How soon will it be before somebody brings up the elephant that is in the room.
We all know what the number one cause for suicide attempts in Utah is, but we
are too afraid to talk about it. I know many times in my youth I would spend
time alone thinking about how much easier it would be if I weren't alive. I
never talked with anyone about it. Miraculously, I never attempted to take my
own life, but I really didn't live authentically either; I feared the
possible rejection resulting from letting people know by secret. I hope the
people of Utah will soften their hearts and learn to be kinder and more
Christlike to the outsiders who don't fit in with the dominant culture.
This is a tragic situation with no easy answers. How does
Utah's suicide rate compare with other states, both on a per capita basis
and within age levels?What quantifiable evidence is there that
crisis hotlines and specialists actually decrease the number of attempts or
actual suicides?Is this a problem that actually can be fixed by
external forces?Is there any correlation between suicide attempts
and prior drug use, especially psychotropic medications or illegal drugs?
Utah is part of what many sociologists call "the suicide belt." States
with higher than average suicide rates stretching throughout the Mountain-West
to Oregon and into Alaska. Utah actually has lower rates than many states around
it in the suicide belt.
My goodness, that's so many.Almost not believable.
The number seems shockingly high while admittedly, I know nothing of other state
numbers or comparitive statistics. The breakdown by the numbers would have been
informative as who are leading these stats: youth, adult male/females,
married/single, LDS/non, etc. Knowing the most vulnerable group and where the
primary problem lies would provide creative thoughts as to what ithe major
factors for that are and how to positively address it.
@DN-SubscriberUtah was tied for 15th highest with Vermont in a 2007 CDC
list I found. Alaska was highest, and just about every single western state
except California was top 20 (there seems to be a correlation with lower
population density states). Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada were 2-5
for instance. (Colorado 6, Arizona 8, Idaho T-11th). So Utah's doing better
than all of its' neighbors.
To really??.?The happiness of Christlike life brings Joy and
realisation of our purpose existence on earth. That is the single most powerful
factor in suicide prevention! It is sad when DRUGS and other addicting forces
cause people to become depressed to the point of suicide.Addictions,
especially drugs, must be the biggest causes of suicide.I wonder how many
suicides there really are? How many accodental ODd are actually suicides.
Factual information is found on the Utah Department of Health website under
suicide prevention. It's a serious public health issue.7th highest
adult male age 25-64 in the U.S.9th highest adult female age 25-64 in the
U.S.11th highest young adult age 18-24 in the U.S.17th highest teen
rate age 10-17 in the U.S.28th highest older adult age 65+ in the U.S.These figures are from 2006-2010 CDC.It's the 2nd leading cause of
death in Utah for our youth and 8th leading cause of death for adults. KSL TV
News did an excellent special report on the topic and our youth.
Most people have a mental image of New York as a stressful place. Why then is
Utah's suicide rate more than double New York's?Could it
be that Utah practices more ostracism than New York? Could it be that more Utah
parents are encouraged to disown their own children if they don't meet the
expected behavior set by religious standards?It's hard to
believe there's less unconditional love in Utah families than in New
York's, but the figures don't lie.It's a statistical
fact that gay people, especially young gay people, experience a much higher risk
of suicide, and that rate increases by multiples if their own parents reject
them. In my state, gay kids are entitled to grow up, settle down with a loved
one to share life with, and even get married if they want. Something to live
for.So, New York -- diverse, accepting, with vibrant communities for
everyone -- has a suicide rate of 8 per 100,000, one of the lowest in the
nation. And Utah, with a strongly dominant religious culture, highly
conservative, and insular, has a suicide rate of 17 per 100,000.
@Europe To assert that drugs and addictions "must be the biggest
causes of suicide," is incredibly ignorant and shortsighted. While they do
factor into it in many cases, it is entirely possible to have severe depression
without ever having done drugs.
Really??? and A Quaker: Please stop with the gay agenda, will you? There are
SO many reasons why people choose to end their lives that have zero to do with
Same Sex Attraction. There are the addicted (to various things), there are the
lonely, there are the mentally ill, there are the chronically sick. Must I go
on? Please broaden your horizons and notice there is a larger world out there
than you may suppose.
@DN SubscriberCottonwood Heights, UTIs there any correlation
between suicide attempts and prior drug use, especially psychotropic medications
or illegal drugs?4:57 p.m. Feb. 22, 2014========= The FDA already a Black Box warning label [their highest level of warning] be
placed on all SSRI anti-depressant medications for increased risk of Suicide,
and other Bizarre and Violent Behaviors.Co-incidentally, Utah
is also #1 in the Nation for use of these medications...
