The purpose of this short guide is to help anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, in distress, or struggling to cope. Our aim is to show those struggling that there are many people who care, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
There may be times when you feel alone and on your own in a dark and unfamiliar or scary place. Remember you are not. We are here—many of us—and our goal is to provide a sense of hope that things will get better, one day at a time.
It is OK to feel this way
Acknowledge your feelings. It’s 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 it, but we are here to say IT IS OK TO FEEL THIS WAY.
These feelings 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 different reasons. When feeling down, there will be a myriad of different feelings and thoughts that one might experience and they may feel overwhelming and 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’s important to realize the possibility that you will feel differently tomorrow. We strongly recommend not making major decisions when feeling extremely low. Instead, wait until the following day as you may well feel differently.
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—can make a huge difference. Conversation, no matter how awkward in the beginning, can also make things much better. Human connection in our time of need is essential for coming out of the darkness.
What 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 it feels as if 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 abyss seems inevitable and darker than ever. This is the time to ask yourself: If you had a friend who was feeling like you do right now, would you want them to be able to talk to you?
If you answered “YES” then realize that you can call someone. There is no BUT maybe they won’t hear me or maybe they won’t pick up 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 it 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 still may be times that you cannot open yourself up to someone in your life and reaching out to a stranger may feel like your only option. If that is the case, please reach out. It’s OK.
It’s 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 nonjudgemental and will be there to lend a hand, hear you, and see you. YOU ARE IMPORTANT! Your feelings and thoughts are important!
At times, the world 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
If you feel you require immediate or urgent help please call emergency services or go to your local Accident & Emergency department at the nearest hospital. They will ensure you are in a safe place and will be able to help.
Something to Remember…
Even 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