By Lauren Roberts

Editor in Chief

There is a word in the English language that I hate more than any other word. Suicide. I detest how it attempts to snatch the purpose and meaning of each person on this planet. This word comes to steal, kill and destroy. It’s relentless in trying to creep up and speak hopelessness to the heart of any woman or man. Recently, two celebrities made a choice that affected everyone that loved them. Something from this world was stolen that brought a flavor that will never be tasted again. I don’t care what the world says, every human being has value, and only God has the right to give and take life.

Recently, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade made a choice that affected everyone that loved them. They committed suicide. Something from this world was stolen that brought a flavor that will never be tasted again. I don’t care what the world says, every human being has value, and only God has the right to give and take life.

As everyone talks about the deaths of these two celebrities, people have also discussed the recent statistics and how they have increased. People scratch their heads as they try to figure out the cause of the rising suicide deaths. It is the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this year that, “suicide rates in the US have increased nearly 30% in less than 20 years.” Why is this happening?

Hopelessness is a lie. Scientists have found that our brains are hardwired for hope. We literally need hope to survive. I read a quote on social media from a non-profit called To Write Love on Her Arms, and it said, “Hope is defiant. Hope tells us the truth.” There is never a hopeless situation, and there is always a solution. I’ve often heard it said that “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Problems can be solved.

We could blame all of this on one thing, or we could believe it is a conglomeration of things like the increase in social media usage, unhealthy diets, a culture of individualism in the United States and other countries and the pressure to succeed. We could also blame this on the stigma attached to mental illness and suicidal thoughts. Please know that although these thoughts are not normal, we are human and anyone is vulnerable.

However, I believe the source of suicidal thoughts is hopelessness. The wise author of Proverbs said, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” We are sick (depressed) when we lose hope. Hopelessness comes from not having your hope rooted in something solid and enduring. Our country was built on our foundation in God, but over the years, our foundation has started to crack.

Yes, it is a combination of all of these things. I, myself, struggled with depression for many years. Like many others, I fought suicidal thoughts.

I’m happy to report that I have conquered my depression! For me, depression was as easy as taking vitamins that filled a nutrient deficiency that I had. Which could be the problem for some but it took me a long time to figure this out. I held on to my hope for healing, and it came. I found out when I was pregnant that I had an iron deficiency. I started getting more iron into my system and Vitamin D. I haven’t felt this good in years. When I was finally stable, I was able to get to the root of my depression.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting emotionally stable so you can deal with your unhealed areas. When I finally found healing in many areas of my life, I also noticed that deep down, I struggled with believing in Jesus. I spent a year of my life, sorting through all the evidence and living in the midst of a community where I saw real miracles that should not have happened except by the power of the Holy Spirit. My hope was restored. Hope is defiant. Hope never fades. Hope is running after you.

***I have a B.A. in Psychology but I am not a doctor. This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you or someone you know is struggling, please find a way to get help. Please go the nearest hospital and/or call The Georgia Crisis Line at 1-800-715-4225 or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255. You can also come to AWAKE Coffee Co. (862 North Main St. NW/678-392-2400) if you just need someone to talk to. There will always be someone there willing to talk with you