The virulently anti-gay Larry Tomczak offers expert advice on what to do when a loved one is hinting at suicide. Why is every evangelist an amateur psychiatrist? Other than supposed faith healing charlatans these people would probably not weigh in on the type of chemotherapy that a cancer patient should receive. Why then do they feel license to practice psychiatry without a license? While psychiatry requires many years of study including practicums in school and residencies after graduation, I do not know if Tomczak possesses so much as an undergraduate degree.
As a comical aside Tomczak once claimed that a psychiatrist and prominent writer had committed suicide in spite of the fact that he was very much alive. So much so that he sued Tomczak who was forced to pay out $150,000 to settle the matter.
Further evidence of Tomczak’s incompetence in the field of behavior science is his opinion (divorced from rationality and the overwhelming consensus of science) on homosexuality as kind of an acquired taste:
People are not born homosexual. According to Scripture and science, homosexuality is not part of someone’s biological constitution. People will argue to the contrary, but being gay is not like left-handedness. There is absolutely no scientific evidence of a gay gene. Nature or nurture? The answer is the latter. This is not opinion; it’s truth.
As someone who attempted to off himself about eight years ago due to the crushing depression caused by PTSD I am particularly offended. I am not going to quote much of Tomczak ill-advised screed. Suffice it to say:
If a friend or loved one is considering suicide the best thing is to get them professional help.
Prayer and unprofessional counseling has the potential to make matters worse. One of Tomczak’s supposed remedies is to “Draw Them Out Skillfully.” This “skillful” process includes:
We need to gently peel back layers of pain and confusion to get at a root, understanding the depth of the problem. Emulate Jesus sitting in the temple “listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46b).
Ask the person to assign a number to their pain from 1–10. Help them open up by sharing in a vulnerable way your experiences so they know your struggles and how God brought you through.
The common thread among people who make serious attempts at suicide is depression. That has to be treated medically and with talk therapy. Relieve the depression and people are no longer suicidal. I am not advocating anything other than getting professional help. Speaking only from personal experience, severe depression creates an inability to reason rationally. Just being attentive is a challenge. If Tomczak think that any sufferer would be interested in his pastor stories then he is even more arrogant and insane than I thought.
According to Tomczak:
Antidepressants, opioids, alcohol, marijuana and drugs provide only temporary escape. Scripture tells us, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest … There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked” (Isa. 57:20-21).
What an imbecile — combining antidepressants with recreational drugs. It is also self-serving. By the way, among the supposed causes of suicide, Tomczak includes: “Abortion and resultant guilt.” Please.
One of these days I am going to write about the process from several months of planning to impulsively downing a bottle of Ambien with some oxycodone and a martini chaser. Those damned olives.
You can save someone’s life by figuring out how to get them to a medical professional. That is the key.