keep those journals to giggle about when you're my age :)

Q: The last two days I've fallen into a horrible slump. I feel like I don't really exist and maybe I should just kill myself. I feel like the economy and our government has screwed me over and like nothing will ever work out.

I fought so hard to graduate from HS with honors, multiple awards, lots of volunteer hours and two months out of high school I got my first job making $10.25 an hour. I get paid biweekly so I take home 1410 and give my mom 550 of it for rent so I keep $860. I would still need to pay for my own car which would cost me $550 in financing every month and about $80 car insurance which leaves me with $230. $70 of that goes to my cell phone bill which is $160. The rest of that would go towards groceries.

I am basically screwed. There is no way I will be able to move out anytime soon but she wants me out of the house before the end of the year.

I keep thinking I should just kill myself.

None of my family cares about me. Boys lose interest in me after a couple weeks of talking to me when they realize I don't want to have sex with them right away. I don't have very many friends. I don't have anybody to help me financially.

The only other way I see out is that I've been on this sugar daddy site where a lot of guys seem to think I'm really gorgeous and intelligent and want to give me a chance.

One of them talks about how much he wants to spoil me and that I would never have to work again and even that he would want me to live with him.

Right now I'm too scared to even walk to a local store by myself let alone fly out on a plane alone to meet a total stranger based on some stuff he wrote to me on the internet.

I also don't want to do that because I don't want to turn into some high class whore because I know those guys would want sex and I always thought of myself as one of those girls who was going to find the right guy and marry him and then lose her virginity but I don't think that's going to happen now. I think maybe moving in with one of those guys is my last resort and hey if they wind up killing me or something oh well it's not like I was ever going to get anywhere else anyways.

Right now everything just seems to lead back to me having to die. There is no way out. I've become a victim of the economy and nobody will help me because I'm just one in a trillion people living on a planet in the middle of a galaxy within a universe within only god knows what.

Who cares about some 18 year old or her hopes and dreams? Realistically nobody does.

There is no meaning to life. Nothing is going to work out. I will die in the end anyways.

You seem like you're too smart to be content with being someone's arm candy, and that's good. You need self-worth to get through times like this.

The first step is to stop thinking of yourself as a victim. You're not a victim of your mother and you're not a victim of the economy. You have a choice in which direction your life takes. You have employment and you have brains. It's up to you to make your hopes and dreams come true, not the universe!

You're still pretty young, and the boys your age are even younger. Most 18 year old boys aren't going to be looking for a steady, slow, logical relationship. It's not you, it's them. Don't feel down on yourself because they're all idiots. Sooner or later, you'll find someone who is looking for what you are.

As for the hopelessness of moving out: looking at the numbers you've given I would say that there's a lot of wiggle room, believe it or not.

1) Rent

Make sure that you're being given a fair rate for rent in your area. Check out craigslist and see what one bedroom, utilities included goes for. $550 seems awfully high, and you may even save money by moving out. If you're willing to share an apartment, you can save a lot of money.

2) Car

$550 a month is way above what you should be spending on car financing. Either your payment term is too short, the interest rate is exorbitant or you're getting a really nice brand new car. Our lightly used Ford Focus was $12 000, and our payments work out to $230 a month over 5 years, which is totally reasonable. If you can't afford those payments for a car, lowering your standards will go a long way.

3) $70 cell phone bill

This is another place you can pare down. I get that you want data and all that fun stuff, but if you've got to get out on your own, you will need to learn to sacrifice bits and pieces like that. See if you can lower your bill at all: even bringing it down to $50 a month will save you $240 a year!

4) Groceries

If you don't cook, learn how. Start budgeting your grocery bill. At our very most poverty-stricken (2 people living on one part-time income) we were eating on $30 a week. When I was living on my own as a student, my grocery bill came to $25 a week. You can easily build some wiggle room by being thrifty with your grocery money.

All in all, I see where you could free up at least $150 a month. Saved up over a year, that should be enough to split first and last month's rent for a 2 bedroom apartment with another person. It's very doable.

It sucks lowering your standard of living when you strike out on your own, but it teaches you really valuable life skills, and it's really satisfying. It also can give you a little more insight into the path you want your life to take from there. You may want to seek further education to open up your earning capability. There are lots of options out there to examine.

