Comments about ‘In our opinion: Confronting and discussing suicide’

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Published: Wednesday, April 24 2013 3:20 p.m. MDT

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raybies
Layton, UT

Utah is a very serious, competative place to live. There are high expectations placed on youth, and often with very few rewards or visions of where those expectations will lead. Children of divorce or never married, find themselves wandering and often sucked into criminal elements that trash their futures and add to their feelings of hopelessness. There is bullying, as social stigmas are often a way that many who are trying to remain faithful motivate themselves to remain so. Bullying is evidence of feeling powerless. Because there are so many young parents in utah, many don't know how to trust their teens, or even know what is appropriate for them to be doing, and the outside world attempts to teach teens how to behave is ridiculously wrong-headed. Teen kids in media are seen as smarter than adults, engaging in dangerous and risky behaviors and rather than seeing the realworld consequences, they have none. Finally there's poverty, which is soul-crushing, but also renders any who might seek help for mental strain, illness or suicidal thoughts almost impossible for fear there's a big doctor's bill associated with it. So yeah, Utah's got work to do.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Yes, there are many problems that lead to suicide; but, there is a solution. If we are involved with people, if we go out of our way to make life easier for everyone in every way, if we put our own concerns on the "back burner" and spend our time just being good and decent, loving and caring people, we may help those who silently try to slip away to know that they are not alone.

If we simply use every opportunity to smile to the stranger, to complement the clerk, to assist the mother struggling with a full cart of groceries and crying children, to help that elderly person who's trying to get his walker out of the back seat, to get involved, the world will be a better place. It costs nothing. It requires no new governmental or church program. It just requires each of us to become the kind of person that we know we should be.

There is nothing more devastating than suicide. The years of sleepless nights that follow a suicide are filled with "what ifs". We can't turn back the clock, but we can change the future.

amazondoc
USA, TN

LGBT youth are roughly FOUR TIMES more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids, according to a US Government study called Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide.

Around 1/3 of ALL LGBT kids have attempted suicide at some point, according to some studies.

Suicide attempts are especially likely in LGBT kids who have been rejected by their families, who have been bullied, and who have experienced institutionalized homophobia. Of course, all of these problems are more likely to occur in conservative states where a large percentage of the population considers homosexuality to be sinful.

I find it very telling that none of these facts were mentioned in *either* of the DN articles regarding suicide.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Confidence and trust.Hot does one get that. I think It starts by being honest with your self. How can you get something out of the eye when your own eyes are blared.

DavidRJL
Layton , UT

Writing in the 2012 journal Neuropsychopharmacology, an international team of co-investigators presented evidence that a protein called “glutamate is more active in the brains of people who attempt suicide.” There are a host of possible contributors but this is primarily linked to diet, too many artificial sugars like aspartame, not enough folic acid and magnesium found in vegetables. Also Neuropsychopharmacologist David Healy, in his book, “Let Them Eat Prozac,” writes, “Rooms full of data pointed to the fact that the Prozac drug group (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) could trigger suicide and violence in teens. Since the approval of SSRI medications as antidepressants in 1987, a number of studies have found that suicide in adolescents on these medications is six times higher than those on other medications. In addition, these studies show violent suicides are most closely linked to SSRI usage. These are linked to high quin from SSRI usage and excess glutamate in the diet. That may seem weird to you. But if we don’t start considering diet and nutrition in the equation we may never reach important roots for preventing teen suicide and adult depression. David Larsen, MFHD

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

We must remove both the stigma and the high cost of accessing mental health care. A person should not be anymore ashamed to say "I need to talk to a mental health professional" than they are to say "I need to see an allergist ."

More clinics, with services for the poor, need to be available at affordable cost. Even if you have insurance, access and the cost of services make the process very difficult.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Every suicide is a unique situation, but there are some common patterns that people who study suicide are discovering:

Many suicides seem to be impulsive decisions, and having easy access to lethal means of ending one's life often results in an elevated suicide rate. For example, the nation of Sri Lanka used to have the world's highest suicide rate, with many cases being the result of ingesting a particularly potent form of pesticide.

A substantial number of suicide victims had just received some distressing news, or had a fight with a family member, and they made a rash decision and were gone.

The Sri Lankan government tightened regulation of potent pesticides, and the suicide rate dropped by 50%.

Many, many people who attempt suicide and fail are later glad they were unsuccessful, as they recover from their depression, or their circumstances improve or don't appear as dire.

In the US, and in Utah, a very common form of suicide is by firearms. If gun owners take precautions to secure their weapons, teenagers in their proximity may not be tempted to take a quick and irreversible exit from their stressors.

RFLASH
Salt Lake City, UT

As an adult, I have had my moments of despair. I have never wanted to kill myself but life seemed meaningless. I grew up feeling the opposite. I always felt like life had a meaning. Family, friends, and church seemed to teach me that even during hard times, life had a purpose. Being gay brought about the changes that have hurt me deep into my soul. relationships ended. I no longer had a church to go to. looking at it, I simply miss all those things that made life so meaningful. I still have a great deal. As an adult, I think it is important to look at these things and be open. I lost a nephew to suicide. You know, we could prevent it. If we were not so judgemental and if we took a little bit of time to help others feel like they are a part of something important. They need to know that they are important and that it is ok when things are not exactly what people say they should be. With all my heart, I miss so much that others use to share! Just share with them!

