Pastor Rick Warren Mathew Warren

Suicide Pastor Warren’s son commits suicide

For some there is no silver lining.
Mental illness can happen regardless of income, social status regardless of the ability to get the best physicians, psychologists, counselors, and medications.
Despite parental support, Christian upraising, recognition of mental health illness and ability to give the best medical support, the 27-year-old committed suicide.
Mental health issues do exist and are a lifetime struggle for certain people.
The psychologist or psychiatrist who worked with this young man would have a clear understand of the underlining mental aspects that lead to his depression and downward spiral resulting in tragically taking his own life.
Psychological studies indicate teen suicide is the third cause of death for young people ages 15-24 years old: 20% teenagers consider it.
Men are more likely to commit suicide than women.  For women it trends toward a cry for help and women comprise only 25% of those who commit suicide.  Men seem to plan it and go through with it.  Psychologically, they may be at a point where they have made a decision to take their own life.
Suicide is often depression oriented, rooted in self-esteem issues: feeling of worthless, failing to meet goals to live up to expectations of others. There is a high level of avoidance and intrusive memories that occurs in the depressed person.  The high frequency of negative memories continues to affect thinking and lead to a continuation of depression symptoms.
One psychological study found a 73% prevalence of intrusive memories even 6 months later in depressed individuals.  It seems to be a common thread in depressive episodes.  Depressed individuals relate to negative events a reduced amount of recall for positive ones.  One study found a correlation with negative memories and the inability shift self-impressions.
My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Warren, his wife and family.  I have read all his books and “The Purpose Driven Life” is inspirational.
As psychologists, counselors, and parents, we need to be alert to possible warning signs for depression and mental health issues:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Changes in personality
  • Low self esteem (feeling of worthlessness)
  •  Overwhelming guilt