What is the point in staying alive, when you're suffering so much?

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    I’ve been suffering with severe anxiety (Generalised and social anxiety in particular) and depression for over a decade now. I hate my job so much, and I constantly feel stressed and unable to relax. I get angry, frustrated and above anything else, numb.

    I can’t remember the last time I cried, because I feel like I died years ago. I feel like a zombie, less the urges to consume human flesh.

    But seriously, I don’t know what I’m hoping for anymore. I think I’m done with hope. I’ve read hundreds of self-help books, I’ve tried medication, therapy, CBT … everything. And the fact is, I don’t think I’m made out for this cruel World. Everything seems corrupt and unfair. Animals are abused and there is nothing I can do to help them.

    I am working in an insurance claims roles, and I hit burnout long ago. I don’t want to be in this industry – it’s going against who I am as a person. I am very sensitive and introverted and the daily grind of standing on a bus packed with rowdy students makes me feel drained before the day has even begun.

    My health is suffering more and more, and the lack of energy makes me feel like a walking corpse. I don’t have any faith in myself, despite the many attempts to argue with my mind that I’m not a worthless piece of shit. This World has broken my heart, and I feel beyond repair.

    So tell me, without something generic (like my Mum would be upset) … why should I not end everything? I feel so self-conscious, even though I know nobody cares about me. I want to hide from the World, because I feel ugly. I feel like a complete failure, and I’m tired of the pretend smiles and fake laughs. I’m tired of calling Samaritans knowing there’s nothing they can do to help me.

    I hate this place.



    Sorry that you are going through such pain Roary.

    I don’t know what to say except that.




    Dear Roary:

    Before the zombie/walking corpse like state of mind and body, what was life like, do you remember?




    It feels a lifetime ago, but it was great.

    Before I became a fully-fledged adult and had time to explore different interests, it was great. Now that I’ve been spending years working in mind-numbing roles, the colour has drained away and I feel like I’ve lost my personality.



    Dear Roary:

    I would like to read more about what great means  to you, how it was, that colour you mentioned. Will you tell me  more?




    Dear Roary,

    Hi my name’s Jay. I’ve had severe anxiety and depression in my early 20’s. I had some very dark thoughts. It was one of the toughest points of my life. You have my support. My response will be a little direct, but it comes from the heart.

    Firstly, why should you not end everything..

    Because you have been given this gift called ‘life’. You exist. You can think. You can feel. This is incredible. The chances of a person coming into existence are mathematically minute and/or you been given this gift by a higher power. Dont end it. There is light there- I promise.

    Now I know things feels horrible. But this is a phase. It is temporary. But you have to want to believe this and want to be ‘happy’. Your mind is the most powerful tool you have. It’s tough, I know, I’ve been there. I still go through less severe episodes, but make your mind  search for those happy moments and emotions. Engage in a task or activity and practice gratitude- be grateful purely for existing in that moment and doing. Right now I’m grateful for this computer I’m using that allows me to do so many things, including reaching out to you. I have a roof over my head and a warm bed to climb into. I will have breakfast tomorrow. I have four functioning limbs. Simple stuff.

    You probably have wealth and opportunity beyond what 90% of this worlds population have. And I’m sure you have many other things. Reach out to someone- if you have friends you can speak to. If you dont, reach out to someone by saying ‘hello, how’s your day going’. Go and volunteer for those less fortunate than you. And if your job sucks, and it’s mind numbing, find something different.

    It’s down to you though. You can do this. There is so much joy and worth in life. It actually took me an episode of severe depression to appreciate this.

    Good luck. Positive thoughts out to you. There’s lots of things out there to help you along..

    Jay x





    Dear Roary,

    Life is pointless because you were expecting to find meaning in your life eventually. Only you constantly crashed against the wall called reality as you continue to face the horror that is the world you live in. Maybe you were simply following others’ script of ‘what to do to achieve happiness’ only it’s not the script for you. Or maybe you chose a road that you thought would lead you to a bit of happiness only to find it was a dead end. So yeah, life is pointless. You haven’t given it any points.

