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Suicide is a complex issue

Dear Editor:

Much of the country has mourned and talked about the suicide death of actor and comedic genius Robin Williams and his battle with severe depression. With more people talking it is hoped that more lives can be saved. More people will know the warning signs of severe depression and a possible suicide attempt and what to do. For those in a crisis situation emergency care should be sought immediately. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a crisis intervention counselor. More than 38,000 Americans and 932 Tennesseans committed suicide in 2010. The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network ( observes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month every September.
Researchers don’t know what causes depression. The National Institute of Mental Health says most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. It’s good to tell people the suicide prevention hotline, but Robin Williams is proof that the best professional help doesn’t always bring healing; and riches, success and fame doesn’t prevent depression. Life can be empty and hopeless even for the gifted when they don’t focus on Jesus and trust Jesus for their future. Christians are to extend grace and mercy to those suffering from depression and those suffering from thoughts of suicide and those caught in the aftermath when it breaks hearts and takes away loved ones. The world is designed to break our hearts. However, Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted.
Depression can be caused by thyroid problems or a vitamin deficiency. Lacking B-complex vitamins can cause depression. Becoming active and helping others is a key remedy for depression. It always helps to pray and read the Bible which is the source of comfort and peace. Studies show frequent churchgoers were about half as likely to be depressed and it found they had a greatly decreased likelihood of an attempted suicide and lived seven years longer. Often suicidal tendencies come to people who are self absorbed. C.S. Lewis said, “Look for yourself and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Jesus and you will find Him and with Him everything thrown in.”
It helps to have hope and something to look forward to. Christians are “looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” For those who love and trust Jesus the following is their future: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away!”

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton, TN