Planning a suicide attempt broke my years-long depression - what? why? how?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Donot Ask, Oct 6, 2016.

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  1. Donot Ask

    Donot Ask New Member

    Right. Bear with me on this one. I'm new to both this forum and this whole suicide topic, so sorry in advance for any newbie mistakes.

    Tl;dr-version of "My Story":
    I'm a 28 year old male STEM-field student from northern Europe. Because of my heritage, a great deal is expected of me in terms of education and success. I also have a strong personal urge to succeed. However, I consistently fail to uphold the standards I set for myself. Even in cases where my expectations are waaay low, something in my head prevents me from performing tasks adequately, or even at all. Needless to say, this has been wreaking havoc on my studies, and I'm now about two months away from facing an outright fail and dismissal of my entire degree. Oh yeah, and I'm also a social pariah with low self-esteem, no money, no firends and no girlfriend (ever). My only redeeming feature is an above average intelligence, and should i fail in making this into a career, which is wholly dependent on my education, then I would rather kill myself than live with the failure.

    Now on to the actual topic:

    A few days ago, I decided to plan an "exit strategy" in case of the looming failure. Because of the forum rules, I can't mention anything specific, but what I can say is that after some research, I did find a viable method. However, it was contingent on sourcing a number of items from vendors without causing suspicion or breaking the law. Initially, I thought it would prove too difficult, but to my great supprise I managed to source everything - no questions asked. Even more supprising though, upon realizing that my plan was not only theoretically possible, but fully feasible, I felt the heavy burden and darkness of depression lift off and give way to a weird sense of euphoria. Wtf, right? What's even weirder is that the depression has not reemerged since, 3-4 days later, which for me is unheard of.

    Seriously, I'm dumbfounded by this. I would expect to be feeling the worst I have ever felt, lowest of the low, not verging on being contempt or dare i say it - happy?! It's definitely not linked to anything going on with my studies. That's worse than ever. There are no improvements in my personal life either. Still as lonely and awkward as ever.

    If any of you guys have any inputs or opinions about this, please share it with me!
    Thauoy likes this.
  2. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    There may be a sense of relief once a plan is put into place. The worries of tomorrow are no longer something to worry about. How long that lasts when a plan is no longer a potential reality I will not guess.

    One or a dozen things does not make a person a failure. Life does go on. We get new opportunities to succeed and in ways that were not even possibilities at one time. Keep working. Keep trying. You owe that to yourself.
    AlexiMarie7 likes this.
  3. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Hi and welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story with us.
    I know from reading posts on here and when people make a plan all can seem calm and you feel happy and even euphoric, I have seen that on multiple occasions. That is when you need to seek help from a professional. I know you might not want to but the euphoric feeling to me anyway means it has gone too far and gotten out of control. Please see a professional. Do you have anyone in your life you can talk to freely about this? Counselling and medication and a healthy lifestyle is the way to go :)
  4. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support SF Artist SF Supporter

    Hey and welcome to the forum, I have to agree with @Petal about feeling good after a plan is made and can be instituted. Seeing a therapist or talking with someone would be a wise may find relief just in sharing your feelings with another person. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
  5. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    If you're failing, try again. Its a repeat of some courses so what? Give it a go again.
  6. Donot Ask

    Donot Ask New Member

    I guess you have a point there. Now that I actually do have an "exit strategy" and the means to conduct it, I no longer have to worry about what to do and how to react should I fail. My position is far less uncertain now. It's literally: put in one last effort to accomplish my goals or accept defeat and face death. I know that sounds a bit morbid, but in a weird way it's also quite motivating.

    Seeking professional help is not an option. On the off chance that I actually manage to graduate, having a mental health issue on record is a guaranteed one-way street to unemployment. Especially given the current state in the market. Obviously, that would be as bad or even worse than not having graduated at all. The only people I could ever talk to about this with would be my parents, but I know them too well. They would most likely panic and put me into forced psychiatric care (that's a thing here). In either case, the outcome would be the same, and I simply cannot take that risk.

    Well, I can't really remeber the last time I had real control of my life. However, now that I have an "exit strategy" in place, I can't help but feel that I'm more in control than before, somehow.

    I already have, more than once. In fact, I have spent all my mandated re-try attempts (plus an extraordinary additional chance that was granted to me because I "aced" an uncredited project assignment). Put simply, if I don't manage to catch up and complete everything by the end of this semester, the university will dismiss me permanently and void all the credits I've earned in this programme. Furthermore, because I've studied for several years now, nearly everything of my scholarship and personal funds have been spent. Meaning that even though I technically could start all over again on a different programme, I would simply not be able to afford it.
  7. Donot Ask

    Donot Ask New Member

    Considering oneself a failure or not is fundamentally subjective though. I know what lies beneath my skin. I know that I am capable of so much more than what I've managed to achieve. Yet still, at every turn, I prove ineptitude
  8. Donot Ask

    Donot Ask New Member

    ... Yet still, at every turn, I've proven myself inept. If I don't manage to graduate, but still decide to live on, then I would have to settle for a really low end job (if I could find one at all), which in itself is not a problem. However, I would never be able to forget that I once was ambitious and capable of success. And I would certainly never forget that I failed. To me, that is tantamount to torture.
  9. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Yeah. Maybe the area of study is just not your fortitude if you're motivated enough and very intelligent perhaps another stuff in life would be something different or invent/ come up with stuff that keeps you happy and content.
  10. may71

    may71 Well-Known Member

    The fact that having a plan in place has lifted your feelings of depression is a strong indication that stress is the source of your depression. When you felt free of your burdens, you felt happy.