Q: Is masturbation normal?? If it is, can it get you pregnant?

Sorry, I'm a paranoid 11 year old :)
Masturbation is totally normal. Most of us do it at some point or another, and it's part of a healthy sex life.

The best thing about masturbation is that it's basically risk free. You can't get pregnant, you won't get STIs and it makes you feel good. It's a win-win-win!

Q: i think i have been suffering from GAD for awhile but at the moment, 15/f i dont have healthy insurance and we dont really have the money to get a screening test or something. bu for right not a lot of traumatic things have happended in my life that have emotionally fucked me up. depression was one of them, but slowly now i am feeling better due to huge changes i made,i am not on medicationa and never was and really dont want to be. i perfer working out, yoga, eating healhty and socializing the best i can. i am usually, or what i am trying to get back is that i am a really funny, unfiltered, spontaneous, talktive person but when this all happend 3 years ago everything about me changed including the way i interacted with people and my thoughts and emotions. like i said its getting better, my dpression but my anxiety is kinda bad. i dont really get anixety attacks anymore but i have to present something for school in front of my class at achool and usually i would get an A on it becasue its so easy for my to just keep talking about what the topic is, even if i didnt totally know what it was about. but this time we have to have notecards and do a powerpoint and the powerpoint is just supposed to have pictures on it and the notecards are supposed to have the info on it and your supposed to "present" to the class from the notecards and elaborate on it. im scared becasue out of no where i cant concentrate i start almost sweating and i cant breathe and i feel like im going to faint, or my knees start shaking, i cant even breathe to the point where i cant catch my breath and theres just this long pause and its so awkward. one time i actually had to physcially stop and go up to the teacher and make some exscuse. so by my doing really good this could really help my self confidence but if do really bad this could be bad. what could i do to help my anxiety? its not even that im nervous of presenting, it comes naturally to me but this happens and i dont know why?? thankyouu
As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I get you. It's totally possible to feel anxious about stupid things that you aren't nervous about. There are days when getting on the bus makes me anxious, but it's not like I'm afraid of taking the bus.

The key is to practice. And practice and practice and practice. Practice until you can do it with your eyes closed and then practice some more. Don't leave anything to chance. Also, if possible I find that volunteering to be first is (counterintuitively) a good tactic. When you go first you don't have to sit in your seat and stew about what's coming up.

I also like to stop prepping an hour or so beforehand and just focus on relaxing. This goes for tests, too. Any cramming you do at the last minute only makes you more anxious, and you're not going to get anything out of it. Don't even look at your cue cards for an hour before your presentation. Practice your breathing exercises and relax as best as you can.

Q: hey my phyciatrist gave me some meds for depression anxiety ocd im 13 and start them tommorow what does that feel like
i self harm will it help with that
You probably won't feel very much at first. I know that when I start a new medication there are sometimes some side effects like headache, nausea, or other things like that.

The main thing is to give it time. Don't expect a big change right away. Over time you'll notice that things get a little easier.

If you experience really bad side effects (I had one medication that made me throw up every day) or if you wait a month and aren't feeling any better, talk to your doctor about switching. If things get worse, tell your doctor right away. I know it seems counterintuitive, but no matter what don't stop taking the meds on your own. If you stop cold turkey you can experience some terrible withdrawal symptoms.

Q: Hi,
I'm still going though the last week of my life. I'm not going to stop and think twice about it. Today is Monday and I have a few days to go

My life has no purpose and meaning. I never had any serious relationship and I have no idea what love is.
I've turned to church but I don't think anybody understand what I'm going through.

I wake up every day going through life like a wombie. I can't talk to anyone because I can't really explain it or when I tried very hard to put words on my pain, people think that I have no real reason to feel this way.

I have people telling me that what I'm feeling is not normal in a sense that I should be ashamed of feeling the way I do.

And to be honest with you I sometimes do. I feel ashamed of not being happy of not trying hard enough to make myself happy. I told them I'm lonely, they said go out and find yourself a guy like it was easy to do or like I didn't want to do. It's not easy for some people to open up about their feelings.

I feel like I don't belong to the world, like there is no place for me anywhere. I promise you if anything bad will happened, it will happened to me. I always say or do the wrong thing that get everyone hate me. People think I'm weird and I must be an idiot. I graduated from high school when I was 15. I have a bachelor degree which I got when I was 21 (because I moved to the US and I had to learn the language).People think I'm stupid because of my accent.

