After 30+ years of dealing with depression, it finally happened. I was declared a danger to myself and given a choice. I can voluntarily admit myself into the hospital or be admitted into the hospital. Either way, I was not going home that night and I did not know when I would get to again.
During therapy sessions, you always get asked the questions about suicidal ideation - “Have you had thoughts of wishing you weren’t alive?” Duh. “How often do you have these thoughts?” Wait, there was an option not to have these thoughts? “How well can you control the thoughts?” My normal answer is, “It’s just there - it’s white noise. I can’t turn it off, but I can turn it way down and focus on other stuff” (although I say it way less eloquently than that).
That afternoon, I finally understood that another answer to that question is “No, I can’t control the thoughts”. I’ve been here before and usually just let it ride - usually it passes after a day or so. This time it didn’t. It had persisted for a good three days and was to the point where if you put a loaded gun in front of me, I would have used it. I wanted to do it, but couldn’t figure out the logistics - how, when, where. The fact that I didn’t just do something drastic was indicative (in hindsight) that I was probably not a completely lost cause.
Long story short, I was hospitalized and released into intensive therapy. I would still continue with my current therapist and psychopharmacologist but I needed a little more therapy to get therapy. Over the years inside and outside of therapy, I’ve picked up some hacks and knowledge.
After reading this article recently I realized perhaps I can make a difference or at least put another voice out there for people like me, or dealing with people like myself.
This blog is not meant to replace getting inpatient or outpatient treatment (in fact, please do if you have even the slightest concerns about your personal mental health or the mental health of a loved one) but I do hope that I can pass along some tips and tricks and information so that you will wake up tomorrow.
about the author
My name is Dana Johnson and I am the creator of the Mood Check-In blog.