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Suicide is always a tragedy

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Most people I know have lost a friend, a family member or loved one to suicide. Sometimes the depression and anxiety had been apparent for a long time; other times people are taken completely off guard, not even suspecting the deep torment that a loved one endured secretly.

We have come to appreciate how dangerous depression can be. It is like quicksand that devours a person in the unstoppable urge to self-destruction. Sometimes we experience a rash of suicides in a community, as one depressed person -- upon hearing of a friend, acquaintance or even a stranger, who takes his own life -- repeats that action. The copycat syndrome is a very real danger. The suffering of a suicide reverberates in the psyche of friends, relatives and co-workers and also in people who have attempted or considered suicide in the past. Suicide always affects other people; it is never an act that only affects the individual involved. Family members, friends and neighbors often are filled with lingering sadness, guilt and confusion. Sometimes those who are closest to the deceased never completely recover, never forgive themselves and are haunted for the rest of their lives by the loss.

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