The recent tragedy of the suicide of Robin Williams will highlight an ailing problem, and perhaps give much needed attention to this horrible experience for loved ones, family and friends. How could someone be in so much emotional pain to take their own life? It bespeaks to two problems. One is the fact that some people are suffering silently, and have no place to release their pain. The second is that some people are suffering, and have no solution to resolve their pain.
Here is a summary of a resent study by OAS:
“Among adults who experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, 56.3% thought during their worst or most recent episode that it would be better if they were dead, 40.3% thought about committing suicide, 14.5% made a suicide plan, and 10.4% made a suicide attempt. Adults with a past year major depressive episode who reported past month binge alcohol or illicit drug use were more likely to report suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts than their counterparts with past year depression who had not did not binge drink or use an illicit drug in the past month. In 2004, an estimated 106,079 emergency department visits were the result of drug-related suicide attempts by persons aged 18 or older. A psychiatric condition was diagnosed in 41% (43,176) of the drug-related suicide attempts treated in the emergency departments. The most frequent psychiatric diagnosis was depression.”
Resolving emotional pain is a skill that needs to be learned. We invest money, time and effort in intellectual development, yet very little resources in emotional development. Secondly, true resolution of pain comes from an authentic connection with God, and experiencing the dimension of Him as divine healer. Some say, “Don’t give me all that religious stuff.” Well, when you are dealing with the reality of suicide, the first place everyone turns to is that “religious stuff.”
Dean Sunseri is a minister and Licensed Professional Counselor in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.