The following comes from a mid-August story on Healthy Living.
Two years ago, suicide became the leading cause of death by injury in America, surpassing car accidents for the first time. And the major reason for that change was a cohort shift: Men and women between the ages of 35 and 64 are increasingly committing suicide. The latest addition to these statistics is Robin Williams.
Since nothing ever happens in America until it happens to a celebrity, perhaps this will be the moment when we notice that we’re living in the middle of a suicide crisis….
The group that has shown the highest increase in suicide rates is middle-aged men and women, for whom the number of suicides has risen by a horrifying 28.4 percent in a mere decade. The sharpest increase has been among men in their fifties, for whom the number has risen nearly 50 percent since 1999. Now nearly 30 per 100,000 American men in their fifties kill themselves. Suicides are increasing across the board, from college students to the elderly, but the increases for the middle-aged are shocking.
The reasons for this rise are unknown. The increased availability of prescription drugs may play some role. Suicide by poisoning was an increasingly common method. There have never been more guns in America and gun ownership also correlates to an increase in suicide. There has also been the brutality of the recession and the new reality of people in middle age taking care of elderly parents while they’re also taking care of young children.
Obviously, economic pressures are the most compelling reason. Suicides increase dramatically during recessions. They increased during the Great Depression and during the Asian financial crisis. Across Europe, suicides increased by 3.3 percent after the crash. There have been significant increases in suicides for men across the world, at over 10 percent for the European Union countries. But not a 50 percent jump as for men between 50 and 59 in America….
To read the entire story, click here.