Really???Kearns, UTBeing a new comer to Utah, no, I don't
know what the elephant in the living room is. If you have statistics, and
considering that Utah is 15th in suicide rate, why not let the rest of us
benefit from your insight?
Bullies- Enough said! I would say it all start with the "B" word
Suicide is a tragedy, and it is also regrettable that so many people are
misinformed about the causes (and anti-mormonism takes advantage of this in
their ongoing attempts at leading people from truths and happiness). Many
studies have been done on Utah, Mormons, religiosity, etc. The research shows
that Church activity in any religion decreases suicide rates, AND especially for
Mormons. Utah is consistently among the happiest of States, and active LDS are
much more likely to be happy, educated, healthy, and etc. and much less likely
to commit suicide than non-Mormons. Those who continue to blame religion,
Mormons (as some do here) and so on, and to distract us from real causes, often
seem more concerned with hating on religion than saving lives. Utah is in
the suicide belt, but generally has one of the lowest rates of suicide among
Mountain States, this is in spite of the very high rates of suicide among
non-Mormons and anti-religious groups and higher rates of homosexuality etc.
Why does the DN monitor continue to censor the published warning labels from the
FDA?The FDA's currently required packaging insert for SSRIs
includes a warning (known as a "black box warning") that a pooled
analysis of placebo controlled trials of 9 antidepressant drugs (including
multiple SSRIs) resulted in a risk of suicidal behavior that was twice that of
placebo. "Suicidality and Antidepressant DrugsAntidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking
and behavior (suicidality)Depression and certain other psychiatric
disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide.
Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be
monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening,
suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be
advised of the need for close observation and communication with the
prescriber.(See Warnings: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk,
Precautions: Information for Patients, and Precautions: Pediatric Use)"BTW -- Utah alos has the highest % of people taking these meds...
LDS Liberal, why do you continue to censor the published warning labels from the
FDA? On the label, after “(suicidality)” comes these words:
“in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major
depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.” Yet you chose
to omit those in your comment. Why?Here's what follows, which
you also left out: “Short-term studies did not show an increase in the
risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond
age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo
in adults aged 65 and older.”If you accept the scientific
research which shows increased risk for young people, you have to accept that
same research which shows no increased risk for adults and even a benefit for
those over 65. Antidepressants save lives.
I don't mean to interfere with the activist/anti-mormon agenda but
understanding suicide is important. As mentioned, active Mormons are happier and
less suicidal than the non-religious, etc. And gays have high
suicide rates everywhere. Bullying is certainly a factor and it is unacceptable,
but LDS are also frequently victims of bullying and (partially thanks to
activists) are more likely to be portrayed negatively in media, mocked,
ridiculed, etc., yet, LDS are happy and have much lower suicide rates etc. The
Oxford study on Utah Mormons found that Mountain States have higher suicide
rates but Utah Mormons don't (see other DN articles on States, sunlight
etc) and LDS happiness is attributed to religiosity. Studies also
note that gays are more likely to be addicted, promiscuous, discriminate
(including racism), come from broken homes, participate in violence, be involved
in out of wedlock pregnancy (oddly), etc. These things seemingly increase
suicide attempts. Gay marriage legalization and pro-gay culture
don't seem to reduce gay promiscuity, suicide, depression etc. So let's educate about the negative effects of promiscuity, addiction,
bullying, etc. and help increase love, sunlight, Mormonism etc (kidding on that
@firstamendment: You're not doing a very good job of explaining why the
suicide rate is so low in supposedly "Godless" New York.And
while Church involvement does benefit, especially older people, in keeping them
interconnected with community, it must seem especially devastating to those
younger people who are excommunicated, cast out of the only community they have
known, especially when those excommunications result in alienation or disownment
from their own families.Your assertions about gay people are filled
with mistruths, distortions, and what could only be described as hateful speech.
It's a known fact that laws against homosexuality cause far more
psychological damage than being homosexual does. Simply comparing jurisdictions
disproves your statements. Having to live with constant societal disapproval
would be stressful on any minority, but especially so when the members of that
minority are isolated from any community. Only 1 in 20 people are gay, and
they're evenly distributed in heterosexual birth families, at least until
they're ostracized and kicked out.The survivors move to places
where they can try to rebuild their lives after that cruel damage.
@AnonymeOrem, UTWhy?2 reasons – 1.
limit of 200 words or less, and 2. Because chemicals do not
recognize birthdays.What does Aurora CO movie Theater, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook elementary, Columbine HS, Trolley
Square, LDS genealogy Library, Like my Elder’s Quorum
President, Fire Department neighbor, And And hundreds of other
stories ALL have in common?The drugs.FYI – in 96%
of the population they may save lives, But in 4% they have a severe
adverse reaction.But I’m a Scientist, not a politician or
Pharmaceutical rep. I have NO axe to grind, nothing to gain, I just want to determine the truth in all things.