I'm not from here and I feel like I don't belong, back home I didn't feel like I belonged either.

It doesn't make sense to myself, I don't know what the hell is wrong with me but I'm not ok. I don't know how to put words on my pain.

But I'm done trying to fit in into this world which may not wants me anyway.
I didn't respond earlier because I felt like you really needed time to think things through on your own.

Being depressed isn't something to be ashamed of. Neither is being lonely. Both are a part of the human condition. Fortunately so are love, happiness and laughter.

If you're still around to read this, I urge you to find professional help. Sometimes family and friends will give well-meaning but hurtful or useless advice, but a professional will listen to you and try to help you work your way through things. A counselor, psychiatrist or even a religious leader can be a great resource when you're trying to come to terms with life and its difficulties.

I really, truly hope that you are still alive and well. Life is a struggle, but it is worthwhile when things start turning around.

Q: This coming week is my last week on earth. I have decided that next week by this same time, I would be dead. I'm not asking for an answer or any kind of empathy for my person. Life sucks and it not going to suck any less next year or tomorrow.
Something hard changes your life, you tried to make your life go back to the way it was, but you do not succeed. Then you've lived so LNG in the situation that ou got used to it, then surprise, something even worse happens. Again you tried to get used to it and again and again and again you get hit every time you get up. (if that makes any sense to anyone, then you surely understand me).

I have tried to make it more like I would like it, I have tried very hard but I'm still miserable everyday even more. I guess this is my final note because I assume no one will read this until it's done and I'm gone.
My life is like a sand at the beach, no matter how different it is, it's still a piece of sand and one less would definitely not even be remembered for a long time and it won't even do any thing to anyone. Us humans don't care about something unless it actually affect us personally or someone in our entourage.

If this is true, then The sun will continue to shine and everything else will be the same for all of you who don't know me.

Whoever read this, please tell my parents that I'm so so so sorry and they were good to me.
To the rest of the family I love you. I love you all but I can't take it anymore I'm sorry I just can't. Please forgive me and try to make your lives matter and I hope that you guys live for a long time.
I've been there. Trust me, I have.

I know what it's like to get used to hardship only to have something worse happen and send you plummeting again. I know what it's like to have this happen over and over and over until you can't take it any more.

I also know what it's like to give up on life. I know what it's like to take all the pills you can before someone stops you and what it's like to end up in the hospital having your stomach pumped. I know what it's like to have your family hate you for putting them through something like this.

I'm telling you what I know so that you'll take me seriously when I say that there is light on the other side. If I had been successful on any of my several suicide attempts, I would never have been married. I wouldn't be going to school right now. I wouldn't be sitting here and hoping that I can keep you from making the same mistake I did.

You can't get your old life back, no matter what people tell you. I've missed out on years of living as a young adult because I spent most of it as a total headcase. I'm stuck in a program at school that is a lower level than what I am capable of, because I screwed up my academic career when I went off the rails mentally. I don't have a lot of friends, and I'm not the bubbly, outgoing person I used to be. But you know what? It's not all that bad. Sure, I don't have my old life, but I don't take my new life for granted. I'm diving into school with an energy I never had before, because I'm realizing that I might have missed out on graduating from college. I'm not perky and outspoken now, but I am stronger, more mature and a hell of a lot more compassionate than I was before everything went downhill.

We are the sum of our experiences, or at least the sum of what we take from each one. A person who has dealt with hardship and made it through is going to be a stronger, deeper and better person for it. You won't get your old life back, but if you make it past this roadblock you'll be adding to your new life and your new self.

I get that feeling that individual lives are insignificant, but I can tell you that I learned the opposite on the various occasions when I either wanted to or tried to kill myself. The first time I dealt with the impulse as an adult, I learned that strangers on the internet are capable of an incredible degree of caring and compassion. My first attempt, I learned that my real friends are the ones who will stick by me through anything, rather than running the moment an awkward topic comes up. My second attempt, I learned that there is no way I could possibly hurt more than my family hurt when I had to call them from the hospital and tell them what had happened. And the last time I had to deal with a really strong suicidal urge, I learned that I need to fight for myself.

