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Suicides in Utah increasing, but solutions are in sight

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  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    Among the suicide statistics are people in or associated with the military. In America, military people and veterans commit suicide at the rate of 1 per hour or 22 per day. 60% are over age 59, 30% are under age 39.

    Police officers commit suicide at the rate of 125 to 150 per year.

    Firemen may only be 30 or so per year.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    The increase use of medications with known "increased suicidal risks" needs to addressed first.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    A simple thing that can be done to reduce the suicide rate is to not have a gun in the home. White males have the highest suicide rate. While murder rates have decreased, suicide rates using firearms has increased.

    "Ecologic studies that compare states with high gun ownership levels to those with low gun ownership levels find that in the U.S., where there are more guns, there are more suicides. The higher suicide rates result from higher firearm suicides; the non-firearm suicide rate is about equal across states."

    About 85% of attempts with a firearm are fatal: that’s a much higher case fatality rate than for nearly every other method. Many of the most widely used suicide attempt methods have case fatality rates below 5%"
    (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • ahfclass Orem, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    How was Provo School District able to address this and have this success? In Alpine district (and in most of Utah) it is literally forbidden to talk about suicide; you can't even use the word "suicide" as administrators are afraid it calls too much attention to the idea of doing it. But they have anti-porn assemblies, anti-tobacco and anti-drug assemblies, and wear colors and ribbons to promote not choosing these things. Our local high school has experienced the loss of beloved friends to suicide. I have family who have lost children to suicide. If we are hiding from suicide as a real option teens and others consider, that won't make it go. Rather, shouldn't we try letting kids know that people really feel like this, and that it's a horrific option to choose, for everybody affected by it? I've watched my daughter grieve a close friend's suicide for 1 1/2 years now. We need to make suicide prevention a regular part of the healthy living dialogue.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:16 p.m.

    Truth seeker, your right, guns are part of the means to the end.
    But your thoughts seem motivated towards gun control.
    How about discussing why white men take loosing jobs, and not being able to provide like the man next door so very hard?
    It's the main reason they commit this action.
    They feel like they are failures.
    Nothing to do with guns.
    They will just jump off a cliff instead.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:19 p.m.

    Deseret News it's not only teens committing suicide! More articles focus on teens when other populations have increases as well, especially since the recession.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:36 a.m.

    Re:AggieLove
    "An analysis of 2010 deaths in Utah showed nearly 40 percent of those who committed suicide had a conflict with an intimate partner. Slightly more than half had been diagnosed with a mental illness. Only 15 percent were reported to have a financial problem.

    Research suggests that the high rate of suicide in the Intermountain West may be tied to elevation, rural communities with fewer health resources, access to firearms and a heavily western European population, which has been shown to have more suicidal thoughts."
    (SL Trib 2012)

  • The.Canuck Tooele, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:19 a.m.

    The loss of a job affects a man more than they let on. Men that lose the ability to provide for their families often look at their life insurance policies and notice that the suicide clause expires after 2 years of policy ownership generally. I know I did this research when I lost my job after 14 years and felt like a failure. Thankfully with some hard work I found a new job and can still provide for my family.

    This economy sucks and is playing a part in the rise of suicides. For sure there are other factors like mental health that must be addressed, but for adults and white males in general, look no further than a job loss in a lousy economy.

    Fix the economy and let the people have hope. Right now, all this hope and change is going for the worse.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 3:58 a.m.

    Radicals can't let it go, guns are here to stay whether they like it or not. The left wing can forget about ever getting laws passed to strip gun ownership for any reason, the risk of disarming the american people and opening this country to demonic government control is too risky. We are seeing what government repression is doing to this country, it is causing suicides in schools and the worst economy this country has ever seen since the revolutionary war.

    Suicide prevention? Its impossible to predict, define, or eliminate. The mind is to unpredictable and no 2 suicides are the same. Medications cause the majority of self inflicted deaths but people put too much value on medications to cure anything. Medications cure notheing and awareness is of little value when someone makes up their mind to die. There is little we can do to stop it. Its not something we can educate people to avoid, they already know the risk and results of their choices and its their right to due if they so choose.

