Helping Others Before Ourselves
To sum up Barton's life is no easy task. But, here is a short version of how his mental illness manifest itself and changed the Barton that his family and friends had known as the cute, funny, outgoing, always singing and entertaining guy. It wasn't 'till a few years after Barton's LDS mission that we noticed the changes in him. He went to college, was a crazy good singer, he was a humanitarian always looking for ways to help others, he became intrigued with American Idol. He made it a quest once he saw a fellow friend of his make it on the show. He traveled around the US for a couple years it was in those last couple years that we noticed the change in him. It was almost a slow but still night/day difference.
He was suicidal, he was obsessive, he was unhappy, then he would be manic and non stop. It was very hard to watch the brother and son we knew morph into someone else. We tried to get him help, yet he did not think anything was wrong. He ended up hearing voices, thinking he was other people. He got so bad off that he ended up on the streets. From my view point it was one of the hardest things I as the oldest sibling had ever had to do. I knew my brother was out there. Yet, I couldn't take him in. You never really knew which Barton you were going to get and he was a danger to himself and possibly others. I tried tirelessly almost full time (and caused strain on my family and marriage) for at least a year to get his rights taken away, so that someone else could be his guardian. The mental illness laws in this state and country are so backwards it is a huge issue. He would just leave and disappear and I became a detective to track him down, follow his trail, till he would call while sitting on the edge of a cliff wanting to just end the cycle of unhappiness and his life. My heart broke for him. On April 1st of 2011 he disappeared again. He didnt have anymore hope in his life. He had been on meds but they were a vicious cycle.He'd start to do well on medicine and think he didn't need to be on it, so he'd go off. But, then realize he wasn't doing what his friends that were his age were. No job, no marriage, he'd feel like a failure and get depressed. It was so hard on him. When he was missing my sister and I learned to be detectives, trace his credit cards, look for videos and any trace of him. Hundreds helped put up missing person fliers all over the state of Arizona, and other states. On May 24th a crew of archaeology students from NPC went out for class and happened upon my brothers body. It wasn't the call we wanted but we were grateful we had an end after almost no signs of him for 2 very long months. Barton had shot himself, he took his own life. There is no trace of where the gun came from. But we didn't and don't care to know details. We're just thankful for closure.
From Bart, I learned how important it is to deal with mental illness. He suffered from paranoia/schizophrenia, bipolar, depression. And reading back through his journals, he had been dealing with it for a while.
TALK to loved ones if you are dealing with hard things. If you know people who are dealing with hard things, encourage them to talk, find help, be there. He forever changed my outlook on those who suffer mental anguish. I love him. I am grateful for God. For the gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan of Salvation, for I know I will see him again. And I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ who bore all my sins and sorrows. That is just part of Barton's story. He was amazing, and I cant wait to see him again.