Military suicide deaths in 2012 were 349 versus 295 who died fighting in
Afghanistan. Suicides in the US are the tenth leading cause of death, exceeding
those from autos, and the third leading cause of death among the young, about
4,400 per year. These may be mostly from bullying and social problems, and not
to be underestimated is pessimism about unending wars during lifetimes of the
young. Suicide rates rise during recession, economic crisis, stress, and a
general feeling of hopelessness, while suicide warning signs are missed until
too late. Breakdown in basic family units removes a vital safety net, and the
popularity of lottery is significant in that it shows that too many feel that
winning the lottery is their only hope out of the economic morass affecting
them. Welfare is not enough as more jobs are needed but nothing can be done for
people, only fictional environment problems get all the grease.
No, ClarkHippo, nobody is claiming as you say that 99.9 percent of suicide in
Utah is LDS caused, but yes, the two issues you described have been raised
repeatedly, and with good reason. Notice, however, that this article mentions
mental health, divorce, health problems, job loss, drug and alcohol use, but
completely ignores the elephant in the room. This reporting is irresponsible
because it contributes to the climate in which the many people with LDS-related
suicidal impulses feel ignored and hopeless. Will somebody go kill them self
after reading this article? Probably not immediately, and certainly not just
because of this article, but it will add to despair. Reporter Emiley
Morgan’s cover-up approach doesn’t just ignore the problem; it is
ClarkHippo, maybe you should read the article. It's people like you that
are actually part of the problem. You're so quick to blame to the LDS
church for all problems in Utahs, and because of that, you fail to see the real
problems, and therefore cant help to correct them. Maybe you should also read
Alberts comments also. He seems top capture some general reasons people commit
suicide, and yet no where does he link all suicides to the LDS church..
Re: "ClarkHippo, maybe you should read the article."klink,
maybe you should read ClarkHippo's whole post.
@ClarkHippo --"People who have either been disowned or belittled
by their LDS family and friends because they are gay or lesbian."Rejection of LGBT youth *is* a very important facet of youth suicide
nationwide, with or without the LDS church.According to a US
Government study, called Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth
Suicide, LGBT youth are roughly FOUR TIMES more likely to attempt suicide than
straight kids. 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.
Being a memeber of the Church of Jesus Christ LDS actually helped me many years
ago not to do that step. I also have a Son who commited Sucide after a tour in
Iraq, 2008. He had Post Trauma Stress diorder. Many people who take their own
life have been abused somewhere, sometimes in School, sometimes elsewhere. That
they feel they are not worth anything. Thats why our Religion teaches to show
love and support to everyone. Periods of depression are experienced by many
people. I agree with Albert Maslar CAP.
In one of our lds wards there was a suicide, prompting a woman to request an
opportunity to speak to the ward adults about the subject...shortly afterwards
that ward experienced 2 more suicides and the leaders wished they had not
brought up the subject. In Japan a 16 yr. old girl stopped by our lds building
to talk about her decision to commit suicide...we missionaries fortunately did
not understand what she was saying, being so "green" and not yet
proficient in the language, we proceeded to just teach her the first missionary
discussion...she returned again and again and was baptized as the brightness of
hope and light of the gospel touched her heart.
There are many, misunderstood reasons why people commit suicide. In many
instances the judgement for the deceased continues after their death. I hear
more comments about it being "the easy way out" than comments showing
true compassion. Perhaps people should stop judging others and just reach out.
Look around you, cheer up the sad or depressed souls you see with a smile and
give them a reason to hope, that reason being someone sees value in them as a
person, and cares about their happiness. It can make all the difference.
