Here’s How to Overcome Suicidal Thoughts and Start Healing

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Here’s how to overcome suicidal thoughts and start healing. It usually starts with depression. Depression is an invisible wall that surrounds the heart, soul, and mind of the person suffering through it. It causes darkness, doubt, and despair. It can be caused by relationships, finances, self-doubt, addictions, or constant worry. It could also be all of the above plus some. Depression is a serious issue and needs to be addressed.

“Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your loving kindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.” — Psalm 143:7-8

Many times, depression is easily hidden from others, especially those that you see or talk to every so often.

But the wall is not so easily hidden from family and close friends. The wall that depression builds casts a shadow for the one in a depressed state. This causes them not to see that it affects close family and friends. It’s a vicious cycle that causes the depressed person to get more depressed.

Hitting Rock Bottom

Why am I writing this? Well, it’s time to take down the veil and speak about something that I believe affects more people than we can imagine. It has been affecting me for the for about six of the last eight months.

About two months ago, I think I hit rock bottom emotionally and mentally. I was supposed to leave for a business trip, and I believe I had a panic attack about having to go for an extended period. But it was more than just panic attack; it was also thoughts of suicide. I felt that if I were to leave and go to the hotel by myself for a period, I wouldn’t come back.

About six months before this breakdown, I began to have daily thoughts of suicide. What used to be a constant meditation on scripture turned into continuous thoughts of leaving this earth. The moment I would wake up, the feelings began and wouldn’t end until the time I went to sleep.

Over and over in my mind, I keep these thoughts rotating one after another. I would read my bible and pray that God helps me with my thoughts and let me replace them with the meditation of scripture like I used to do, but it didn’t seem to help. I just felt like I was on a crazy train going in circles.

Then came the meltdown. For the six months prior to the business trip, I just kept telling myself I was being attacked spiritually and those thoughts would eventually go away. Pride kept telling me “you can’t tell anyone this, they will think you are weak.” “Keep it to yourself; you can deal with it.” But the moment I felt as if my suicidal thoughts would become actions, I knew it was time to fess up! That’s when I got the help I needed.

Overcome Suicidal Thoughts

For the last two months, I have been talking this over with a counselor and my wife. And in the process, I’m learning to realize I can’t bottle everything up and think I can shoulder all of life’s burdens. James 5:16 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” My sin of self-reliance was causing me more problems than I realized.

Once I began to confess my issues and share my problems, the thoughts of suicide went away. I could overcome suicidal thoughts, finally. Just learning to talk this out has allowed me to ask for prayers from others and now given me the courage to write this to you.

I realized, depression is not something to be taken lightly. The past two years for my family and me have been hell. Sickness (wife’s cancer), finances and starting a new church have taken a toll. But one thing that was constant was God and my family. Although I kept trying to do this all on my own, God was right there helping and holding me together the whole time. Even though I pushed my family away, they were there too.

I never stopped reading my Bible or praying, but I did stop relying on the power that God gave me through the Holy Spirit and tried to rely on myself. Not a good place to be as I found out. I preach it all the time “you can read your bible all you want, but if you don’t rely on the spirit and apply it to your life, it’s a useless act.” And that’s what I was doing, acting.

Healing Begins With Confession

I write this letter as confession and accountability. I need your prayers, and I promise, you all will get mine. As James says in the verse above “…and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” I am healed, thanks to the prayers of the faithful. I want you to be healed too! I will stop the thinking and pray for you and others.

If you are in a place as I was, reach out and get help! Don’t live with an invisible wall! I promise the moment confession comes off your tongue, and you share the pain and fear in your mind, the healing begins! It did with me! We all have so much to live for! Don’t let your depression tell you otherwise.

I found through counseling and scripture that suicide is not an option. But healing and life is! I found that I’m strong, not weak. I found out I am needed and wanted. Again, get help! Don’t live like this anymore! If you need urgent help, call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Seek a counselor, friend or pastor to talk this out with.

As the Psalmist says in the above verse, I have been waking up each day with this in my mind. Let me hear Your loving kindness in the morning; for I trust in You; I am no longer trusting my mind, but listening to God’s ever-loving kindness and trusting in Him alone! I pray you join me as we overcome suicidal thoughts.

