Sitting in the Dark: Facing Suicidal Thoughts

Content Note: This article contains themes of depression and suicidal ideation. If you or a loved one are struggling, consider reading our mental health resources page or reach out to the suicide hotline at 988.

Chronic pain can make life challenging, even more so when you live without adequate medical care to manage that pain. My chronic daily migraines started in 2009, and my major depressive disorder started soon afterward.

How have my migraine and depression been linked?

While I was diagnosed with chronic migraine, none of the specialists could explain why my migraines went from episodic to chronic. The confusion over my new chronic pain and the lack of proper care made my major depressive disorder flare.

Research shows that psychiatric conditions like mood disorders are the most associated with migraine. Plus, these psychiatric conditions can influence “disease prevalence, prognosis, treatment, and clinical outcomes.”1

My darkness has consumed me from time to time. Sometimes the end result has been worse than other times. This is not a sunshine and rainbows look at suicidal thoughts – this is how suicidal thoughts have impacted MY life in an honest way.

How did my suicidal thoughts progress to attempts?

The first time I had serious suicidal thoughts, it proceeded beyond just thoughts. Sadly, I planned it out, to the best of my ability, and carried it out. I woke up several days later in the local hospital with my best friend sitting beside my bed. My sister had found me in my bed. She said I was foaming at the mouth. My sister and her husband rushed me to the hospital, where they pumped my stomach and kept me under observation.

When my suicidal thoughts returned, I made another plan. But this time, my best friend figured out what was going on. She convinced me that she needed to be in town to be close to her home which was under construction. Due to this, she stayed with me for a month. While it may have been an inconvenience for her, my friend staying with me kept me from trying to end my life again. By the time she left my house, I was in a better and safer mental place.

What has my most recent experience been?

The last time I was struck with suicidal thoughts was recently. There is a lot of stressful stuff going on in my life right now. Among these issues is waiting on the decision if my Social Security benefits will be continued.

The stress over this brought some familiar thoughts and feelings to the surface again. This time I did not act on these suicidal thoughts or require a 24/7 babysitter. I was able to work with my psychologist to manage the emotions I was dealing with and reduce the urges I was having.

How has my perspective shifted?

While some people may not view my journey as an improvement because I still face periods of suicidal thoughts, I do. I went from someone who acted out a plan, to someone who planned, to someone who just had the thoughts. Maybe in time, I will be someone who can face any challenge without having suicidal thoughts at all.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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