The high demands of the LDS church are what has kept many I know from resorting
to suicide. The deep conviction that there is something worth looking forward
to beyond the trials of this life has been an immeasurable rock keeping many LDS
people from falling so far into depression that it resorts to suicide. I'd
be curious to see what the suicide rate is among LDS members compared to the
national average.@amazondoc- I really wish we could have an honest
discussion about the LGBT issue without one side resorting to name-calling and
vicious attacks. No one is allowed to take up the case that perhaps the suicide
rate among LGBT teens and older is not only about public rejection, but that
homosexuality is a psychologically unhealthy lifestyle. Call it God or nature,
is it possible that there is something within the practitioner that has a
difficult time completely accepting the lifestyle. The few studies conducted
that suggest psychological harm from homosexuality have been shouted down in the
academic community and quickly made to disappear. Lets add that to our list of
issues that we are unwilling to honestly and completely engage when discussing
Our community in Saint George is reeling with this issue right now as a young 13
year old girl took her life Sunday morning. It has really affected many here
and there was a special program on one of the popular radio stations this
morning discussing how we can talk with our kids about this problem. Very sad.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
I know this doesn't seem like a big thing, but changing the words we use
will help as well. There are several media outlets that no longer use the term
"committed suicide" as that is based in the belief that it was a crime
and the offender wouldn't be allowed to be buried in certain cemeteries.
The phrase "he/she took his/her own life" might help in removing the
stigma for those left behind.
@HotGlobeYou said, "No, ClarkHippo, nobody is claiming as you
say that 99.9 percent of suicide in Utah is LDS caused..."Nobody
except those who make their living attacking the LDS Church, along with those
who follow their websites, or those who comment on the website of Salt
Lake's other prominent newspaper.@klinkYou said,
"ClarkHippo, maybe you should read the article."Actually I
did read the article, but since I knew somebody was going to simply blame the
LDS Church for nearly all the suicides in Utah (Just like the LDS Church is
blamed for all the other negative statistics related to Utah) I decided to beat
them to the punch.My point was, those who continually shout,
"This is the LDS Church's fault" are ignoring the fact that:1. Utah's population is becoming more and more diverse. We're
not all just white Mormons anymore.2. There are many factors related
to suicide, as mentioned in the article. 3. There have been some
Utahns who have committed suicide even though they're not LDS.
I've felt the pain from suicide several times, in cases of both close
family and friends. In some cases I've tried desperately to intervene and
others that were completely "out of the blue". I've even felt the
frantic downward spiral of thinking that has given me some personal insight into
the pattern that leads to suicide.I've come to conclude that
there are **many** reasons and precursors to lead people to the act, but that it
is usually preceded by a deep and usually chronic introspection which tends to
exclude others. This closed perspective seems to almost always result in a
seemingly inescapable prediction of an inevitably dismal future.Though I know it doesn't always work, my best advice for the
"others" is to simply do one's best to be a friend and companion
and get the person involved in **something** that will break them out of their
inward obsessions and restore some fighting spirit. Good, professional therapy
if possible. Try to let the person know that you love them.It's a very hard thing to cope with, for the person and for everyone who
knows and loves them.
@Bridger --"what the suicide rate is among LDS
members..."According to a study from BYU on young men in Utah,
kids that were *most* active in the church had lower suicide rates than the
national average. LDS kids that were not as active, and non-LDS kids, all had
suicide rates much higher than the national average. "perhaps...homosexuality is a psychologically unhealthy lifestyle."LGBT suicides are **known** to increase significantly with bullying,
homophobia, and familial rejection. LGBT depression and drug use also increase
significantly when new discriminatory laws are passed.Nationwide,
LGBT kids are 3 times as likely as straight kids to feel unsafe at school, and
nearly **all** LGBT kids -- 90% -- have been harassed and/or assaulted at some
point during the previous year. According to FBI data, the risk of being
victimized by violent crimes is roughly **8 times** higher for LGBT people than
for straights.in 2011, a study in the journal Pediatrics found that
conservative social environments significantly increase the risk of suicide for
*all* youth, and especially for LGBT kids.These problems are obvious
and their effects are huge. But you want to focus on blaming the kids?? REALLY??
