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flameburns623

Do our values really foster suicide rather than healing?

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Posted (edited)

I will kick this off with this blog, which launches into a diatribe sbout Mormonism somewhere in the middle:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor/2018/06/09/i-remember-when-i-was-near-suicide/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=FBCP-PRX&utm_content=thoughtfulpastor

 

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 . . . Donors must have significant emotional stability and must not be doing this for reasons of wanting to hasten our deaths.

So, among other things, he asked me if I had ever considered suicide. I told him, “yes,” and explained the circumstances. I asked if he had much knowledge about what life was like for women in a very conservative religious world. He acknowledged ignorance, so I spent a few minutes explaining it.

Suddenly, his face changed, and he said, “Oh now it makes sense. The state with the highest number of anti-depressant prescriptions written, and written primarily for women, is Utah.”

Yes, Utah, home of the very much silenced female Mormons, with their unequivocally male-run church. The Mormon world entirely relegates women to home and to bearing and rearing as many children as possible.

It’s no wonder women are generally depressed. Better to keep them medicated and under the thumb than deal with the real issue: their lives and their restrictions are killing their souls. However, there is no safe place to let it out. So they turn on themselves and embrace depression and meds to survive . . . .

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I am currently helping a fellow veteran, a confirmed secularist, not LDS, definitely not a churchgoer. He has suffered a recent series of strokes and has been reduced in many ways to the functional level of a child. He is dependent upon a sister, having lost his home and receiving (for the moment) a very small disability stipend. We are working to rectify this, but these things take time. 

He had threatened suicide long years ago in the midst of a divorce: he was the abusive partner and his wife had enough and got out.

He has now seriously contemplated and planned self-harm now, in the throes of his disability. Certainly, his repellant behavior ftom years ago is likely to have brought him to a place, now, of self-reflection and remorse. And, I suspect he has long labored under a burden of unacknowledged mental illness. In the midst of this, he has begun some tentative explorations of faith and spirituality, within a very conservative "seeker-sensitive" communion. Somehow, the very environment which the cited blogger finds stifling is healing to my friend. 

My oen wife endured a breakdown a tad less than two yeara ago. And, at that juncture, SOUGHT OUT the "stifling" environment of Mormonism,  which has been healing for her. 

Depression, a primary driver of suicide,  is a complex brain disorder. It can be serious but transient, like the flu or pneumonia; or it can be chronic and life-limiting, like COPD (one of my Old Man ailments).

Many beset with depression seek out religious faith, and report that it provides help and comfort in their distress. There is no evidence of which I am aware which shows that more conservative faith is somehow less therapeutic or more harmful than a liberal church might be.

Obviously, some faith-driven relationships are toxic--as are some relationships irrespective of faith. The blogger (who was never LDS to my knowledge), felt this was true for her within her Evangelical faith tradition. She sought relief in a place she found healthier for herself.

I am happy for her that she is happier. But I suspect it is too easy to skewer all conservative faith traditions, even those she has no apparent connection to, due to her own unfortunate past. 

Thoughts?

Edited by flameburns623
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Posted (edited)

If it did then you'd see Mormons all over the world since 1830 committing suicide. I think what is going on rather than doing that is people leaving, they may not think they measure up and so they split. I think we could focus more on healing

Edited by Duncan
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My thoughts?

it's absurd

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9 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

My thoughts?

it's absurd

your thoughts are absurd or the OP is absurd?

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Posted (edited)

Slander.

Naked bigotry.

The only thing left out is Baptist babies' blood being used to bake sacrament bread.

Edited by USU78
Stray keystrokes
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As someone who has been suicidal.....I would say no.

I cannot speak to the crazy evangelicals. Maybe they do drive people to suicide.

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These arguments are so silly and show a complete lack of understanding of stats, cause & effect, and medience.  They're slander tactic and nothin more.

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Isn't the suicide rate increasing nationwide?  https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-08/suicide-30-1999.  I didn't see where mormonism got blamed.  I guess us non-believers can't pin this one on you this time.  :unknw: From the article I cited, Nevada was the only state to decrease the suicide rate since 1999.  However, Nevada is still high up on the per capita scale.   http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_sui_percap-health-suicides-per-capita.  Utah isn't far behind, though, at no. 11.  My guess is that the overall rate in Utah, as elsewhere, has to do with relationship problems.  That is always a messy thing to deal with.  I represent people periodically in divorce cases or child custody cases and the emotions are very raw during these cases.  So, I am not surprised that the article I cited said relationship problems were the biggest cause.  I still think the teenage suicide rate is alarming and we all need to do our part to stop this.  Also, suicide among other age groups is horrible to state the obvious.  I think everyone needs to be aware of the signs and step in where possible.  I lost my best friend in high school and college to suicide some years back and I still get emotional over it.  We were estranged prior to the unfortunate down spiral due to his drug habits and violence.  Everyone was.  I still wish I could have done more though.  