Author: Jody Burkeen, the founder of Man Up God’s Way and Pastor of Ignite Church.

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  1. Peter

    Thank you so much for sharing. You are not alone in this battle! I believe almost everyone at some point in their life go through periods like this and yet it’s hardly talked about. The devil has a way whispering and whispering and whispering until confusion sets in and we’re unsure of our place in this world and our purpose. We think we are weak if we’ve struggled in this area, and that’s the most evil part about it. Right at the time we should be open and honest and seeking out council, the devil convinces us to hold it all in. Keep fighting, keep sharing, I’ll be praying!

  2. John Hall

    I have a son that has hit bottom. He tried to take his life as well. He said to his mom he prays every day and that is his answer to any religious questions we ask. It hurts me greatly because he is my step-son I do not know how to react except ask for prayer. He has a bad history with drugs, alcohol and sex along with all the other things that go with that, like anger, selfishness etc. He also has been through jail half of his life, he’s 36. 2 kids one he can not see (past). The 2 yr old he is not able to see either and it is something to do with her mother and grandmother.

    I have tried to reach him personally and we have talked. He listens and tries and when he succeeds it seems he gets afraid and quits in jobs, life in general. he ends back in trouble or back on drugs and alcohol. I tell him until he leaves everything at God’s feet that he will continue to take a tail spin until he does and that without God’s help he cannot do it on his own if you know what I mean. He is in general a very likable kid. Very smart but life not so smart.

    Thank you for listening to me. I don’t know what else to do. I love him and do not want anything to happen to him.

    A concerned step-dad

    • Jeff

      John, I can’t imagine what you and your wife must be going through. What’s important is that you never stop trying to reach him. Open yourself up to let god work through you in healing him. Maybe then he can come and lay everything at Jesus’ feet and have a chance for some healing. It will be frustrating at times, and I promise sometimes you won’t know what else to do but throw up your arms in derision. Fight through those difficult times and persevere. You have god on your side, and my prayers are with you. 1 Cor 13 Love endures all things.

  3. Wade Stanford

    Praying for you Brother!!

  4. Steve Feldman

    I’ve been through a cocaine and crack addiction on and off for 30 years. I know the struggles finally a year ago I laid it down at the cross and died to myself and when that happened the process of confessing my sins and repenting came with it. I’m not doing life perfectly today but I’m doing it HIS way I went 30 years trying to figure everything out on my own and made quite the mess so my message to the concerned stepdad is there is hope!!! JESUS is the only answer!!!

    • Tj Todd

      Steve, thank you for sharing your story. We are praying for continued success.

  5. Hiram Crowder

    I am in a difficult state myself. I have a lot to deal with: we want to get a house soon, but my credit is bad, and that also affects our chances of replacing one or both cars; we need both cars as we are helping care for our parents; and although I graduated from broadcasting school nearly two years ago, I fell behind on my student loans and it’s hard to work in the field doing anything besides voice over work, and I have yet to land a job doing that, and the full-time job that I have – although I am thankful for it – I feel stuck and I try to move up in it, I haven’t been able to. Worse than that, we’ve been married for more than 20 years and still have communication issues: she complains about me not talking to her; sometimes I try, but it’s either just surface talk or it’s irrelevant; other times it seems like either of us could be talking through a brick wall. She has friends that she talks to. I have friends, but not many that I can call. I had a rough bout with depression while I was in college, and inviting Jesus Christ into my heart was the best thing I could do, and I was able to overcome that then, with God’s help, of course. Although I am not suicidal, at least not yet, I am trying not to lose hope, and I pray that I can be strong enough to encourage my wife who has been with me through good and bad times, and hopefully we can be strong together and weather these tempestuous times. God’s blessings to you, your family and your ministry.

    • Tj Todd

      Hiram, thank you for sharing your situation. To bridge the communication gap with your wife, do a Marriage Bible Study together. Start a Bible reading plan together. Then you have God’s word to speak with each other about. What a wonderful place to start communicating with someone. I will be praying about your job situation as I know that is a slow moving task sometimes. Hang in there Brother!

