Until about eight months ago I was a very studious person, but around five months ago my sister was put in jail unjustly, and from that moment on there’s been a very drastic change in me. I don’t see life the same way that I did before. I’ve attempted suicide, but I haven’t been successful. For weeks I’ve been in an inexplicable depression. I would just like some advice so that I can get past this crisis and be the same person I was before.

Dear Friend,

We are very sorry to hear what happened to your sister and how it has affected you! Life doesn’t seem fair, and if we were in your situation, almost all of us would be angry and frustrated like you are. There is a sense of powerlessness that is overwhelming and that can make us want to give up. Furthermore, since anger and depression often go hand in hand, it is to be expected that depression is the emotion that seems to be affecting you the most.

You start by saying that you were studious before, and then imply that you are not studious now. Whether finishing high school or beginning college, you are finding it difficult to be motivated by your schoolwork. And since your mind is consumed with serious issues, school may not feel as important as it once did.

When our minds are so busy that we find it difficult to deal with our daily lives and tasks, it is a sign that we need professional help. Attempts to commit suicide are also a sign of needing professional help. Please make an appointment to talk to your medical doctor and tell her what you are going through. Be sure to follow up if she sends you to a specialist or if she prescribes some medication to help you for a while.

There is a chemical loop that takes thinking to feeling and then back to thinking again. It often takes medical intervention to interrupt the loop, and that is why you have not been able to talk yourself out of the depression.

The situation with your sister actually reminds me of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. He didn’t do anything wrong to anybody, but He was punished anyway. However, in the case of Jesus, God allowed it to happen in order to pay for all the sins of humankind, including yours and mine. Jesus had never sinned Himself, so He was the only One qualified to pay the penalty. As a result, all of us who follow Christ, believing that He did this for us, don’t have to pay the eternal consequences of our sin.

Please read Case 320 to learn about another girl who felt much like you do and who asked for our advice. She is one of many who have written to us about their depression, which is why we have a series of cases that deal with this problem. You can look for the topic of Depression in the list on the left side of the page.

We wish you well,