Why Live When You Feel Like Dying?

A list of reasons why you may feel like dying plus how depression creates suicidal thoughts.

A list of reasons why you may feel like dying plus how depression creates suicidal thoughts.


  • Because you have an illness that makes you want to kill yourself
  • Because you are not just depressed - you have depression
  • Because - just like with any other illness - you must get treatment to get rid of the symptoms and the pain
  • Because you can treat depression, even cure it
  • Because your life has value and can be saved

Why Can't You Believe It?
Because you have a biological brain disorder...

  • that under-produces positive emotion
  • that over-produces negative emotion
  • poisons your thoughts
  • and makes you believe that you must die

If you hurt your leg...

  • You can sit and look down
  • And see a gash in your leg, down there, as a part of your body, and say
  • "Oh, ouch, my leg is hurt, but it - this exterior part of my body will get better"
  • You are experiencing the pain in your leg, in a part of your body
  • And you are willing to suffer the pain, treat the wound, and expect it to heal

The trouble with depression is that...

  • The very disorder and pain is in your reasoning, happiness, and will to live mechanisms - in your heart, in your soul
  • The entire experience of self and life continuum is affected
  • There is no space in your head and heart for objectivity
  • It's as though the pain IS you
  • Lost in and disabled by the pain, often we are not able to objectively seek the proper treatment as we would for our injured leg, or to persevere when treatment fails to help

If you had any other illness, disease, or injury...

  • you would accept the pain
  • apply a treatment
  • fight for life
  • wait for healing
  • and expect to get well

Just like with any illness...

  • You may have to suffer for a while longer before you get better

Normally, people can stand a certain amount of very bad and even excruciating pain...

  • whether from a physical injury, or an internal disease like cancer
  • from a life circumstance - loss of a job or home
  • or from losing a loved one through death or divorce

But after a while, pain wears on us...

  • Often, normal people in constant pain for an extended length of time will begin to think of suicide even though they never thought of it before

And that's just about where depression starts. We are already there in state of physiological injury
Our malfunctioning biochemistry creates a constantly descending altered mental and physical state...

  • We are immersed in a biochemistry of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, pain and sorrow
  • Our hearts are physically aching as though something horrible and terrible has happened to us
  • Our negative emotions are on high and our positive, balancing emotions are very low or absent
  • We may be physically incapable of creating positive thought

When you feel like dying, your brain isn't thinking straight. There are reasons to live when you feel like dying. Read this.

If you are suicidal, your brain is not thinking straight!
Just like when we are upset and angry with someone...

  • Reasoning power is impaired
  • We feel, think, say, and do things we often "don't mean" and are sorry for later
  • In depression, we are biochemically upset all the time
  • It's as if a malfunctioning part of your brain is fooling you!

Don't believe what you are thinking and feeling!
The pain speaks to us...

  • The pain is making you think and believe that you have to die
  • You feel that your life is over and that depression is a terminal illness
  • But you don't have to die 

Is depression a terminal illness?
Yes and no...

  • Depression, just like cancer:
    • If you don't discover it,
    • If you don't treat it,
    • It will get worse and maybe kill you
  • With Depression, the longer you go untreated, the more likely a suicide attempt could be

But is depression treatable?
Yes, highly treatable...

  • And new information and treatment options are coming out all the time
  • Staying alive and not trying to kill yourself until your treatment works is what matters

Remember - while the biological core of your emotions and sanity are under attack...

  • Depression is a physical illness
  • And it has physical, biochemical treatments
  • A physical, biological illness is not a character flaw or personal weakness
  • Somewhere in the darkness of your terrible suffering, can you know that this is only a small and temporary space in a long life and better future to come?
  • If you die, you will never know the renewed and wonderful life you could have lived after your depression was over

The life force inside you wants you to live
It holds you back from attempting suicide...

  • It causes painful conflict when suicidal thoughts compel you
  • Hold onto that something; it does not want you to die
  • If suicide were the right thing to do, why would it be so painful to contemplate? Why so difficult to do it?
  • The pain says STOP - turn around - go back to life - try to make it work - try to make it right
  • Your life force wants you to go on, find treatment, and make a meaningful life for yourself and those you love or will love

How do we make life meaningful?

  • By correcting, changing, improving our faulty brain chemistry
  • Depression is a treatable illness
  • And you can stop the hurting if you reach for the help you need.

APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2022, January 10). Why Live When You Feel Like Dying?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Last Updated: January 16, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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