No life is insignificant. You can't possibly fathom the reach of your connections until you see them all laid out in front of you. For example, your family is good to you, so they must care about you. They might not see or understand how much you hurt right now, but they do care. And throughout writing this response to your post, I have actually been in tears, not because of rehashing my painful past, but because it kills me that someone else feels the way I felt. I've never met you, and wouldn't know you if I brushed past you in the street, but if I were to find out that nobody was able to save you, I would be devastated.

Your life matters, and it will continue to matter. Just keep pushing and fighting, even when you have no fight left in you. It's not like there's a magical break, and everything is sunshine and puppy dogs. I'm not going to feed you that line of crap. Life does suck, and often, but life can be amazing too. I'm not going to pretend like I don't still struggle, but I am grateful for every day I have, and I know you will be too.

Please, talk to someone. Even if it's just through this website or a suicide hotline, or if it's a friend, relative or medical professional. Tell someone what you're going through, and get the support you need to make it. You are worth the fight.

Q: Like say I'm driving on the highway and I start to put my car on the gravel on the side of the road and then I just over correct to where my car flips. Would I live from that??
You can live through a severe car wreck, and you can die from a fender bender. It all depends on the injuries you get.

Since you posted this under mental health, I'm assuming that you're thinking about suicide. If that's the case, don't go through with this.

For entirely pragmatic reasons, you shouldn't even give this a shot because you could end up living, but with horrible injuries. Months or even years of rehab and pain. You could end up braindead, living forever with limited mental function.

You could hurt someone else. Someone who rounds the bend unexpectedly, someone who tries to get you out of your car and is injured in an explosion. Not to mention family and friends who would be hurting forever because of the hole you're no longer there to fill.

There's always a way out, but suicide isn't the one to take. Call a hotline near you, or go to the nearest ER if you feel like you're in immediate danger. There's always help, it just might take a little time to work. Give yourself a chance.

Q: hi dear!!am 20 years old female(India). one boy loves me sincerely.even i do..he is so much possessive.. he will not let me to talk with any other boys because of his possessiveness..but sometimes i hate him because of this attitude because i will not be able to talk to any other boys even though i think they are my good friend.... he always cares for my proper dressings..always he warns me to dress up neatly..i assure you i always dress up neatly..sometimes without my knowledge my shawl can move aside.. but he never forgive me for that.. always he scolds me in public that i wanted to adjust my shawl..even he has bet me once in our bus-stop before all because of this shawl matter.. i was so much hurt when i asked for the reason crying he said i bet you because your shawl was not proper and so happy that i have full rites to beat you since you are my wife like that he said...also if i put mobile in silent mode then if he is not able to contact me he will get more tension and scolds me like a hell... all these silly matters hurts me a lot.. but still he loves me he cares for me like heaven..he is in true love with me... whenever he scolds me i feel like hating him and i feel like i lost my life totally..Even though i think to leave him my heart is not allowing suffering to see him lonely..because he has no friends in college...what should i do???is this kind of love important??always it ends up with a fight whenever i think to be happy with him... i cant lead a good life..he is the person who can do anything for me.he is my family friend the girl always wanted to be happy..always i should feel free..i hate anyone who comple me to do something..but in this love am happening to sacrifice many things..if i change my character and sacrifice all the things for my guy,wil i be able to be happy?? if i decide to leave him,there will be no one for me who cares for me but at the same time i wanted to be happy..what should i do??please help and advice me....
You won't be happy if you change yourself for someone, especially if that person is abusive.

This guy may tell you he loves you, and he may be very sweet most of the time, but he is abusive and controlling. He has no right to lay a hand on you for any reason, and he has no right to scold you and make you feel like nothing. If he's being abusive now, things will only get worse if you end up getting married. He has made it clear that he believes that this is a healthy relationship dynamic and it's not.

You deserve better than this, and you can find it. There are many, many men out there in the world who will treat you well and love you. If you're having trouble leaving, there are resources in place.

Studies have shown that up to 70% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. This puts you at risk for serious injury, emotional damage and possibly death. If you were to marry this man and have children with him, your children could be subject to the same. If you are having trouble leaving, contact a domestic violence helpline near you.

