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YOUNG PEOPLE ASK

What if I Don’t Want to Live Anymore?

 “A few years ago, my anxiety was so severe that I felt like I was fighting fires every day. During those times I thought about killing myself. I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted the suffering to stop.”—Jonathan, 17.

 In a survey of some 14,000 high-school students, nearly 1 in 5 admitted to having considered suicide within the previous 12 months. * If you feel that life isn’t worth living, what can you do?

  •   Wait. Promise yourself that you won’t act immediately on the impulse. Although your problems may seem overwhelming, there are options available that can help you learn how to deal with them.

 You might feel as if you were trapped in a maze. But feelings don’t always reflect reality. There are ways to deal with your situation; with the right kind of help, the way out may be closer than you think.

  •  Bible principle: “We are hard-pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out.”—2 Corinthians 4:8.

     Suggestion: If thoughts of taking your life are strong or persistent, find out what resources are available to you for help—perhaps a suicide-prevention hotline or a hospital emergency room. These are staffed by people who are trained to provide assistance, and they really want to help you.

  •   Talk to someone. There are people who care about you and who want to help. These might include friends and family members who won’t know what you’re going through unless you tell them.

 Some people need eyeglasses to help them see things clearly. A friend can fill a similar role, helping you to put your problems in perspective and to regain your desire to live.

  •  Bible principle: “A true friend . . . is born for times of distress.”—Proverbs 17:17.

     Suggestion: To start a discussion, you could say: “I’ve been having some very negative thoughts lately. Would it be OK for me to talk to you about it?” Or you could say: “I have some problems that I can’t seem to solve on my own. Would you be willing to help me?”

  •   See a physician. Health problems like anxiety or depression can cause people to lose their desire to live. The good news is that these conditions are treatable.

 Just as the flu can cause you to lose your desire to eat, depression can cause you to lose your desire to live. However, both illnesses are treatable.

  •  Bible principle: “Healthy people do not need a physician, but those who are ill do.”—Matthew 9:12.

     Suggestion: Get an adequate amount of sleep and exercise, and maintain a nutritious diet. The state of your health can affect your outlook on life.

  •   Pray. The Bible says that our Creator “is greater than our hearts and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20) Why not talk to him in prayer today? Use his name, Jehovah, and speak from your heart.

 Some loads are too heavy to carry on your own. Your Creator, Jehovah, is willing to help.

  •  Bible principle: “Let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers.”—Philippians 4:6, 7.

     Suggestion: Besides telling Jehovah about your problems, try to think of at least one good thing you can thank him for today. (Colossians 3:15) Gratitude can help you cultivate a more positive outlook on life.

 If you believe that life isn’t worth living, get help. That’s what Jonathan, quoted at the outset, did. He says: “I needed to have many conversations with my parents and to get some medical help. But I’m doing much better now. Although I still have ups and downs in life, I no longer struggle with suicidal feelings.”

^ The survey was conducted in 2019 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.