Life Advice



Suicide Is Never the Answer

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I am a 43-year-old woman who has had severe treatment for resistant bipolar depression, with psychotic features, my whole life. At 10, I tried to hang myself. At 16, I attempted suicide with pills and alcohol, and again at 25.

I am an only child, and my parents were all I had. I lived with them for a large part of my adult life because I was so sick. They were and are my everything. My mother died seven years ago of brain cancer. My father died suddenly of COVID-19 18 months ago.

I am unable to work because of my illness, yet I keep getting denied disability because it is a mental health issue.

The family friends who were the executors of my father's estate royally screwed up my trust fund and cost me tens of thousands of dollars on expenses they never gave me the price for. Now I am in a very bad place. My health is bad because I self-medicate since meds don't work. I've tried transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy and talk therapy. NOTHING works.

I do not leave my bed. I have been suffering bone-crushing depression my whole life and can honestly say that my life has been a horror show because the chemical imbalances in my brain keep me locked in a cycle of depression, mania and delusions.

Suicide is the only answer.

Everyone says it's selfish, but I think THEY are the selfish ones for wanting to torture me just so they won't miss me.

How can I express that, by guilting me into staying alive, they are putting me through unbearable hell? -- Ready to Die

Dear Ready to Die: Suicide is NOT the answer. Please go to this site Please call 800-273-8255. The fact that you wrote your letter tells me that a part of you wants to live. Your father's sudden death was a great shock to your system, and with professional help, you will be able to process the loss and move forward with less pain and depression. You don't want to die; you want the pain to die.


Dear Annie: I am curious about your thoughts and advice on a moral issue that my friends and I are debating.

The issue is that a woman was sleeping with a married man. After a few years, they ended things amicably. Now, a year later, the "other woman" is struggling with the question of whether she should apologize to the wife for her actions and tell her what happened. She is torn.

Her wanting to do this is based on self-forgiveness, sympathy for the wife, not knowing or a sort of anger that the man "got away with it," despite things ending on friendly terms.

Half of us think she should tell the wife. The wife should know the kind of man she is married to. The other half say "ignorance is bliss" and she could be ruining a marriage for -- at this point -- nothing really, other than her own conscience, which may be selfish in considering how this revelation could impact the wife in many ways.

Both sides seem to have valid points, so we are divided. -- Wise or Ignorant

Dear Wise or Ignorant: It sounds like half the town knows about the affair. I'm not sure how "amicable" the breakup was if the "other woman" is willing to jeopardize her ex-partner's marriage. I vote for silence.


"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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