When someone commits suicide, quite often, one of the questions most people ask is, “Did you know?”

Did you know they were depressed?  Did you know they wanted to die?  Did you know they were in so much pain they saw no other way out?

Sometimes no one knows, or even suspects, how that person is really feeling. Sometimes a few people are aware, but if someone really wants to commit suicide, they will eventually find a way.

Like I’ve mentioned previously, a bout of difficult and painful circumstances led to me wondering whether or not my life was worth living.

For me, the only person in the entire world that knows how truly destroyed I was, was my partner – and despite the regular breakdowns he witnessed, I’m not even entirely sure he grasped the gravity of how seriously depressed I was for a period of time.  Which is not his fault and nor do I hold him responsible for that – if the situation was reversed, I doubt I truly could have comprehended his pain.

However, I think that is the point – especially when someone asks, “Did you know?”

For me, at least, people knowing might not have made a massive difference.  I’m not sure as my partner is still the only one who knows just how deep that pain goes – but for me, those that made a difference were the ones who abandoned me.

Every time they excluded me, and rejected me, I was pushed further down the rabbit hole. Every time I went to the grocery store or the movies and they said or did something, I fell further.  Every day at work I spoke and they acted like they didn’t hear me, made me feel like I could never climb out of the hole, that I’d be forever stuck in Wonderland, in a place where nothing was real or friendly or safe.

I didn’t need my former friends to know I wanted to die; I needed them to stop making me feel like I was utterly and completely alone.  I needed them to stop rejecting me at work and in public places.  It was one thing to be dropped as a friend with no explanation; it’s another to feel panic and fear every time you leave your house because you don’t know what they’ll do or say to you if you see them this time.

While I still have bad days – I live in a small town so run ins are hard to avoid – I feel better most of the time.  And that is the result of a variety of different people – the woman from a discount store who commented randomly how pretty she thought I was; old friends visiting just to say hello; a new friend constantly arranging double dates.

And, most importantly, a terrific therapist and anti-depressants.

Each of these things reminded me that I was worth something to some people; that I mattered.  It gave me strength when I desperately needed it.

But I digress.

My point?  It doesn’t matter if you know how someone’s feeling or not – at least not necessarily.  What is important is how you treat someone.

At the end of the day, we all know how a day can change for the better or the worse because of one person; one bad customer can leave you raging all day, and your favourite home-cooked meal can leave you feeling happy and grateful.

Be someone’s positive change to their day – it’s all you ever need to know, and it may save someone’s life.

What Are Symptoms of Depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Healthsymptoms of depression may include the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigueand decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, includingsex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headachescramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Thoughts of suicidesuicideattempts

If you or someone you know is depressed, please contact LifeLine on 13 11 14, or research more on BeyondBlue’s website.

Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.

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Published by Carla Louise