After years of struggling with clinical depression, Rick Warren’s 27 year old son Matthew has committed suicide. Rick Warren released a statement:
“Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many,” the statement said.
“Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life.”
Warren, the author of the multimillion-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life,” said in an email to church staff that he and his wife had enjoyed a fun Friday evening with their son before Matthew Warren returned home to take his life in “a momentary wave of despair.”
Terrible news. My heart goes out to the family. My mind turns to how we can help those we love who cope with mental illness. If you don’t already read JT, Miri, or Greta, they are each great resources on the subject from within atheist perspectives.
I am also reminded of Bede, my close friend who suffers from clinical depression and has decided to bravely confront his illness publicly. Bede is also both a monk and gay. He graciously and courageously agreed to be interviewed about his experience for my Camels With Hammers Show last fall. At the 56:50 mark of the video below, Bede begins to talk about his mental illness and its most dangerous effect on him.