Capsaicin
Salt Lake City, UT

I gave the life sketch at my best friends funeral.Theres a common theme amongst those who have been touched by suicide. "We never expected it". In my experience, I spent years blaming myself for not seeing the signs. I spent years wondering if I could have made any difference. Having battled depression myself, if the person is going to kill themselves they will find a way. Guilt by concerned friends and family is largely a waste of time and effort. Proxy guilt for the actions of others is unproductive guilt. As a girl who bore her testimony about her cousin committing suicide once said, "During the grieving process, I felt inspired that my cousin was coming to know the reasons for having a physical body on earth." That says it all right there. If people think they can assuage mental anger, depression, pain, sadness, loneliness, through suicide, they are so badly mistaken. What we have mentally on this side of the veil all goes with us to the other side. And the pain, I expect, is MUCH MORE ACUTE when we have no body. Especially with the added guilt associated with damaging that which God gave us. Our body.

airnaut
Everett, 00

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

=========

Mike,
Very touching words.

BUT,
Are you aware that the suicide rate for LGBT is 4 times higher than the average...primarily from how those of YOU on the uber-far-right treat them?

Which - BTW - is 180 degrees contrary to just about everything you just said?

Show me, Don't Tell me.
and
By their fruits, ye shall know them.
and
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Try hugging a gay person once in awhile, rather than throwing stones at them from a safe distance.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s dubious distinction as one of the leading states for suicide could be linked to its high rate of gun ownership and political conservatism, according to a newly released study.

Utah was the second-most-armed state behind Kentucky in 2012.

Suicide in the 2nd leading cause of death for Utahans age 15-44 and THE leading cause for males in that age group.

Suicides accounted for about 85% of gun-related deaths in Utah between 2007 and 2011, according to statistics from the Utah Department of Health.

Utah is in the top 5 in the nation in firearm-related suicides.

“Many studies show that, of all suicide methods, firearms have the highest case fatality, implying that an individual that selects to use this technique has a very low chance of survival,” states the study.
Firearms are by far the most common way that suicide is committed, and having firearms present in a home is a demonstrated risk factor for suicide. Restricting access to firearms for persons at risk of suicide is one potential way to prevent suicide.

MikeLee and OrrinHatch just snubbed their NRA noses at this.

BackGround Checks - NOW!

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Mike Richards – very nicely said.

I cannot recall ever agreeing with any comment you have made (and even this one I only agree with in part – many require psychological intervention), but this comment made me realize something important – different political/religious views do not make someone a bad person.

If this is truly your character (I’ll take you at your word), I would be happy to have you as a colleague, neighbor, and even a friend.

Thanks for teaching me (and perhaps others) a valuable lesson.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

As Christians we are told that in the last days "mens hearts shall fail them". I suspect those prophets of old understood our culture today more than we do. The ONLY way to correct this trend toward teen suicide is to turn kids toward Christ. No government program or outreach program is going to stem this frightening tide of self destruction..only the Savior can do that. I have first hand experience with this.

airnaut
Everett, 00

DavidRJL
Layton , UT

======

Agreed!

But BIG Pharm will never let go of their Gold Goose.

It's all about the $$$.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Utah is 9th in the nation for suicides, Wyoming 2nd, Idaho 7th. What is going on here?

Really???
Kearns, UT

If only the people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide could really know they are loved. Unfortunately, too often on these forums, we write things that would lead them to believe they are, in fact, not loved by their neighbors. It's time we opened our hearts and started being kinder to to people who do not share our "standards."

raybies
Layton, UT

I know loving people is a great solution, and I try my best to be positive and helpful to all my neighbors, but I do think that those of you advocating a strict diet of loving people haven't actually encountered people who regularly get depressed.

There's truth in the poem that noted "Laugh and the world Laughs with you, Cry and you stand alone."

Those with depression can be very difficult to be around. They walk around with a dark cloud and some may be the sort that suck the joy out of the room. Most of us just want to smile and be positive, but when someone is struggling with depression, it is often insufficient.

People need venues for sharing their feelings and their struggle. You can't just love everyone and hope that things change, because a depressed person will only wonder why they can't be more like you, which will make them feel worse. Learning to fight depression takes certain skills that often don't come naturally. This is why counselling is so vital. They can help build some of these positive skills and help remind the person struggling that they matter.

Beaver Native
Garland, UT

Talking about suicide should not be limited to talking about the younger crowd. I have known several adults with deep depression, some of them with suicidal thoughts, and I've known a few who have tried to or actually committed suicide. A close family member tried it a couple of times and a one of my former scout leaders, a good friend of my dad, was successful. He had talked to my dad shortly before he took his life and Dad didn't recognize the cry for help until after he had taken his life. It's horrible to go through life knowing you might have been able to save a life, had you known.

As far as bullying in schools is concerned, what to do about bullying was never taught in the courses I took to become an elementary school teacher, although most teachers did the best they knew how to prevent bullying. Since bullying can lead to suicide, both teachers and other students need to be taught what to do to prevent it and what to do if they witness it.

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