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29 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Isn't the suicide rate increasing nationwide?  https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-08/suicide-30-1999. I didn't see where mormonism got blamed.  I guess us non-believers can't pin this one on you this time.  :unknw: From the article I cited, Nevada was the only state to decrease the suicide rate since 1999.  However, Nevada is still high up on the per capita scale.   http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_sui_percap-health-suicides-per-capita. Utah isn't far behind, though, at no. 11.  My guess is that the overall rate in Utah, as elsewhere, has to do with relationship problems.  That is always a messy thing to deal with.  I represent people periodically in divorce cases or child custody cases and the emotions are very raw during these cases.  So, I am not surprised that the article I cited said relationship problems were the biggest cause.  I still think the teenage suicide rate is alarming and we all need to do our part to stop this.  Also, suicide among other age groups is horrible to state the obvious.  I think everyone needs to be aware of the signs and step in where possible.  I lost my best friend in high school and college to suicide some years back and I still get emotional over it.  We were estranged prior to the unfortunate down spiral due to his drug habits and violence.  Everyone was.  I still wish I could have done more though.  

I heard on the news tonight that Utah was 5th in the nation. Since the two famous people that were mentioned in the article committed suicide there has been a spike in the calls made to the hotline here in Utah, again according to the news. 

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I heard on the news tonight that Utah was 5th in the nation. Since the two famous people that were mentioned in the article committed suicide there has been a spike in the calls made to the hotline here in Utah, again according to the news. 

That's sad news that Utah is no 5. Is that per capita?

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Posted (edited)

The map here helps to see if there is likely a geographical component (there is unless it is a massive fluke).

"number of deaths per 100,000 total population"

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/suicide-mortality/suicide.htm

(There have been a number of studies linking higher altitudes with depression, including a recent one that shows certain antidepressants that work on serotonin levels are less effective at high altitude, since oxygen is used in the production of serotonin, that less available oxygen means less serotonin makes sense)

The table below can be clicked on so ranked by suicide rate instead of alphabetically.  The top ten are pretty consistent, though specific placings vary.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)

What I would like to see are other factors adjusted mortality rates.  For example, heart disease kills less people per capita in Utah than in Louisiana and Mississippi.  Which both leaves more to be killed by violence or accident and increases the importance of deaths by violence and accident (if out of 100, 30 die of heart disease and 20 by accident or violence, heart disease will be a more leading cause while if 15 die of heart disease and accidents and violence stay the same, the latter is the higher up cause...so best to compare straight rates and ignore "leading cause", imo, when comparing states though very important when a state is deciding what death prevention methods to invest in for their state).

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/where-you-live-determines-what-kills-you-n695506

I like this style of map that measures by county rather than state as it demonstrates likeliness of geographical impact better as well as rural vs. urban, economic etc. if you have those broken down by county as well.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)

Found a suicide rate by county, covers 1999 to 2015.  Smaller populations rates can be drastically affected by small numbers of suicides, even one or two a year, so that caution needs to be mentioned, especially given the cluster suicide phenomenon.  Variation across Utah is quite high.  Grey out areas are too small populations to be useful.  Mountain and Midwest states have lots of those (practically a grey strip right down the middle of the map), wonder if that has any impact.

https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/7efmtk/us_suicide_rates_by_county_oc/

Won't post as image, so please click as it is very interesting, imo.  See image below, conversation about construction of map was interesting...to me at least.

Edited by Calm
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Hopefully map can post as just image:

swtrzog3p9zz.png

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Posted (edited)

A fun way at looking at population density (the 'grey' areas are even more obvious like this).  US at night:

HJewE_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fid

Edited by Calm

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Posted (edited)

For those wondering how "age adjusted" works, decent explanation in the comments:

Quote

A county with a high number of residents over 85 will have a higher suicide rate, since that age population commits suicide more often ... A county with a high proportion of infants will have a lower suicide rate, since infants don't kill themselves intentionally ... Age adjustment smooths out some of those differences so you can compare counties without worrying so much about the age breakdown within each ...