    They choose to die to escape their suffering and emotional pain of socialism in children and adults, intervention only makes their lives worse longer.

  • JBT Provo, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    I think it's Very safe to say that Guns have Never been the 'reason' for committing suicide. So to somehow link suicide with gun control is absurd. It's certainly one manor of death, however, so is drug overdose, strangulation (hanging), Carbon monoxide poisoning, cutting, suffocation, jumping off a cliff, etc.
    The article seems to highlight mental illness, which I think is certainly easy for parents, friends, and families to except. But it's not Always the reason for suicide... and that's why suicide is a difficult problem to address. No one, typically a parent, wants to hear that they were part of the 'reason' their kid committed suicide, and I realize you cant tell the parents of someone who committed suicide that they were part of the problem. BUT, I think we as parents, families and friends should be able to learn from these parenting mistakes so we can improve how we raise our own children.? Maybe be more loving, more caring, more forgiving, less judgmental. Recognize the good things our kids do, dont compare them to Sally or John down the street, and don't try to make them into something they're not. jmho

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    The article touches on the main cause of these suicides: mental illness. The best preventative measures will be those addressing effective treatment of mental illness.

    Some people make the irrational mistake of blaming inanimate objects such as ropes, firearms, shaving razors, etc for the cause of suicide. Blaming a rope or a firearm for a suicide is like blaming my fork for my over-eating.

    Sure, a person with mental illness may require extra precautions at home, but let us not blame inanimate objects when the real reason for suicide overwhelmingly has to do with what is going on inside a person such as in the case of a chemical/hormonal imbalance.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 6:54 a.m.

    Suicide among teens is about non acceptance. It is about a society that has shut out an emerging human being.It is about all of the elements of a society , Church, school, peers and the political established that has labeled the younger person both in print and in the spoken words as UNFIT and UNWORTHY . This article committed two major sins. One it addressed the issue as Utah's image problem and it did not once mention the primary cause of teen suicide in America today. DRUGS and BEING GAY!! This is not the way to solve the problem . You have to utter the words in order to correct the problem. Your Hopr4Utah should be Hope4theKIDS. You are trying to solve the problem because it makes you look bad. How about solving the problem because it is killing our kids.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    Truthseeker,

    I'm with AggieLove on the gun control thing. Sad as I am to hear of the suicide problem in Utah, the fact remains that guns do not kill, and the people's right to own them must not be controlled nor banned under any circumstances. All efforts must be aimed at finding, correcting, educating, and then helping people avoid whatever it is that's causing them to loose all hope and settle on suicide. Educate, educate, educate! That my friend, couple with people caring and reaching out to help each other, is the only real solution!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    The biggest asset any one could have is some one who believes in you.

  • Random Redlands, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    How about the insane need to be "perfect"? That seems to abound in Utah. Perfect job, perfect body, perfect grades and when someone can't measure up to an impossible standard, it's easier to just end it all, rather than be okay with being imperfect.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:14 a.m.

    People who want to end there life will end it gun or no gun. Stop trains, cliffs, certain types of medicines. Suicide is tragic and I think most people that do it are mentally ill. Hard for victims of it the family and friends and them. You can't blame guns for there decision.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    How many times do we hear of murder-suicides in the media?

    I think that "Truthseeker" had something when bringing up the statistic of 40% of suicides having had a conflict with an intimate partner, and "george of the jungle" who mentioned the need for someone to "believe in you".

    It irks me when there seems to be little desire or ability to go more deeply into the conditions that lead to murder suicides but those few for which I have found a more detailed report seem to indicate infidelity and jealousy, whether the partners were married or had a "relationship".

    It also irks me to hear the term "mental illness" bandied around quite so much, when I believe that this "illness" sometimes has to do with the normal human need to be loved and appreciated. It also bothers me that so many just avoid someone who is "negative" if that "negativity" is rooted in a sense of helplessness or loneliness rather than just being habitually cantankerous. Maybe there could be more application of the commandment to "mourn with those who mourn and comfort those in need of comfort."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 26, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Its rather sad to see politics injected into a subject such as this.