    So, what’s not fulfilling you? Your job? Then quit and look for one in an environment that fits your need. Your relationship? Do you want to enter a romantic relationship or is your current one not working out? Lack of friendship? Relationships are a number game, you have to go through a lot of people to find one that you can actually connect with a deeper level than shallow acquaintance. You also need to commit to working at them. Are you bore? Look for a new hobby. If you need help understanding what fulfill you, I recommend the book Find Your Why by Simon Sinek. It’s a good starting point.

    But you also need to give your mind a break from thinking. A decade of depression tends to make the mind over think and over analyze every details of every situations so it becomes a looping spiral of negativity that you don’t realize that you’re re-enforcing with every thoughts. And if you can, look for counseling that can help you with identifying the areas that you are having issues in. Not every depression is caused by neurochemical misalignment nor is it caused by a drama from your childhood or a later trauma in adult life. But when you feel unfulfilled in one area, it usually start to expand from there to other areas due to the domino effect.

    When you do think and it’s about how you’re a failure, take a step back and try to trace those thoughts of yours. See where they are coming from without reacting to them. Identify them then let yourself move on. When you react to those negative thoughts, you are giving them power because they become an enemy to fight against so they become a force of power against you. Take away that force and it merely become thoughts that is cautioning you about something because of fear but in the end is merely thoughts. It’s like opening the door to an an unexpected guest that you slowly but surely guide out the back door.

    There are also issues with self esteem and self worth. If you are not doing things that will feed them, then you will have empty holes called self esteem and self worth. Depression eats at your image of what makes you a person so you usually don’t even try to fill in the space set aside for self esteem and self worth. When that happens, they are sitting there collecting dust until you don’t see them anymore. So can you still see your self esteem and self worth or it is floating somewhere in space?

    Of course, it’s not easy to have good thoughts every single moment of every single day. There will always be negative thoughts, but there will also be positive thoughts, you just have to allow yourself to have them. If you need reminders, write them down and tape it up. TinyBuddha is always brimming with good quotes. Or maybe you’re more of a picture person. Allocate a few minutes a day to look at pictures that makes you feel good or content or okay. YouTube has videos of baby goats jumping around. Listen to a song you like. Take a walk. Eat your favorite snack. Keep re-enforcing these things. Focus on them without letting your mind think. Thinking get in the way of feeling, especially when you just want to feel okay.

    Remember, life is pointless when you don’t give it points.



    Dear Roary,

    I am sorry that you have to go through this. I have been where you are in terms of depression and anxiety.

    You wrote that you read a lot of books and tried medication, therapy, CBT. I am guessing that you tried much more beyond that, so while I really want to give you advice based on what worked for me, I understand it might not be helpful for you.

    I wonder – how long have you been in therapy? Can you put your finger on why it might not have worked?

    You asked “What is the point in staying alive, when you’re suffering so much?” When your brain is constantly in Burnout and fight or flight mode, its really difficult to enjoy life. For me it was like a heavy blanket on my brain and body. Hard to come up with big plans to change your life then, isn’t it? But what about the small things? When was the last time you did something nice just for yourself? Drank a nice cup of cocoa (or something else) in a park cafe? Visited a new restaurant? Read a fun book? Go for a walk for a few minutes or longer? Maybe fun for you is something else (sports? Cinema?), but I challenge you to try to do at least one nice thing just for you every day. You can, but don’t have to, take a friend. Often its much easier just to go by oneself. Maybe some things will turn out not to be fun after all, but that is fine. You can mark those down as experiences and try something else the next day.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  Lara.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  Lara.


    Hi Roary

    As someone who has also asked those questions my heart goes out to you.

    What have I learned…. With regards to hope I learned I sucked at it as I tended to hope with eyes closed. Meaning my hope was almost always passive, a fantasy of magically changing. Even if an opportunity showed up I wasn’t likely to notice.  Hoping with eyes open is active as it requires participation.

    I also read a lot of books, self help, philosophy, theology, psychology and ended up concluding that it comes down to the story we tell ourselves that has the most influence over us. Unfortunately changing the stories, we tell our selves about are selves is greatly influenced by outside forces.  Still if free will exists I suspect the place we exercise it is in taking responsibility for our story and writing the best one we can.