Q: 18/f/usa
I have a history of depression, I've been medicated on antidepressants for I think like 2 years.. When I began taking prozac I also started adderall for my A.D.D.
Throughout my life I've always been one to procrastinate, but lately it's amplified to the point where I can't finish anything.
I've tried cleaning my room probably seven times within the past 2 months and I've yet to completely finish it (my room is pretty small and doesn't require any special cleaning. It's probably like 12 by 14?).
My graduation open house was on June 2nd and even though I went right out and bought my thank yous, I have completed only a handful. This IS a very tedious task, since there are so many to hand write and address, but it's been on the top of my priority list since the event.
I have no motivation to finish anything I start and sometimes can't even start things I know I have to. How can I get and stay on track? What's a good mindset to keep?
When is the last time your dosage was modified? Your body will get used to a low dosage after some time, and may require more to get the same effect.

I know that when my medication is up for a tweak, the first things I notice are that my sleep cycle is out of whack and that I have trouble doing things. This may be a matter to take to your doctor.

In the meantime, try keeping yourself on a strict schedule. If you have certain things you need to get done, schedule time for them and don't allow yourself to do anything but that. Be specific. Instead of "Clean my room" write out a list of tasks you need to do in that room and check them off as they're completed. That way you're not doing one big project, you're doing a bunch of smaller ones that only take 5 minutes.

Also try rewarding yourself. Get 5 thank yous done, watch TV for a half hour. Get all of them done, go out to a movie. A method I used to get through massive amounts of math problems was to get something tasty like chocolate covered raisins, and have one after every problem I completed. If you can't pull motivation out of nowhere, you need to make your own.

Good luck!

Q: Don't worry, I'm not going to do it, as the cons greatly outweigh the pros, and I know suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. but ever since I've put myself in more stress the more I think about it. I don't even have any methods planned or anything, it's just when I feel really sad and ashamed I want to just melt into the ground and not be seen, and not try and reach out for help. i've started seeing a therapist but I hate how it's only once a week, I feel like I have so much to get off my chest. I think all my problems revolve around me being a perfectionist, so it's like because I haven't been perfect I don't deserve to exist. I'm so much harder on myself than others. I accept others when they fail but I feel like I need to be extremely successful when I'm older, and know that I can, but being a perfectionist just gets in the way because it immobilizes me, makes me procrastinate, and then makes me feel guilty. it's an endless cycle. it's so hard to break out of it, and i know it's wrong but I still feel like I have to do even do more perfect work to make up for my f*** ups in the past. it's like i'm trapped in a hell of my mind. why can't i just let the past go so I can start working on reaching my dreams? why am I doing this to myself when it's stupid and doesn't get me anywhere? I want to be a high achiever instead of a perfectionist, so I can accept my mistakes and still work hard. but how do I do this? I still have many perfectionistic tendencies..

sometimes I'm afraid of a loss of control, though. like i have to go to the bathroom before going anywhere, like the bus or in a car, or i'll have anxiety over suddenly needing to use the bathroom. and train stations scare me cause i'm afraid something will make me want to run and jump on the tracks.. i don't know why i'm afraid of this when it's never something i'd want to do and yet it's like i'm afraid of myself. i also put walls between me and most people. one benefit is that they aren't close enough to really hurt me at my core, but the cons are a lot worse as it's prevented me from having meaningful relationships, really, if i can't even trust others with my problems. i like to help out others and am open minded with them and yet i think they'll think negatively of me and leave me if i tell them my closest feelings. ugh why have i allowed myself to be this stupid. i wish i could just snap out of it, maybe if i did a long time ago my teenage years wouln't have sucked so bad and i'd actually be going to a great college right now on full scholarship. now im going to community college and i want to transfer later with great grades but i need to get a drive to do it and believe in myself or i'll just end up doing the same BS I've been doing in high school. i know i'm smart enough to do well in this world, but how can i get out of my rut??
I'm going to second Zane, but add another possibility: OCD.

I know, everyone knows OCD as the "counting" problem. Touching things even numbers of times, turning the lights on and off, washing your hands. It's not just that.