    A meditation practice, or perhaps getting a massage on a regular basis might help you to reduce stress. Developing some social connections, either here, elsewhere online, or in person might help, though having study-related pressure may put limits on your time. Still, something that helps you unwind might help. Maybe there is a club for a particular game or activity that you would enjoy?
  11. JustCan'tQuit

    JustCan'tQuit Well-Known Member

    Hi, @Donot Ask,

    I'm really sorry about the stress you're under. I was in a similar position in my university years, and it was absolutely crushing. The expectations on me were tremendous, and the ones I put on myself were even worse. Like you, my basic needs were not getting met, and I was carrying a heavy trauma history, too. I was also experiencing an emergent disability, and serious depression on top of it. Like you, I felt there was no way to go for help. And I didn't have the money to just quit and start again. At one point I remember just curling up in the fetal position before a really important exam (which I failed, though I did scrape through the course). I failed not because I couldn't have mastered the material but because I couldn't master it then, exhausted and rebelling from the relentless pressure. I didn't complete my degree on time (in fact, for many years), though I was luckier than you in a single respect: I didn't lose all my credits.

    Still. The unthinkable had happened. I withdrew. I was officially a dropout. The more jealous people in my circle were delighted. Others simply backed away, not knowing how to help. Yes, I had to struggle to find work I was qualified for, and I was underemployed for years. Yes, everything I once thought I could feel proud of seemed to have been destroyed.


    What really happened was much more important than that. The situation broke down the "false self" I'd been forced to carry for years--that brilliant-student, brilliant-future-academic identity that was imposing so much pressure. I finally began to attend to two long-neglected issues: (1) my own well-being, and (2) other people's.

    Eventually, I was able to afford to finish the degree, though I didn't carry on in that field. By then, I had changed. I'd developed different values and different goals. Those early studies still enriched me, though, and I'm glad that I did them. But they no longer define me. That identity is too small for me now.

    It took a long time for me to feel healthy enough that I could refocus on what I wanted to do, mind you. For years, I simply dealt with trauma and (unwillingly) survived. But as I got healthier, I began to discover new goals. Slowly, hesitantly, I began to pursue them. I've taken an unusual path, but it's one I now respect.

    All this to say that the crisis of those early years ejected me from a life I wasn't well enough to lead. Even if I had been well enough, I see now that it wasn't the fit I believed. And finding myself in limbo was not the end of my life, as I thought, but a time to recover and create a more rewarding and meaningful identity.

    Your path may be different, of course. You may yet find the courage and strength to pull off your degree. In that case, you may simply look back one day and shake your head, wondering how you made it through. But even then, you will still need to take time to attend to all your unmet needs.

    Whatever you do, please don't give up. It simply isn't necessary.

    If a somewhat older version of you could look back and speak to the person you are now, he would say it doesn't actually matter what other people expect of you; they're not you. He would say it doesn't even matter what you expect of yourself at this point, because those expectations were created by others.

    What you need most right now is your own compassion, your own support and help and caring. You also need your own trust. You can and will find a way through this, if you give yourself a chance.

    Dying truly isn't necessary. Please make a choice that gives you a future. You've got a lot of time ahead to become a success in your own eyes--whether or not it is in this one field.

    With best wishes,

    kadamy and may71 like this.
  12. AlexiMarie7

    AlexiMarie7 Staff Member Safety & Support

    I have not yet read every word but I just want to say a few things:

    No career is worth your sanity. None. Also, depending on which career it is, the mere fact of having treated a mental illness may not be as harsh as you perceive it. I have a few fields in mind but I don't want to speculate.

    You are not defined by grades or by your career in life. You are not what you "do" in that regard. You are far more than that and you can still offer the world much without the degree or completing this particular path. You may also surprisingly end up happier on a different unexpected path, if it came to it. You cannot foresee

    You also cannot foresee what you will or won't forget many years to come. This may all one day just be a faint memory when you are onto greener pastures.

    Of course there is the possibility that you will pass in any event! :)

    Do not give up on yourself because school is pressuring you. We have all failed before, and will likely fail some more. That is the nature of life. Try some more, try again, try something else.

    I hope you can tell your parents how stressed you are feeling; maybe they may be able to also reassure you that it is seriously not the end of the world, and not worthy of your life, and definitely not a reason to devastate them at the holiday time, after the holiday season, or at any time.

    Hang in there.
    JustCan'tQuit likes this.
  13. a237

    a237 Member

    My IQ is top 1%, tested, and I know how the weight of expectations can bear you down. Sometimes too ridiculously so. “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”

    I have been greatly underachieving too. It used to, and still do bother me significantly. But I realized to be 'great', one needs more than intelligence, you also need a stable emotional structure, opportunities, etc. And to be 'great' is by societal definition. Find your own inner compass in life.

    It is actually researched that intelligent people are more emotionally intense and experience an array of complicated emotions, sometimes intensely more negative ones. It is something like a pathology if one would call it that. But it can be a gift too if you can manage the attributes that come with it. A website I came across that addresses it:

    I will just say, take a step at a time. The rat race is not for everyone. As long as you keep moving, you are doing good.
    AlexiMarie7 and JustCan'tQuit like this.
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