    I've known several people who have decided to make this final decision. It's rather frustrating that these people some how came to the conclusion that there was no alternative for them, that there was no way out. You know people were letting these people know there were options, but somehow they just were not able to hear it.

    "It also irks me to hear the term "mental illness" bandied around quite so much, when I believe that this "illness" sometimes has to do with the normal human need to be loved and appreciated."

    Great point. The need to be loved is hardly an illness.... but not being able to see that others love you when you are indeed loved... there is a problem. One of my friends that did take this path did know he was loved, and loved back, and that was the reason he decided to take this path - as he felt he had failed those whom he loved... he had not measured up... had not done enough.

    Sometimes we need to stop worrying about being "saints".... and realize sometimes were just human.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    I had two lovely neices on opposite sides of the family end their lives. Both were beautiful, successful, LDS and seemingly had much to live for. One was engaged and had a successful medical profession; the other had 3 beautiful children and a supportive family. In retrospect, each had clear signs of bi-polar and/or depression issues many years ago, but never sufficient to see suicide as something they would ever contemplate. They both loved and were unconditionally loved by their families. Acceptance and self-esteem were never an issue. Some other factors obviously were.

    The only two things they had in common were the Church and their Rx meds. We may never know, but one glaring question that is not being asked here is: Why isn't the high LDS influence in Utah helping to stem the tide? Examining that role and its influence in each case is a mandatory consideration for families who truly want to search every avenue for any help of future victims.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Some have touched on LDS influence in Utah. The fact is that suicide rates are high across the Rocky Mountain region of the USA irrespective of the LDS population percentages within any given state in that region. In fact, religious belief and participation is generally found to reduce attempts at suicide, though it doesn't prevent thoughts of suicide.

    Some are mistaking a need to feel loved with mental illness. Mental illness goes far beyond a need to feel loved. It involves chemical and hormonal imbalances. Extra love alone won't fix those imbalances.

    Now obviously not everyone who commits suicide suffers from mental illness. As some have mentioned, extreme stress such as the loss of employment in a bad economy can be a factor for some. In other cases family relationship difficulties may be a factor. Still, those don't negate the need to find effective treatments for those who suffer from true mental illness.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    @Shazandra

    "Why isn't the high LDS influence in Utah helping to stem the tide?"

    It appears that the high LDS influence might actually help after all. The mountain states have higher than average suicide rates in the USA. But Utah has been among the lowest in suicide rates in the mountain states. If the LDS influence increases suicide rates as many critics claim, then Utah would have the highest suicide rate in the mountain states, not the lowest. But that is not the case. I realize that correlation does not necessarily mean causation, so we must be cautious with assumptions, however.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    As a parent, what do you do when your son talks about suicide? Has no motivation. Feels like a complete failure, "The black sheep of the family." A loser when he compares himself to the rest of his cousins. Questions his career path, which is a good one, but now expresses self-doubt? Goes to the art school of his dream and still has no motivation or self respect and very low self esteem and is gay and basically doesn't believe in God and denies everything he ever learned as a mormon youth? What do we do? He even goes to therapy and that doesn't seem to be working. Sometimes he talks about just going to a mental institution and staying there forever.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    "But your thoughts seem motivated towards gun control."
    "So to somehow link suicide with gun control is absurd."
    "guns do not kill, and the people's right to own them must not be controlled"

    Did I say anything about enacting gun control laws?
    Nope.
    Although I am in favor of gun control laws.
    But having a gun in the home is a personal choice. Even in states which have strict gun control laws, people are allowed to have guns in the home.

    We made a specific decision, being parents of 3 sons, to not have a gun in the home. (not fanatical--my kids had toy guns and when older occasionally went to a shooting range with their dad). But, we had been educated about the link in young males between emotional upset triggering physical activity. "Don't give an emotionally upset son the keys to the car" we learned at a seminar offered parents at school. We knew the heightened risk between successful completion of suicide and firearms. I view it like a seat belt. Accidents still happen with seat belts-but a seat belt improves the chances of survival.

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    Almost a decade ago I gave the life-sketch at my best friends funeral. Somewhere he lost hope. And I have yet to figure out where.