My main symptom of OCD was extreme perfectionism in myself. Example: it takes me forever to do homework by hand because if I make a mistake and have to erase it I need to start over on a new piece of paper because it's already "too messed up". A mistake can be anything from sloppy writing to an incorrect answer to untidy arrangement of the answer. Another example: even as a child, I wouldn't hand in homework. My mother said that she once went into my desk and saw dozens of completed homework assignments that weren't handed in. Why? Because I didn't think they were good enough. I still do the same thing today, although with counselling I'm getting better. It comes across as procrastinating, but it's more than that.

So yeah, OCD is definitely something to look into. Treatment varies from medication to cognitive behavioural therapy, which teaches you to practice mindful thinking. They get you to think before acting each time, and eventually it gets easier to make decisions. You can even try looking it up and working on it at home!

Q: i get very depressed a lot. my doctor says i have a mood disorder. i think im bipolar but he is the doctor. he hasn't found the right dosage of medicine for me yet. i tried to kill myself with pills a few months ago. i dont want to do it again. can anyone give me tips for how to deal with depression.
Don't ever, ever say "You're the doctor" when it comes to your health.

I'm not saying that you should use Google to diagnose yourself, but if you don't agree with a diagnosis and have real reasoning to back it up, fight until your doctor will listen to you.

I have bipolar disorder. I was misdiagnosed as having depression when I was a young teenager and subjected to years of antidepressants that did nothing but make me manic and miserable. It took until I was 20 or so before I had the guts to stand up to my doctor (thanks to a great counselor I had!) and tell him that I don't think I have depression. The problem is, rapid cycling bipolar disorder is easily mistaken for depression. The main question they'll ask is if you've had a mania lasting longer than a few weeks. Mine don't, usually, so my complaints of days of insomnia and high-flying were mostly ignored.

Chart your symptoms day by day in a journal. Take note of how much you sleep and when, what your activity levels are and what your mood is like. Don't just use the 1-10 scale. Are you happy, sad, agitated, euphoric, depressed? Did you experience anything like paranoia, hallucinations, etc? I'm not sure if you're female or not, but if you are keep track of your menstrual cycle in the same place, because hormones can affect your mood cycles as well. Keeping track of all of this can help your doctor in figuring out how best to treat you. If there's clear evidence that you're suffering from something other than depression and your doctor won't listen to you, find one who will.

Whatever you do, make sure you keep taking the medication, even if you don't feel it's working. The withdrawal from antidepressants is killer and can make you extremely ill.

Don't get in a situation where you can obsess over bad thoughts. If you get stuck in a loop, go do something else. Read a book, play a video game, knit a sweater, cook a dozen loaves of banana bread. Go for a walk and listen to music so loud that you don't get a chance to think.

If you're really struggling, open up to someone near you. Stay with a friend or family if you normally live alone. Avoid being in a situation where you are alone and suicidal in a house with anything that can harm you. Find a safe place, even if it's just a coffee house.

I know it's hard sometimes to keep living life when you're depressed. Even little things like getting in the shower can be a huge chore. So celebrate those little accomplishments. Be proud of yourself for getting out of bed, for showering, for putting on clothes. Every tiny step you take gets you closer to being better.

Most of all, don't lose track of the fact that you are not your depression. You are still yourself, and as soon as you're out of the fog you will be back to normal (mostly). Depression can make us miserable, awful people to be around, but that is always temporary.

My Personal Forum

My name is Amanda and I'm 26 years old. I'm currently studying electrical engineering. Armed with a fairly odd sense of humour and a sunny outlook on life, I'll take on just about anything. I'm also cussedly stubborn, which has its ups and downs. Things get tough sometimes, and I've never been one to run from it.

In my last 8 years with Advicenators, I've gone from honours student to failing out of university (and getting back on top again!), from single to married, from tenant to homeowner.

Until lately, I have been struggling with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and OCD, which had basically ruined my life and taken just about everything from me. I'm thankful every day for every experience I've had because of this ordeal, because it's helped to make me who I am today. Things like that really make you appreciate what you do have. Now that I'm back in work and school and starting to become myself again, I couldn't be happier. I credit Advicenators with saving my life back when I was a teenager, which is a big part of why I'm still here.

I won't necessarily give you the answers you want to hear, but I'll always be honest and do my best to help.


Ontario, Canada



Member Since:
February 14, 2006


Last Update:
May 10, 2015


Main Categories:

Favorite Columnists

layout by Adam Particka

eXTReMe Tracker