As one who has struggled with suicidal thoughts since my early twenties (I am
now 50), I hope to offer some insight into suicide. To see where I am coming
from, I will tell a little about my demographic. I am white, lds, highly
educated and have a loving supporting family. I have had extensive therapy and
have been medicated.Suicidal people do not care about going to hell or
anything like that. That would be a much better place than they are in now. No
matter how hard good intentioned people try, suicidal people are unable to see
the positive. Or they don't believe others are telling the truth. Suicidal
people are often jealous of others that have died. Suicidal people can find few
redeeming qualities about themselves. The irony there is that others see the
good things.What has gotten me through the three imminent attempts is
this...I would tell myself this, "I may kill myself someday but today I am
going to stay alive until tomorrow." I truly believe I will kill myself
someday but maybe I can stay alive one more day until I die naturally.Just
What is at the root of suicide is a hopelessness - a feeling that one cannot go
on with their lives as it is happening, and not knowing how to fix the problem.
Some people keep to themselves. Others try and reach out, yet the telling signs
are not being picked up by the family. The idea that the LDS church
is the cause of many of the suicides within the church is wrong. It all starts
from a mental aspect. It could be that some people just don't have the
seratonin and/or dopamine levels necessary to function well. For someone to tell
someone else to "snap out of it" or "pray yourself out of it"
just doesn't understand the human body itself. It is the mental part of the
human psyche that is malfunctioning. When there is a drop in these chemicals,
the person feels unsupported. Because of the drop in the levels, they cannot
function well.Educate yourself on these aspects before you come
across someone who is thinking of suicide. You never know when you will need
that info to help save someone's life.
I liked this:[Re: stigma]'"And when you have that kind of
reluctance to look at the issue, to admit that it exists, how are you ever going
to try and solve this problem?" Grey said.'This
"reluctance to look at the issue" could extend to less than obvious
causes of depression.Due to my experience and things I have read, I
think we need to look at hypothyroidism as a possible cause. It also answers
the question: "Why Utah?"Until the introduction of iodized
salt, Utah was the leading "Goiter" state. Now, many assume that
hypothyroidism or goiter is not caused by lack of iodine because of the
widespread availability of iodized salt, even though they also recommend
avoiding table salt altogether--but while commercial products use only
"plain salt."It was depressing for me to be coerced into
trying antidepressants while ignoring my hypothyroid symptoms. I don't
think many doctors here follow the recommendations of the AACE and ATA to check
the thyroid before prescribing antidepressants. I would like to see
tests screening TSH, FT4 and FT3 every 10 years, to also cover rare cases of
hypopituitarism.You can't see what you don't look for.
I can not imagine the kind of emotional or physical pain and despair that a
person must be enduring to come to a point that they see taking their life as
the only way to find an escape. People so suffering need to understand the
atonement of Christ; That there is a way to unburden themselves of the pain.
Unfortunately, those around them that love them are unaware that the person is
suffering until it is too late. And then they are left to question what they
could have done to have prevented it.
As a parent of a child who committed suicide four years ago, you do not begin to
know how painful their death is to the parents and siblings. I don't know
the answers to this tradegy, but I sure wish I did. The only advice I would give
is that for extended family members and friends to reach out to those left
behind and reamin in constant contact with them.
My daughter who is in high school is friends with a fellow student who is a gay
male. I have encouraged this friendship because I am aware of the higher suicide
rate of young people who are gay. Since my kids were small I have taught them to
go out of their way to befriend people who are not popular and to never tease or
make fun of anyone.I am happy to be able to help with this problem
in a small way.So far as the LDS religion effects on this problem, I
have to think the teachings of avoid debt, and avoiding the health and other
problems that come with smoking and drinking has helped reduce this problem. The
teachings to young people that if/ when they commit sexual sin they have done
something worse that everything but murder puts a lot of stress on young people
which isn't helpful.
Badger brings out a good point. Is the true cause of increased depression of
gay-inclined youth just the lack of acceptance, or is there more? What about
committed LDS youth in parts of the world where the LDS church is a considered
an odd minority, the laws are skewed against them, and persecution is frequent?
