By Dr. Kat Lindley and Dr. Christian Buckland
This short guide is meant to try and help anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, in distress and struggling to cope. Our aim is to show individuals who are struggling that there are many people who care. There might still be times when you feel alone and on your own in a dark and scary place. Remember you are not. We are here, many of us and our hope is that we may provide some sense of hope that things will get better, one day at a time.
It’s OK to feel this way
Acknowledge your feelings. It is ok to feel. Sometimes when we are in distress, we feel that we should just snap out of it, deal with it and not feel, but we are here to say IT IS OK TO FEEL THIS WAY. These feeling are not uncommon. They are normal human emotions, and they need to be acknowledged. For many people, there will be periods within their lives where they feel unable to cope for many, many different reasons. When feeling like this, there will be a myriad of different feelings and thoughts that one will experience. They may feel overwhelming and quite difficult to manage but REMEMBER: It is OK to feel this way!
You may feel differently tomorrow
Even when we feel that things will never get better, it is important to realise that possibly you will feel differently tomorrow. We strongly recommend not making any major decisions when feeling extremely low, instead wait until the following day as you may well feel differently.
Is it possible to reach out to a friend or family member?
If you can reach out to a friend or a family member, please do. Sometimes just sitting together even without words may make a huge difference. Conversation, no matter how awkward in the beginning, can also make things much better. That human connection in our time of need is essential for coming out of the darkness.
If you feel unable to speak to a friend or family member
Not everyone can connect with those in our lives we are close to because maybe we feel that we will be judged or misunderstood. At times, when we are feeling so low that our only option is to end our life, words are difficult to find, and we feel alone, more than ever. In those times, our thinking becomes even more negative and biased towards helplessness. The abys seems inevitable and darker than ever.
This is the time to ask yourself: If you had a friend who was feeling how you do right now, would you want them to be able to talk to you?
If you answered “YES” than realize that you can call someone. There is no “BUT maybe they won’t hear me, or maybe they won’t be there, or maybe, maybe, maybe…” That “BUT maybe” is your negative thinking, the default that you need to get out of, because if the answer is “YES” go with and call your friend or a family member. They WILL want to help. Your life is precious to them and they will be there.
If you still feel unable to speak to a friend or family member
There may be still times that you cannot open yourself to someone in your life and reaching out to a stranger may feel like your only option. Please reach out. It is OK. It is important that in our time of need, we find the strength deep down to ask for help. There are many compassionate people who want to help you. They are non-judgemental and will be there to lend a hand, hear you and see you.
YOU ARE IMPORTANT! Your feelings and thoughts are important! The world at times may feel scary and dark, but together we can come into the light. Together we are stronger, and we will make it through this together.
With love and respect…
Dr. Kat & Dr. Christian
UK: Samaritans - Freephone: 116 123
USA: Suicide Hotline +1 800 SUICIDE (784-2833)
National Suicide Hotline +1 800 273-TALK (8255)
Australia Suicide Hotline Call 13 11 14
South Africa Suicide Hotline 0800 567 567
New Zealand Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 828 865
If you are in a country not listed, please search online for ‘Samaritans’ or ‘suicide hotline’ in your country.
If you need urgent and immediate help please reach out NOW
If you feel you require immediate or urgent help please call emergency services or go to your local Accident & Emergency department at a nearest hospital. They will ensure you are in a safe place and will be able to help.
Something to Remember
Even at times when it feels like no one cares, please know that there are many, many people who do care. Please reach out.
Dr. Katarina Lindley - Board Certified Family Physician, Texas USA
Dr. Christian Buckland – Psychotherapist, UK