Hello to all. I am almost 58 years old and have been dealing with depression and anxiety for almost 20 years. It seems to run in my family. Over this long arc of time the effects of my condition have been corrosive so that it feels increasingly difficult to climb out of the dark moods. In the past few months I have discussed suicide with my wife of over 30 years. She has fibromyalgia, primary rheumatoid arthritis, and a crushed disk in her back. At times of extraordinary pain she has had impulsive suicidal thoughts. But as her pain episode subsides, so do the thoughts. Suicide is an open topic in our house, but not a constant one or an urgent one. With medications and some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques I have been able to deal with my depression over the years. However, the last couple of years have brought us some devastating financial reversals. My business, once thriving, is just barely profitable. My wife had to quit her last job, a job she held onto for the health benefits. She just could not work any more, even part time. She requires ongoing medical care and I don’t know how we are going to manage that. Our financial cushion is getting less cushy every month and we will soon be drawing on our retirement savings which have also been affected by the recession. We have a nice house that is worth more then we owe, but we have let it fall into disrepair and if we’re to sell it we need to fix it up. We need to simplify things financially and materially. We need to make out wills and so forth. So we have a To Do list. Just making that list has been something of a lift to our spirits. In the past I have used drugs and alcohol. However, I just seemed to have lost my enjoyment of alcohol a few years ago. I sometimes use opiate painkillers as an adjunct for lorazepam at times--especially when I have panic attacks. Don’t talk to me about “drugs are bad.” I believe that drugs have saved my life on a couple of occasions. I do use. I try not to abuse. But who is to say? Our society no longer makes that distinction, preferring hysteria for whatever reason. Or maybe I’m kidding myself. I do know this: There is no psychiatric or psychological treatment provider who does not immediately jump all over any admission of drug use yet are willing to prescribe their own drugs--the mechanisms of which are not generally understood and which by and large don’t work very well. I spend time on the subject of drugs because I would prefer to be honest and think there may people on these forums who can see past the hysteria and accept that maybe once in a while drugs are a side issue. I am not willing to defend or advocate drug use, but I am not much interested in listening to people who look at it and say, “Ah ha. There’s your problem right there.” It’s not. Overall, our situation seems to be spiraling down, down, down. And the larger economic system seems to be spiraling down. I am not a conspiracy theorist or doom and gloom enthusiast. It’s just that wherever you look things are bad and not getting better. Most of our friends and neighbors are alarmed about things in general, economic encouraging happy news snippets notwithstanding. I think my observations in this regard are real and not just a projection of my state of mind. And how does it end? Well, I guess we know how, just not when or where. I’m not happy with the idea that suicide is somehow taking control or that it solves a problem. I’m not happy with the idea that suicide is giving up either, although surrender has been looking more attractive. Like others here, I need someone to talk to. I need honesty. I need help from people who understand. That’s why I am here.