The logic dictates that if there was nothing else involved in the gay
depression, the faithful LDS youth or any other group persecuted in a hostile
environment would be equally depressed. Plain common sense suggests this is not
the case.An experiment to help understand depression. Train for a
marathon. Two weeks before the marathon run a half-marathon as fast as you can.
Before the marathon make a plan of what you are going to think in the last 6
miles. Run the first half of the marathon only one minute slower than your
half-marathon time two weeks prior. In the last 6 miles compare your actual
thoughts with what you planned to think. You will get a glimpse of what a
depressed person is up against.
When a suicide attempt occurred in my family, the most traumatic component was
dealing with the police and Family Services. The most terrifying aspect in
addition to dealing with all the emotional issues of the moment, is the
terrifying feeling that you are going to jail, or that your child is going to be
removed from your home.
Ernest made a serious comment! I never thought I would see the day.Thanks for this article. It is a topic that needs to be addressed instead of
buried. On a related note April is child abuse prevention month. Did
you know that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they
turn 18? We need to do more to address problems like suicide and child abuse!
It troubles me when I hear folks say that the pressures of being LDS causes some
to resort to suicide. Aren't these youngsters and others being taught about
the Atonement, forgiveness, unconditional love and other teachings similar to
these throughout their activity in the church? Could it be that some folks
preach perfection and are not accepting of those who stumble or have challenges?
Is that what stresses out kids and others when they sin or break the law and
then they are too embarrassed to say anything? including to their friend and
parents? If that's the case, much more emphasis needs to take place to
teach the youth Christlike attributes and what the Atonement, repentance and
forgiveness "really" means. And to those who feel qualified to
judge..... Why have you been going to church all these years? Haven't you
learned anything? If you fit into the Judge and perfection category, please
re-evaluate your presence in church this Sunday and challenge yourself to start
learning what is taught. Maybe a change of heart is what is needed so you can be
understanding and help those to get over their struggles and live another day.
suicide can happen from so many different things - post war stress, eating
disorders, abuse, mental illness, and the list goes on and on....Having dealt with a daughter with anorexia who thought about suicide at one
point I can say for certain that there are no therapists or self help books or
loving family members or medications that can be "the" cure. All of
those things are worth while and all of those things should be utilized but
there is only ONE thing after all is said and done that truly lifts a person out
of darkness and into the light and that is faith in Jesus Christ. A personal
relationship with Christ saved my daughter after all the other things failed. I
understand not everyone believes in Jesus Christ and that included my daughter
at one point in her life but with the encouragement of true friends she was
invited to learn and that eventually lead to her own personal conversion. Since
her personal conversion to the Savior all those bad thoughts are gone ...
replaced with amazing self worth and light. Jesus Christ truly is the healer of
souls. Amazing grace!
I am an MFT student at Cal State University at Northridge. We have had many
discussions about this topic, and will probably have many more. I thought this
article was very well done. I commend Greg Hundell for seeing a need in his
school, but more so in the community and taking action to do something about it.
If more people cared like he did, this would not be as much of a problem. A
lot of prevention has to do with educating people about the signs of suicide and
how to deal with suicidal ideation. I'm interested in tonight's
broadcast on KSL. This is another great step forward in prevention.
I have dealt with three suicides in my life. They were unexpected and cut short
lives that could have been improved. Now my family has to live with the thought
that Grandpa and a Cousin got to such a dark place that they killed themselves.
You ask why? But there are no clear cut reasons why. The ridicule and anger
are very hard for the survivors. I hope the Lord can forgive those who have
taken their own lives. But, we should not make it worse for the survivors, by
ridiculing and blaming them for what happened. Lend a listening ear, and give
support to those who have lived through these trying times!!
"She said 90 percent of those who commit suicide have an underlying mental
illness"Of course they do because the DSM IV (Psychiatric bible)
considers depression a mental illness.The majority do NOT call
hotlines, or churches, or anybody. I remember doing research on it, although I
don't remember the statistics now. Kids were the main concern,of course,
but I believe it was people over fifty who were alone that made up a huge
percentage. And, nobody cares or writes about it because those huge numbers
reflect how hopeless many are in the U.S.I do remember one line of
research: Twice as many women attempt, but twice as many men succeed because men
like guns, and women like pills.