    But I have some ideas.... With people being less friendly, people spending more time in doors. The disappearance of wholesome mainstream entertainment, and the emergence of the promiscuous, drug-fueled, anything goes culture of pride and selfishness, no wife, no kids, no commitment, is it any wonder the suicide rate increases?

    Selfishness IS the root of all evil. And selfishness IS misery.

    But with good parenting, establishment of a productive, God-fearing, Christ-centered lifestyle, starting a family, getting an education, owning a home, it doesn't have to be this way.

    Selfishness never was happiness. ;)

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Utah Dept of Health stats for UT:
    80% of suicide deaths were boys/men, especially between the ages of 15-44.
    Firearms accounted for 67% of suicides age 21 or younger, 60% of ALL suicide deaths.

    re:sg
    Depression can be hugely challenging and difficult to overcome. I wish there were more effective treatments and I think one day there will be. Be careful with meds--for some they help, for others they don't. What about support groups--for instance is there an "Affirmation" (LDS gay group) in your area? Maybe it would help him to connect with others. (they have a website, affirmation org) And/or, finding a "service" type activity--helping others on a personal level can be personally fulfilling and meaningful.
    Good luck

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    LDS Liberal said, "The increase use of medications with known 'increased suicidal risks' needs to addressed first."

    A 2006 study showed that SSRI antidepressants have saved thousands of lives since they became available in the U.S. in the late 1980s. Suicide rates remained fairly steady for the 15 years prior to the introduction of Prozac in 1988, but they dropped steadily over the next 14 years as use of the drug increased. Between 12.7 and 13.7 suicides occurred among every 100,000 people in the U.S. from the early 1960s until 1988. Suicides steadily declined after that to a low of 10.4 per 100,000 in 2000. A 2009 study in Europe showed that “Suicide rates have tended to decrease more in European countries where there has been a greater increase in the use of antidepressants. These findings underline the importance of the appropriate use of antidepressants as part of routine care for people diagnosed with depression, therefore reducing the risk of suicide.”

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    My2Cents, you said, "There is little we can do to stop it. . . . Intervention only makes their lives worse longer." Wow. Imagine if society felt the same way about people with diabetes or heart disease. Depression is treatable and people who suffer from it can go on to live happy, productive lives. And there is evidence that intervention does help prevent suicide: A 2-year intervention program was performed in Nuremberg at four levels: training of family doctors and support through different methods; a public relations campaign informing about depression; cooperation with community facilitators (teachers, priests, local media, etc.); and support for self-help activities as well as for high-risk groups. The effects of the 2-year intervention on the number of suicidal acts were evaluated with respect to a 1-year baseline and a control region. Results: Compared to the control region, a reduction in frequency of suicidal acts was observed in Nuremberg during the 2-year intervention.

    Your statement, "Its [sic] their right to due [sic] if they so choose" is alarming.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    One problem seems to be that when "mental illness" is diagnosed we hear of many cases of prescribed medications, based on that diagnosis and supposed to alleviate problems, leading to suicidal feelings and actual suicides. I'd like to hear and read more discussion on this; some on this thread have already indicated problems with psychiatric meds.

    I do think that people feel driven to extreme measures when terrible hurts, overwhelming and seemingly hopeless circumstances and feelings of isolation are not mitigated by the concern and love of those around them. I see some people hurting that are ignored or merely told to "cheer up" without any attempt to ascertain if there is a real problem, and others who might fake a suicide attempt just to get their way. The last group never take enough pills to succeed though I suppose that sometimes they might do so accidentally.

    I do suspect frequent failure to take time to talk with a person in especially dire circumstances; we don't know the extent of their worries or think they will get by. It is common for people to say and do terrible things to others, but how powerful is a kind word.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    @Utes Fan- Too high of rates for mountain states vs. the NY/East Coast lifestyle, from my perspective.

    @Capsaicin- Agreed, selfishness has consequences. But all of the solutions in your last paragraph don't deal with those who came from great families and had success and love, but used Rxs that had fatal consequences.

