For many of us, Montana is a magical place filled with natural beauty, enchanting wildlife and caring communities. With all the charm of our idyllic environment, we may not be aware of the ominous undercurrent of emotional suffering afflicting a casual acquaintance, close friend or even our children. Montana’s high suicide rate may be just another impersonal national statistic to many; but for some of our neighbors, it is a reflection of the darkness of depression that is endured every day.
Suicide is a consequence of intolerable emotional pain. Many suicide attempts are impulsive acts and half of all suicide deaths are caused by firearms. Severe emotional pain can cause debilitating conditions such as distorted thought processes and tunnel vision which impairs problem solving and clear thinking. Depression and emotional pain also can result in extreme exhaustion which diminishes the ability to seek help. A person suffering from depression just doesn’t have enough energy to reach out, even if they have the motivation.