    I will be honest I’m still not great at writing and telling myself a better story however I have learned to stop telling a story. Actually, I’m ok not having to fill that space with any story at all. A kind of if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all approach.

    What else… no matter how much I felt life was pointless or how much I wished life to end I realized I wasn’t going to end it, so the thoughts were a waist of time and energy.  I decided that when I noticed those thoughts I would just stop, take a breath and let them flow by which surprising quite often worked as it created space for me to move on

    Turned out those thoughts were also a bit of an addiction. A part of me liked feeling bad about myself and it gave me a excuse not to change. We are complicated beings. I mean really if we really want to end it at one leave that would mean we have nothing to lose living the life we “hope” we might… noting to stop us… but we don’t. It was a realization that it wasn’t that I wanted to die but that I was afraid to live.

    I want to die because I’m so terrified of taking a chance to Live.

    Anyway, none of that is likely helpful. We all have our own path to answer the questions you are asking. I wish you the best and if there is comfort in it, know your not alone.



    Dear Roary

    I’m sorry that you feel like this. But I’m sure, one day you will wake up and see that tiny bit of hope in your heart that would make you want to live again.

    I’ve also been diagnosed with GAD(mainly ‘coz I have poor coping skills) almost a decade ago. I wasn’t prescribed any medication but was asked to do therapy. It was then that I could recognise that I’ve been suffering from low self esteem and related problems since childhood.

    My life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses during childhood. My folks constantly fought with each other and other family members and all I could remember was shouting and tears. school was the only refuge for me. I was good in academics so I did fairly well and reached college. But I couldn’t perform well and I dropped out. Started working and slowly paid back the student loan.I took for studies which ironically I couldn’t complete. Last year at 36, I graduated from college again.

    Because of what I witnessed during my childhood, I never really thought I deserved happiness. I was always miserable and even to this day, people ask me to smile more often. So you can understand the gravity of circumstances that affected me back then. I even thought that my parents were fighting because of me. How naive I was. Since I had that thought in my mind, I was constantly working hard at school and home to make my parents happy and all they saw was how I fared compared to other students in my class.

    My broken self esteem made me vulnerable to bad souls and I ended up getting cheated on by BFs. On top of it, a close family member emotionally abused me and blackmailed me for money for a decade knowing my situation.

    Current situation:

    I have a college degree and I have started a job which is not to my liking, but I need it to support myself.

    I haven’t dated in a decade- I was busy figuring out my finances and clawing my way out of people taking advantage of me.

    I live my parents currently because I can’t afford a place and pay back my student loan at the same time.

    All of my siblings and friends(read- men and women) are married with kids in school and I’m the only single person in my circle that I know of.

    I come from a conservative society and hence I’m constantly taunted by people in my community regarding my single status and so I avoid social interactions as much as possible.

    I’m still reeling from the pain since childhood and like you I always asks- how long can I hold on like this and go on.

    My Answers to myself:

    I’m good and I haven’t hurt anyone intentionally. All that happened to me wasn’t my fault.

    It may take some more time, but I will find happiness and purpose of my life soon.

    I’m intending to join a job in an year or so which would help other less privileged souls like me.

    And who knows, may be I will have a family of my own some day.

    These are the only things that help me get up every morning and do my part of job. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel sad. Every day is a fight with my negative thoughts and mind. Sometimes I have to literally pull myself up by telling that ‘one day’ everything will be fine and I will laugh again.

    You are not alone ! Don’t worry !



    “Animals are abused and there is nothing I can do to help them.”

    Could you do a little bit to help the animals? You have a job, so could you pay a small portion of your salary each month to donate to a cause that works towards animal rights? It will take you about 20-30 minutes of work on your computer to start doing this.

    If you were to start doing such a thing, a small portion of your work every day would go towards easing the suffering of those animals. It’s not much, but it’s a simple place to start.

