Saturday, February 27, 2010

Depression and suicide

Depression is a very real illness. Often, the illness is treated with antidepressants - in teens, an unfortunate side effect is that they sometimes become suicidal.

I was saddened to hear last evening of the passing of Marie Osmond's 18 year old son. As a former Mormon, and even in my youth, I have followed the family of the Osmonds with curiosity and pride at their success and ability to remain grounded in times of trouble - indeed, Marie has been married twice and is now a single parent, raising a large family without a helpmeet.

Preliminary reports indicate that her son jumped/fell from the apartment in California where he was living. We may never know whether he fell or jumped. What we do know is that he had struggled with depression his entire life.

I encourage all of you - parents, aunts, uncles, godparents, grandparents and concerned friends - to please intervene when you see someone close to you in crisis - there are often warning signs with suicide - an individual might talk about a specific plan to harm themselves - they might give away belongings - they might become withdrawn and cease to work or attend school or other social functions - in this case, there might have been no signs, but we need to be diligent in looking for them in those around us.

Suicide is real, as is depression - Marie Osmond has seen much heartache in her life - this is likely the saddest and biggest challenge she will face - let us pray for her and her family that their grief might be lessened and that their family will gather together and sustain one another as they have done in times past.

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