@Schnee you posted: "(there seems to be a correlation with lower
population density states)"It's actually higher
altitude/elevation states. With Alaska the anomaly due to high percentage native
population (drugs, alcohol, depression, suicide). In turn, these
states are also low density by nature of mountainous terrain. Why
higher elevations? Perhaps thinner air? Higher density of comics rays or solar
radiation? Longer winters?
2 A Quaker you posted: So, New York -- diverse, accepting, with vibrant
communities for everyone -- has a suicide rate of 8 per 100,000, one of the
lowest in the nation. And Utah, with a strongly dominant religious culture,
highly conservative, and insular, has a suicide rate of 17 per 100,000.========You operate on wrong assumptions. Higher altitude/elevation
states have highest suicide rates. Thus, any comparison needs to be made to
similar apples and oranges. Among all the high altitude/elevation
states (same apples), Utah has the lowest suicide rate. So what factor in Utah
influences this lessor rate? I suspect the happy go luckly (undrugged) attitude
of LDS myself. My state of Alaska is an anomaly, while at sea level,
is the highest suicide rate, chiefly caused by high native population and its
equally high association with drug and alcohol use. I'd bet our Caucasian
only stats are as low as the rest of the sea level states.
LDS Liberal, if you had wanted to quote the entire label you could have started
a new comment. And saying chemicals don't recognize birthdays merely proves
my point: you selectively quoted those parts of the warning which suit your
agenda. As a scientist you know that the chemicals don't change, but the
patients do. An adolescent's developing brain is different from an
adult's. Your list of tragedies primarily concern violence
toward others. So why are you using them to support a warning about suicide? As
a scientist you know that you can't arbitrarily substitute one side effect
for another. Even so, in the Virginia Tech case, the autopsy showed no
psychiatric drugs in the shooter's system during the time of the shooting.
In the Trolley Square shooting, there was no information released of the perp
being on psychiatric drugs. In the Columbine tragedy only one of the shooters
was on meds. So no, these stories don't have drugs in common. They may have
depression in common, but as you quoted yourself from the warning:
“Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves
associated with increases in the risk of suicide.”
LDSareChristians,That's a cute theory, as long as you
don't look at any data. Many of the states of the Bible Belt are at sea
level and have at least 50% higher suicide rates than NY.Virginia
12North Carolina 12.3South Carolina 13.8 Georgia 11.7Florida 14.8Alabama 14.2Mississippi 13.1Louisiana 12.3Texas 17.1Of course, as more than half of suicides are by firearm,
it might also be useful to look at prevalence of gun ownership.
DN Subscriber asked, Is there any correlation between suicide attempts and prior
drug use, especially psychotropic medications or illegal drugs? If
by psychotropic you mean antidepressants, then the answer is yes, but not in the
way you're implying. Antidepressant use has been shown to prevent suicides.
Researchers estimate that after the availability of SSRIs there were 33,600
fewer US suicide deaths than would have otherwise been expected between 1988 and
2002 (see Julio Licino et al, 2006). Studies show similar results in other
countries (see Ricardo Gusmao et al, 2013). A paper in the New
England Journal of Medicine summarized it this way:“There may be
controversy about the risk posed by antidepressants, but there is none about the
risk associated with untreated depression: estimates of the lifetime risk of
suicide in depressed persons range from 2.2 to 15%, depending on the population
under study — not to mention the considerable suffering and functional
impairment caused by this illness. In contrast, the FDA meta-analyses reveal an
absolute risk of suicide in patients taking investigational antidepressants of
0.01%” (Friedman and Leon, NEJM June 2007).
@ Testimony. posted: That's a cute theory, as long as you don't look
at any data. It's not my theory. ABC reported on it. Google:
Suicide Rates Higher in the Mountains ABC Sept. 22, 2010 Is
accessibly to Guns the factor? But Utah has high accessibility of guns. But
compared to other apples, they have lower suicide rates. The south has higher
Gun accessibility, but rates aren't down compared to other oranges. So
it's not guns making the difference. Then there must be other
factors when comparing oranges to oranges. ie NY and Southern states are at sea
level. Alaska also sea level has thee highest suicides, natives and alcohol are
primary factor. What is the alcohol stats in southern States? I suspect high
as compared to NY? Perhaps Utah's low alcohol stats (due to LDS beliefs)
result in Utah being lowest for suicides in the Mountain States. Seems from above, alcohol is the determining factor here. So:
Within the sea level or Mountain categories. Higher alcohol rates equal higher
suicide within the respective groups. Alaska especially high suicide rate due to
high percent natives with prevalent alcohol abuse.
