Looking for help with mental health problem

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Joined: 24-03-14
Oct 14 2017 23:52
Looking for help with mental health problem

I've named this thread 'mental health problem' but I am going to be talking about some potentially rather distressing things so just a warning. I’ve nowhere else to reach out to so hope its ok posting this here and I think some forum members are knowledgeable about mental health issues. Also please note that I am not in any immediate danger so there is no need for alarm.

I am hoping that someone can provide me with any information about suicidal thoughts or help me understand it. I am not intending to take my life, however for the past 5 or more years I’ve frequently had thoughts about suicide which in the past 2 years have become daily thoughts.

Again I am not going to act on it and I don’t think about or plan how I would do it. Instead I think about whether or not I am likely to do so within the next few years or after, and I think about what sort of state or situation I’d be in that would push me to it.

I am already in a bad mental state and I know that what would make me kill myself is an intensification of the state I am already in which would be unbearable, and it seems inevitable to me that I am heading in that direction.

And that surprises me too, all that I am saying about myself is true, but it really surprises me that I am writing it. I am really terrible at understanding how I feel. I am probably in denial about it all, its probably how I cope with it, but when I sit and think about it then I likely have a serious mental health problem that began years ago when I was a teenager and has gotten worse and worse. Note that I am older than you probably think I am.

I hide the true scale of that problem from others and probably myself as well. People would only ever think that I am pessimistic and a downer.

I do feel very trapped though, I have dissertation work I need to be doing but I just can’t, I procrastinate and have a total block towards it which makes no logical sense. If I was to try and explain this to my supervisor it would seem like I was trying to make excuses because I don’t seem depressed enough, and if I was to explain it to anyone else they would overreact by thinking I am about to kill myself when I am not.

I don’t really understand what’s going on with me, and I know I’ve provided little information to go on, but from what I’ve described I’d like to know what people think about it or if they can provide me with any information. Thanks.

Black Badger
Joined: 21-03-07
Oct 15 2017 06:40

There should be one or more suicide prevention hotlines near you. In the US, they are usually staffed by volunteers. There may be something along those lines connected to your university as well. I have just found lots of pages of stuff with a quick Google search in Glasgow...

Joined: 11-02-07
Oct 15 2017 10:50

I suppose obvious questions are whether you've tried or considered some kind of counselling, and whether access to counselling is an option for you, whether through your university or the NHS or by paying for it yourself.

Joined: 24-03-14
Oct 15 2017 12:13

I am waiting on counselling through university. I've used their service before though and its hit or miss as to how good it is.

Joined: 30-04-13
Oct 15 2017 12:33


if you are in london area perhaps it would be best to meet up and talk - drop us an email, if you like...

in any case, best wishes and don't let it drag you down...

antoniamautempo at gmx dot net

Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
Joined: 4-11-09
Oct 15 2017 14:17

Many feel that way towards writing a dissertation (gonna assume you're in social sciences). Maybe the problem is that one takes it too serious, like actually have to write something good. As that's not the case (you just have to follow some standard "idiot" rules; mainly reach the word length), so then one probably feels like having to go through a farce, or being a fraud if you put your name on it and "honestly" defend what to oneself seems like garbage (a contrasting example: Zizek – he's is really good at pure bluffing his way through.). This isn't a personal problem in other words. I'd recommend to look in some criticisms of the university system:

and criticisms of social sciences in particular (in German that Marxist group has more sharp criticisms, eg against the whole useless setup you have to follow in writing a paper 1) pluralism (literature overview) 2) hypothesis 3) methodology.

Khawaga's picture
Joined: 7-08-06
Oct 15 2017 14:32

Are you talking to someone Scallywag? Be it a therapist, friend, family member? If not, please do so as soon as possible. Call a hotline as others have suggested.

Also talk to your supervisor. Speaking from experience (as both having been depressed and written a dissertation), it is quite easy to hide that you're depressed. And what does a depressed person look like anyway? I know it will be hard to talk to your supervisor, but that's better than not doing your work or actually making excuses (which they can see right through).

But please, talk to someone, anyone, that you trust.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Joined: 9-02-06
Oct 15 2017 18:17

This has nothing to do with your dissertation, that's just one way the problem is manifesting, depression and other mental illnesses come out in all sorts of ways, don't get kicked off your course before.

I have been in a similar situation and so have others that I know, you don't feel ill enough to ask for help. Don't wait until you are that desperate for two reasons, one suicide is an impulsive act and this back-stabbing sneaky disease might get you, secondly and much more importantly, how much more of your life is going to be spent like this until you do get help? I know therapy is expensive, but if you're in the UK you can start with the NHS, it will take time but they will help you. Your uni will have a confidential service, they can probably only offer you half a dozen sessions but that will help as NHS waiting lists are long.
There are services such as the samaritans that you can call, it sounds like you need to start by just unburdening yourself, it won't heal you but just saying it out loud can take a weight off that can take of the pressure for a while.

One trick which is from CBT is to start with a to-do list, and not of anything difficult or vague. When I first started it literally had make and eat three meals a day (6 tasks) brush teeth twice a day (2 tasks) and shower (1 task)
And it's worth spending a good bit of time on the list, break things into micro tasks.
"Write chapter" is just going to fuck you up.

A possibly helpful demonstration is here,
Read external bibliography
select one article
read article
make notes
add bibliographical references.
read bibliography of article / or go back to the first one.

It doesn't necessarily get 100% better, I'm typing this instead of marking work (worth it) but I could have done that marking on Friday when I had some time and I didn't, because I looked at a stack of 45 papers and stalled until a more pressing task pre-empted it, sort-of.

If you're feeling bad enough to write on here then in spite of what you might be feeling a part of you knows that you don't deserve this and that it can get better.

Try this too.

Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
Joined: 4-11-09
Oct 15 2017 19:55

Also, especially for stressful situation as writing a dissertation, when you read lots of stuff, sit at work/school/transport all the time in a chair, this can cause back discomfort (I even recently saw a Marxist fellow on twitter complain about severe neck pain that he thought going to hospital in the middle of night for). Another banal problem can be constant noise from street traffic, around university, etc.

Croy's picture
Joined: 26-05-11
Oct 21 2017 10:04

there's quite a lot of online free counseling services going nowadays, I would try that.