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  • James McNeil

First a decision, then patience

“Snap out of it!”

“Why are you so depressed?”

“Can’t you just decide to be happier?”

Anyone who’s dealt with suicidal thoughts has most likely heard at least one of these statements. While the thought behind them may seem like a good thing, these statements can do horrible damage to someone who’s looking at a permanent end to a temporary problem.

What should we do then? How can we help someone to overcome suicidal thoughts?

I’m glad you asked. It starts with simply talking with them. Notice I said with. This needs to be a two-way conversation. Ask how you can help or what you can do, and then sit back and listen. Demonstrate that you genuinely care, and don’t be surprised if the person you’re trying to help doesn’t believe you right away. Stay at it; don’t give up.


Remember this. Even though the journey to overcome stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts begins with a decision, it does not end there. In September of 2017, I made a decision that I would never again let stress, anxiety, or depression lead me to suicidal thoughts. The next day, they were back. It did not change the day after, or the day after that even. In fact, it was a long time before I could honestly say that I had overcome the obstacles that led me to suicidal thoughts.

Was it over then? I think you know by now it was not. It’s been almost three years since that night in September, and I still deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. Engaging them is a daily occurrence.

It all started with a decision, but it did not end there. If you’re dealing with these thoughts and you’ve made a decision to overcome them, congratulations! That is a huge step. One tool you can use is the book, Finding Your Personal Mission available on Amazon. If you know someone who’s dealing with suicidal thoughts, pick up a copy for yourself and one for them. And above all, be patient. Rome was not built in a day.

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