A more detailed explanation here:

https://health.mo.gov/data/mica/CDP_MICA/AARate.html

and here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_adjustment

Edited by Calm

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http://fox13now.com/2017/11/30/cdc-report-shows-youth-suicide-rate-in-utah-on-the-rise/

It's interesting that "14% of the cases reported having technology taken away from them prior to their death."

Trying to control the use of technology during lessons and work time is virtually impossible. Last year I confiscated the smart phone of a student (Eve) who was using it during the lesson. During the next class period her coach showed up and informed me that the girl was in her office crying because I was so unfair - she wasn't the only student using her phone. I told the coach that Eve was the one who I happened to catch. The coach defended the student and questioned my confiscation policy, even though it's in line with the school's policy. The next day the assistant principal over athletics received an anonymous note from a "parent" informing him that I was a terrible teacher.

Unfortunately I have had numerous confrontations with students regarding the use of technology during class time. Most students just give up their device and pick it up after school. Some freak out and their reaction is evidence of how addicted they are to social media.

What does this have to do with Mormonism? Probably nothing.

Of course the OP is about the remaining 86%. Suicide is complicated and that there are multiple causes. I think there are some aspects of mormon culture that may contribute. Some parents put an enormous amount of pressure on their kids to be faithful LDS. Young men are expected to serve missions and some who choose not to serve are judged unfairly.

I repeat, suicide is complicated and that there are multiple causes. We should all seek to determine as many causes as possible and work to fix what can be fixed.

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Posted (edited)

I really dislike gender propaganda - all those terrible males that run their churches while squashing poor, defenseless, weak women....so much so that it drives them to commit suicide no less. If being held in silence is what causes an individual to commit suicide then why do significantly more males commit suicide than females?  

Suicide is a serious issue and it is not a topic that should be used for this type of gibberish that might comfort those with a feminist agenda, but it does not address the actual topic or enlighten the issue. Suicide affects those with faith and those who have no faith. Though I believe faith may be able to assist those that are depressed, faith does not overcome depression. Even with professional assistance individuals still commit suicide.  

Although I believe in a free press when I see articles of this ilk I begin to think we need to censure stupidity. 

Edited by Storm Rider
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I think for some people, their experience with Mormonism is a great benefit, for others it becomes very harmful, and probably for most it's somewhere in between. I think it depends on so many factors and it's so subjective that generalizing is pointless.

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If we would just execute all the sad people we could lower suicide numbers.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Calm said:

Hopefully map can post as just image:

swtrzog3p9zz.png

Utah county (probably the highest concentration of highly active conservative Mormons) has one of the lowest rates of suicide in the state.  Just thought I'd point that out.  

Edited by pogi
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21 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

If we would just execute all the sad people we could lower suicide numbers.

Where does this comment come from? It certainly isn't a sin to be sad.

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4 minutes ago, pogi said:

Utah county (probably the highest concentration of conservative Mormons) has one of the lowest rates of suicide in the state.  Just thought I'd point that out.  

I wonder how much the inability to conform to the dominant culture affects the Utah county numbers? How many are teenagers?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, pogi said:

Utah county (probably the highest concentration of highly active conservative Mormons) has one of the lowest rates of suicide in the state.  Just thought I'd point that out.  

Good catch.

Here is a map of LDS density per county though old and there has been lots of movement in the past 18 years, will try and find a newer one to substitute.  Not a lot of differentiation in Utah.  I would like to get one for altitude of main population areas of each county, but likely doesn't exist.  Could make a table myself if I wasn't so lazy.   Might do it depending on dog today (she has been very ill and I have been nursemaiding her, but looks like today she is back to normal so I can let her out of my sight...Naptime!)

Link to more up to date one for just Utah so not posting image but link for those who want to eyeball any possible correlation between suicide rate and LDS density, but I am not sure of the year he got the data from, it has another map that is off topic, my apologies.:

http://paulmatzko.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Utah-Map-Combined.png

Edited by Calm

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Exiled said:

I wonder how much the inability to conform to the dominant culture affects the Utah county numbers? How many are teenagers?

Are you saying it is harder to conform to nonLDS cultures since Utah County has one of the lowest rates in the state (and at least up until 2015 appears to have fit into the second to lowest category for the whole US even though high altitude according to several other maps along with the one I posted)?

For those interested, an article on altitude and suicide with maps...lots and lots:

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/4/671

Edited by Calm

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