    @Truthseeker- Yes, guns are the easiest and most used. But their absence is no deterrent. My Utah neice (36) used a shotgun, the California neice (39) hung herself in the family tool shed. I doubt the CA neice, being an RN, would have ever used a gun. But then nothing in her sweet life would ever have indicated such action from her.

    We should give our best, try to be aware, and show love to all. But, IMHO, there is no easy solution or trite reasoning that covers those who are chemically-induced to such action.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    sg: Thank you for expressing your concerns. Awareness is the first key to finding help. Just last night I watched an episode of BYUtv's program "Turning Point" which was about the healing capacity of animals to help those who are depressed and suicidal; those without hope. The show was called "The Gentle Barn" (and it's located in CA!). Go to BYUtv.org, click on "shows", find "Turning Point" and watch this episode. The connection for many children/youth/even adults is to feel needed. When they are put in charge of helping heal animals like these, they begin to feel needed. Check it out to see if your son could be helped in such a way.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    If you have children / adults that are dealing with depression / mental illness you should seriously question whether you should continue to keep firearms in your home.

    If you are going to keep firearms in your home then you should have a dang good plan that prevents said children / adults from accessing those weapons.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    @sg --

    "what do you do when your son talks about suicide?"

    I'm so sorry for your son's struggles.

    It's great that he's in therapy. If at all possible, try to make sure that he also connects with some sort of LGBT support group.

    LGBT people are roughly 4-5 times more likely to commit suicide than straight people. One huge reason is widespread institutionalized homophobia. Everyone from their school to their parents to their church tells them that they are "less" than everyone else. This problem is especially prevalent in conservative states like Utah with strong and disapproving churches.

    Keep reminding him that you love him and value him just the way he is, and that he's an important part of your life. Do NOT tell him that homosexuality is "bad" or "sinful". Even if you believe those things are true, he doesn't need to hear them right now -- they will only increase his sense of failure and alienation.

    And lastly -- if he thinks he needs to go to a mental hospital, he might be right. Don't discount the possibility.

    I wish you and your son much healing and hope.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    @Truthseeker. Canada and Australia both have strict gun control and both countries outrun the US in suicide. If someone wants to do it, they will find the tool.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    My sister lost one son to suicide and shortly after another son died. Her health had been bad and I think it was just too much. She died within a couple of years. It has been so devastating to our entire family. It is like somebody rips open a huge hole in your heart and the pain just doesn't want to go away. I think we lack hope in our society. It seems like we dwell far to much on the negative. Even as an adult, it can be hard! Any of us can find ourselves at a moment when things seem too hard. I have had total strangers ask me how I was! Two really hard moments and somehow these two ladies knew it was important to talk to me. I wasn't thinking suicide, but I was in a bad place, and by feeling their concern, it did wonders to how felt. It made me feel hope. Hope is what we need to help them have. I pray for young people a lot. Nobody should ever have to lose someone this way. Thanks to those who work to prevent it. God bless you every day

  • rickdoctor Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 26, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    You cannot chalk up suicide to a few simple boxes...it is pernicious and often totally inexplicable...don't blame it on guns, even lifetime gun-haters will find a gun if that is their method-of-choice (personal knowledge)...we have a lousy lousy mental health system all over the USA, and Utah is perhaps worse in some ways, because many religious people believe a mentally/emotionally ill person can and should simply pray the problem(s) away; or worse yet, simply repent of whatever must be causing that illness! And many people never seek/obtain life-saving treatment -- what a shame. However, many take their own lives during or after the best treatment available...as I said, often totally unexplainable. We can learn to survive without explanations - however, it is really difficult for our finite, earthly brains to deal with. Prevention, prevention, prevention...get help for anyone you know who will accept it. Keep trying - it is worth it.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    @Shazandra

    "@Utes Fan- Too high of rates for mountain states vs. the NY/East Coast lifestyle, from my perspective."

    Perry F. Renshaw, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, professor of psychiatry at the U School of Medicine and an investigator with Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative has found a correlation between higher altitude and suicide, hence higher suicide rates than the East Coast.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 5:31 p.m.

