Depression is particularly tricky with this paradox. I call depression a fatal illness only because of this paradox.

But it gets confusing. If you’ve ever met a friend who’s depressed and contemplating ending things, you’ll also know that somehow that friend will still do something to stay safe. It’s a real struggle, where the mind really wants to end things, but yet some part of the psyche is fighting to stay alive. It’s not a lack of courage, or a lack of determination. It’s inexplicable. Both parts are equally real, and fight equally hard without the right treatment.

The hospital where I’m getting treated is the premier public institution for mental health crisis care cases in Singapore. They see all the unsuccessful suicide attempts as a result of their status. My doctor tells me that above 80% of those who unsuccessfully attempt suicide regret the attempt itself. But at the time of the attempt, it seemed like the best thing to do.

If you struggle with this, don’t give up. You’re not alone.