  6. Joel

    Thank you for your courage in exposing your secret! Once we confess our sin, fear or whatever it loses its power on us. Brother confess to another today and you will be set free!

  7. Dennis Mickey

    Thank you Jody for being open, authentic and genuine. Your story shared with others will save lives. You have touched upon so many valid points in this article.

    If you look at the number of men who struggle with addictions to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sex, gambling etc.it is all derived from anxiety and or depression. Filling a hole with worldly things that provide temporary joy but a lifetime of pain and enslavement.

    You have given those who struggle a path to redemption through God and seeking professional help. God Bless You and I will pray for you and all of us who have struggled or continue to struggle with this issue.

  8. Wayne

    I have been a Christian for over 30yrs and a few years back I came to a point where I said to God kill me because I can’t live this life, I keep messing up and failing you Lord. Broken, sitting on my deck God spoke to me and said; “that last strand of rope you’re hanging onto is me and it sustain you it will not break…it wasn’t the answer I wanted but it was the answer I needed. I live victorious in Him now. Hope this helps someone else..in Jesus name be free
    WG from Canada

  9. Randall Christie

    I am trembling and in tears reading this and sharing my testimony with my friends and family. There are people I’ve only met yesterday that need my support as much as I need theirs. I cannot describe the newness and wholeness I feel in God’s love for me through Jesus Christ, our LORD and Savior. Thank you for your honesty. I never could’ve done it without God’s love for me, through my family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.

    • Tj Todd

      Amen Randall. May God get all the Glory!!!!!

  10. Brian Vejar

    Praying for all my Brothers in Christ, depression is a serious issue as well as drug addiction. I too am a father of a 25 year old who had lost himself to sin… I too tried to take matters into my own hands… and let me honest I do mean my own hands. But that hurt so much when I struck my kid that I starting crying and felt as though I had failed. My Wife and I were devastated, it wasn’t until I cried out to God and continued to pray day in and day out that one day My Son returned home and left a letter at the door (because he knew I didn’t want to see him, I was still angry and hurt). After reading his letter and realizing he was hurting, I felt even more horrible. For I realized just how much harder I was making things for him. It wasn’t until I started paying attention to what I was reading in Ephesians that I started to back off and forgave him… had a long talk with him and let him know that we do love him and always will. Explained to him he is not the only one going thru it and will not be the last, that sometimes hardships happen so that God can get our attention. Little by little he started to give in and little by little we noticed a change and our Son returning to himself again. I’ve learned through life and being a stubborn man, prideful and selfish myself that if I want my family to follow Christ then it starts with me, as I am head of the house hold. Hang in there Brothers/Fathers don’t give up and continue to press forward… this is our battle as parents to love unconditionally and point our children to Christ and leave them in his hands. We love them but can we honestly love them more than God?!? I think not.

    Ephesians 6:1-4 New International Version (NIV)

    6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a]

    4 Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

    You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    Romans 5:6-8 NIV

    Colossians 1:9-14 New International Version (NIV)

    9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    Remember: God is Good All the Time… and All the Time God is Good. God Bless All of You and please know you are in my prayers. ~j~

  11. Mark De Brizzi

    Dear Brother in Christ, I have suffered with depression, ptsd for decades: been on many medications etc but as a minister in various churches, I have been told repeatedly that counseling is of the devil because it is secular and will take me away from God. I’ve been tormented because my doctor tells me I need it but even just taking medicine has been damned by many of the churches I preached at! The last straw that caused my last breakdown happened 4 years ago when the church I was ministering at announced to the congregation that I was demon possessed because I must have secret sin I am enjoying and that’s why I’m depressed. I don’t know what’s true anymore and doubt most of what any ‘authority’ says to me now. How do I know what the truth is?? By the way, I told those ministers that IF I were demon possessed they must not be too close to the Lord either since none of them could cast the demons out. But still, I am in darkness of soul almost daily. Nothing seems to break it. I love Jesus Christ and we speak everyday in prayer…I mean the lines of communication are open. I hide nothing from Him. Thank you for listening.


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