    With regard to the GENERAL sense of well-being of the people of the Rocky Mountain region, a "happiness" poll that Gallup released in February last year placed Utah as number five, Colorado number six, and Montana scored number ten. I don't know where Idaho and Wyoming fell, but you can check it out.

    This year's poll, or that released this year, had Utah and Colorado in the top five (2nd and 4th respectively). I know that this is not the quite, or not exactly, the subject under discussion but it might rehabilitate the Western States in the minds of some as generally a happy place to be.

    We can still be concerned for those experiencing a depressed period in their lives. I hope we are.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:15 p.m.

    The Canuck:
    Good point about life insurance benefits. And it doesn't help that I've read several articles recently that advocate drug testing welfare recipients or one that I read just today that suggests that most states award benefits that make holding down a job "not worth it".
    Contrary to popular sentiment, most people want to provide for their families and they want a job that will allow them to do so.
    But what am I doing trying to explain this to a Canuck? ;)

  • Transaction7 Commerce, Texas
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    Thank you for writing this excellent article, and thanks to those who are reaching out as listeners, advocates, etc.

    Local, Texas, and national survey data indicate that about one in eight students have made one or more attempts of varying lethality, and suicide is the second to third highest cause of death in the younger age groups, among others, depending upon where murder comes in.

    I've been there, needed extensive antidepressant and talk therapy to deal with the cognitive distortions and fallacies that lead to suicide, and lost a brother to suicide. More should be taught about the warning signs of, and cognitive distortions that lead to, of suicide. Alive is better! Life does get better! Reach out! For heaven's sake, listen carefully, and without criticism and judgment! Nobody can catch all of them but you may catch on and save one. Get help for anyone you know who may be contemplating suicide.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    @My2Cents: I believe God blessed us with this knowledge and it is wise to utilize it.

    Chemical imbalances can be EXTREMELY debilitating. I don't believe most people would advise someone with diabetes to not take meds. As a society(perhaps mainly in Utah)we need to remove the stigma of mental health. Have you ever been in a dark deep pit without any light and any way to get out? Have you ever experienced a child in 3rd grade who still couldn't read and got into trouble at recess? BOTH of theses circumstances were helped because of intervention and medication. One was able to live a normal life with meds(and never be in the dark pit again!), and the 3rd grader learned to read within weeks LITERALLY(knew it but was unable to get it from brain to reading without proper meds)and graduated high school in top fourth of the class.

    @Gildas & Sg: From experience within my family I would advise anyone to first find a psychiatrist(counselor who can administer meds i.e.MD)they trust enormously(personally that was LDS only)and try different Meds for recommended time period until one works.

  • Thefullnancy SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Three word answer guilt guilt guilt, and a society that incubates and breeds it.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    We thought our son was just going through typical teenage moodiness. I felt compelled to describe the symptoms of depression. I told my son to think about it and please come talk to me and that I was there to help him. He did come to me and admit that he had the symptoms and that he had been contemplating suicide. He was 18. He is 20 now and refusing to take prescribed medication. Since he is an adult I do not know what he has been diagnosed with but looking at what he had been prescribed I believe he is bi-polar and he fits the symptoms. Parents don't ignore the signs. Show your child you are willing to talk even if what you hear from them terrifies you. Help them see it is a medical issue. It's hard because there is a stigma but you can't worry about other people. It's your child's life. We have helped my son get a job, get into school, and figure out what he wants from life. He's writing a book. He's in counseling and is seeing that life is worth living.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    All the people who believe that the commenter who suggested not having guns in the home has an agenda of gun control, you do not know that for sure. Having a child who is bi-polar and has been suicidal has caused me to re-think getting a gun and a permit. I fully believe in the right to bear arms. I know that if someone wants to take their life they can do many other things.I have rope in my garage. I have a bottle of sleeping pills in my medicine cabinet. But it's my choice to protect my children. If the mother of the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary had thought the way I do her son might have had a harder time carrying out his plan. Maybe he would have given up and lost interest. But when I see my son become angry as a symptom of his illness I'm glad I don't have to worry he can find my gun. My dad hid and locked up parts of his gun and ammunition all over the house. My brothers still found and assembled it and shot a hole in the ceiling.