ClarkHippo, you doubled down on your claim that people are saying "99.9
percent of suicide in Utah is LDS caused." Ok, time to man up and quote some
verifiable sources, or admit that you just made it up yourself.
When you get involved in one of these situations, don't judge; them, or
yourself.Pick up and look around you. Take the time to chat up those who
seem distanced and see if you can help, and if you can't help them 1:1 -
get them to someone with the skills to do so. But caring so they know, 1:1 is
something everyone can do.
@Fern-Yes!! And explore the anti-depressant connection. There's a
ton of data on that aspect.~~~~~~Lovely comments all, re:
"being there, listening", etc. That does nothing about the next day
when they are alone again. There are to many additional factors that can be a
part of the stimulus to seek suicide.Two beautiful, educated,
successful and bi-polar neices (on opposite sides of the family) chose to end
their lives this way. They were both on the same Rx med. Further research
showed a huge % of associated suicides with those users. Where is that study
now?...It's a complicated dilemma with no easy answers.
Let's listen AND be pro-active into all possibilities, in addition to
counseling and nice talk. Life is too serious and previous to "talk"
all problems away.
@Superfluous-Then that stat must be correct on both counts. My two
nieces (see above post) were both successful:One used the gun, the other a
rope. The cowgirl/hunter knew what was no-fail. The RN knew also.
There is a direct correlation between altitude and depression. Higher altitude,
higher rates of depression. You are welcome to google it.A study
divided depressed subjects into three groups using different methods of
treatment:- Those taking anti-depressants- Those exercising-
Those using exercise and medicationThose using exercise or exercise
and medication did better than those using medication only.The worst
thing a depressed person can do is what they FEEL like doing.
Suicide is a pain problem. It's no surprise that people use legal and
illegal drugs and alcohol to reduce the pain they feel. The pain is real. One
book said that the pain associated with severe depression registers in the part
of the brain that registers the most intense pain as a person would have with a
broken leg or broken back. Imagine the pain associated with a broken back and
it never going away for days, weeks, months. For a person in pain to reach out
for help, seems like it would even be more painful. Or failed attempts at
reaching out, make the person feel even more hopeless. Many people heroically
walk around with suicidal pain levels fighting to hold on.
@common twitI am hoping a few can read and consider the thoughts you
have been willing to share here. I won't patronize you with petty advice to
your struggle or submit what others should get from your comments. But I see
value in reading your post. Being willing to listen and discuss this relative
issue here (suicide) is very important. Unfortunately, too many are
scared to talk about suicide or are embarrassed to do so. Rather it's an
LDS based problem or not, suicide rates here are enough of an issue to put aside
worrying about our faith's image or attacking it on the other end. I pray
the thought of one's pain and possible loss of life would outweigh our
pride and community labels.
When people get depressed they develop 'tunnel vision'. Their energy
is so low that they can only think of themselves and how to survive like
they're in a tunnel. They have no energy to see outside of the tunnel and
how suicide will affect their loved ones. This is why we need to hospitalize
anyone who is showing signs of sadness. Medication helps. Taking serotonin
boosters like a tablespoon of flax seed oil or fish oil is powerful to boost
energy to improve depression. Get a hormone panel blood test and correct the
imbalances which will make a huge difference! (test for estrogen, progesterone)
Low estrogen causes depression!Kellie Wood RN, BSN, MBA-ITM
Is allowing yourself to be slain, when you have the power to conquer those who
would slay you, a form of suicide?
Being someone who has been personally affected by suicide, suicidal thoughts,
and depression the amount of misunderstanding on this forum sickens me.To suggest that I simply need more Jesus in my life is a gross
over-simplification of the issue. Praying can be part of a solution, but it is
not *the* solution. Depression is an incredibly complex disorder. Suggesting I
simply "snap out of it" is an affront to me and merely pushes me deeper.
This sort of societal misunderstanding needs to change at a fundamental level.