    Do you live in a city? Could you perhaps find animal rights groups in your city with a Google-search? Could you find, say, animal shelters where you could do volunteer work on your weekends or holidays? Such groups can be very understaffed, so even if you felt unworthy to take part there, they might still accept your input.



    Because it would be quitting. It would be aborting whatever mission you came here for. You’re in this body, in the world for a reason.

    That’s what keeps me from ending it. Medication helps a lot.




    Dear Roary,                                                               Just think for a while instead of ending your life, why are you here finding answer to be alive. Because deep down even you too want to live. Why do we search for things? Aren’t you trying to help your own self? There’s aa wil inside you to be alive.                                     I have been fighting depression since childhood. It’s been in phases, even while writing this to you I know I am broken inside. But just know one thing ” This too shall pass”. You do not have to do something extraordinary in life to feel worthy of yourself. If you do not like your job, try to find another one. There are ample opportunities in the world. Try working as a volunteer in some NGO or United Nations. Look at the world from a different perspective. There are people who are stateless seeking refugees in other countries. They do not even have an identity, jobs,homes, friends,families not even food. Aren’t we in a much much better state. Try visiting a Buddhist monastery in your area or in southeast asia. We all are fighting something or the other, find means for healing your self. If one does not work try on something else. Keep on trying. But do not give up on life.



    Hi Roary

    I know you’re struggling, as am I. I’ve been in a nervous breakdown for 13 months now after the previous 5 years of anxiety wearing me down. It all led to CFS and I’ve not left the house in almost a year. I’m almost bedroom ridden, and as a wife and mother it’s tore me apart with guilt for this happening to me.

    Believe me I know how it feels to be rock bottom because over the last 12 months there have been a couple of occasions when I thought what is the point, I’m just a lump lying on my bed who can’t function. I was having 12 hour panic attacks and I  could not do a single thing. What I will say is if you end it, all hope of achieving the life you want is gone. Whilst you’re here there is hope. I know exactly how you’re feeling because the last 13 months especially have been the worst of my life. I still cry and think I will never recover. I can’t imagine being sociable again because I have extreme social phobia now, the only people I see are my husband and children. It’s like life is too overwhelming now, I can’t cook, do the washing I can’t do appointments, I can’t go anywhere it’s extremely isolating.

    If I’m not giving up then you should not give up either because if we give up then our chance of life has gone. We’re not going to get it back. Life is a gift and even if it’s hard it is a gift, we only get one shot at it and I’m not willing to throw that away.

    It’snot any different because I have children, ok they give me an incentive to keep trying because I would never do that to them ever. Yet you should think that you’d never do it to your partner or your parents, because think what it would do to them, they could end up severely depressed and destroyed losing you in such a way. I wouldn’t want to put my husband and children through that, and that is why I never have. I am estranged from my mum but I still wouldn’t put her through that.

    I’m not saying my situation is worse than yours I’m just saying that I’ve been rock bottom and still am really. I’m not giving up  for the reasons I’ve stated . I really hope you can find some peace  and just give up the struggle and maybe if we just accept the situation we are in  recovery will come to us one day  by giving up their struggle . I’ve been in anxiety and depression for 6 years after a trauma with my ex family members. I know how awful it can be.

    We need to stop comparing yourself to other people and just love who we are because it’s not our fault that this happened to us  it doesn’t make it any less of a person. Our loved ones still love us dearly and that’s all we need.

    Sending you a hug.





    I would urge you to ignore much of the comments that have been made here. They come from people who are still stuck in the illusion that this life is wonderful, and that if they do certain things in a certain way (playing the game) then everything will turn out fine. For a start, freedom is a complete illusion. Life isn’t free at all, it only appears to be free on the surface. One can probably only understand this statement fully when one becomes homeless. Then, you can’t even have a wash in a public toilet without running the risk of getting thrown out or even arrested. You can’t bed down in a doorway for fear of being moved on, and if you decide to camp out in open country you must also accept that large tracts of land are privately owned and you would be trespassing on them which carries its own penalties.

    What has happened to you, Roary, is that you have woken up to the reality of this world. Don’t expect help or sympathy from people who are still asleep.

    Best wishes,



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