While I mentioned my own struggles growing up, I never claimed that the anti-gay
attitudes in the state is the main cause of suicides in this state. I believe
it's a much bigger problem than that. It's the overall "We're
better than everyone else" attitude that is so pervasive in our communities.
Just look over the comments on here, and you will see that attitude.People who don't fit in--who are reminded daily that they aren't are
good as their neighbors--struggle to find a place in their communities. Some
self medicate, some seek counseling, but too many suffer in silence. That
feeling of not being as good as everyone else leads one to lose faith and hope.
It destroys souls.Instead of thinking about how much better we are
than everyone else, we need to start thinking about what we can all do to be
better neighbors, family members, and friends. We need to reach out to others
and let them know they are not alone.
LDSareChristians, who said,"... alcohol is the determining factor
here,"That's yet another cute and simplistic theory of
yours that is easily disproved. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism (NIH/NIAAA) publishes consumption figures by state. Comparing the two sets of stats, your new theory doesn't hold up,
either.I think "Really???" of Kearns, UT has it pretty well
nailed. It's most likely to do with community and isolation. Where
strong, insular communities exclude others, or where people don't have a
community to belong to, isolation and depression can result. We all need other
people. Jesus tried to teach us to bring outcasts into our communities, to show
them love and acceptance. To do the opposite is to commit violence to their
spirit and well-being.
@TestimonyOne suicide is too many. Whatever culture exists in Utah
that *might* increase suicides should certainly be examined. Also, whatever
culture exists in Utah that *might* decrease suicides should also be examined.
However, the Brain Institute at the University of Utah medical
school has found a correlation between higher altitudes and suicide. Also, Utah
has lower suicide rates than surrounding mountain states - that suggests that
Utah's culture, if it has an effect at all, seems to lower suicide rates
rather than increase them, and that the higher elevations is perhaps the biggest
contributor to increases in suicides.
A Quaker: Speaking of mistruths and distortions, here are the actual stats:
The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a gay and lesbian think tank,
released a study in April 2011 estimating based on its research that just 1.7
percent of Americans between 18 and 44 identify as gay or lesbian, while another
1.8 percent -- predominantly women -- identify as bisexual. From an article
entitled, “Americans Have No Idea How Few Gay People There Are” May
31, 2012 The Atlantic.
LDS Liberal, why did you say that the black box for antidepressants warned of
“Bizarre and Violent Behaviors”? Those words don't appear in
the warning. You can speculate all you want about an antidepressant link to
violent behaviors, but you can't use the black box as support. Anyone with
the Internet can read it for themselves: the warning applies only to patients 24
and younger, and only regards suicidality. Nothing about “bizarre and
violent behaviors.” The warning goes on to say that for adults there is no
increased risk, and for adults over 65 there is a decrease in suicidality. Antidepressants aren't infallible. They don't help everyone.
Some people try several before finding one that works, and relief is not
immediate. It's possible their use might trigger violence. Read
“Antidepressants and Violence: Problems at the Interface of Medicine and
Law.” Its authors study legal cases where antidepressants were implicated
in the outcome. The authors conclude, however, that “Serious violence on
antidepressants is likely to be very rare.” Benefits of
antidepressants far outweigh risks. Researchers estimate that after the
availability of SSRIs there were 33,600 fewer US suicide deaths than would have
otherwise been expected between 1988 and 2002.
It is well understood and supported by sociological data, that religion and
righteious LDS living reduces suicide and depression. We need reach out to the
LGBT community and invite them to make healthy lifestyle choices. Condoning
unhealthy behavior is not the answer as the data clearly demonstrates.
@ A "Quaker" Since your time is spent promoting the wandervolk agenda I
can assume you've read the DN articles discussing Mountain States,
latitude, sunlight, Vitamin D etc. And, I think you know that the research
indicates that the "Godless" people of New York and Utah etc. are much
more likely to commit suicide than the active LDS of NY and so on. And, gays in
Massachusetts (for example) were 4 times more likely to commit suicide in 2001
and in 2007 after 4 years of gay marriage. Depression rates in countries where
gay marriage has been legal for decades are also still high and etc. Associating gay suicide with a political agenda probably encourages suicide
activism, if we are to save lives this needs to stop. And, while
anti-mormon claims tend to be hate based misinformation my "assertions"
about gays are from peer reviewed studies (including those manipulated by
activists) gay magazines (reporting on gay racism etc) and so on.