Why are so many people killing themselves?

downloadThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a suicide study late last week that has some disturbing stats. The italics are from the CDC.

From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24 percent, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006.

Would that have something to do with our economic meltdown?

Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10–74.

The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10–14, and for males, those aged 45–64.

Suicides among the 10-14 set? Jaysus.

The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4 percent), while poisoning was the most frequent method for females (34.1 percent).

Use of firearms. Jaysus.

Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.

This is some scary and serious stuff. And thanks, Leftover, for the link.


15 responses to “Why are so many people killing themselves?

  1. We discussed this at length here over the weekend.

    There are all manner of rationalizations for adult suicide the can be used to explain those increases. The economy. Prescription drug/opioid abuse. Alcoholism. Increasing isolation/grey divorce. A healthcare system that sucks on so many levels to single out mental healthcare seems inadequate. Hate and discontent becoming part of our daily diet.

    For adults in America, the question of suicide seems to have changed from “why” to “why not”.

    We seem to accept all those things and content ourselves with a little collective handwringing and head shaking before moving on. The entire nation comes to a standstill when a pop icon dies, but 500 migrants and refugees fleeing our wars drowning in the Mediterranean barely garners any notice at all. Such is life in the Land of the Free. Pass the onion dip.

    But the increases in child suicide…200% for females, 37% for males…is a canary in the coal mine moment for us. Something is seriously…seriously…wrong in our society when that many of our children not only consider suicide an option, but succeed in carrying it out. If left unaddressed, we risk losing hope as a tenant of our daily lives. And as a tenet of the free society to which we we lay claim.

    We need answers. We must insist our government exploit every available resource to find those answers. As quickly as possible. It’s impossible to imagine any other priority taking precedence.

    • I’m going to explore child suicide (particularly among females) in an upcoming piece. But you’re right: Why is this an option?

      • That’s what we must find out.
        The younger people in our conversation cited bullying as a probable cause.
        “It’s everywhere,” said one young woman still in high school. “It’s out of control. Nobody understands.

      • Bullying, cyber bullying, victimization of physical and/or sexual and/or emotional abuse/assault, limited options for the future due to finances, lack of family and/or friend support, lacking help with career planning, mental health issues with little to no treatment, low self esteem, no view of how life could change….isolation and feeling alone.

        It’s a sad trend. If only we could support and connect and mentor the struggling & isolated people out there. It is a sad thing to be talking to a desperate person who says they have no one.

        • That sounds just so incredibly sad — no one to back them up, and a vicious pack of bullies (though I know bullies are often bullied, I don’t admire people who turn around and inflict pain on others).

          • Bullying is becoming normalized…an acceptable form of behavior way beyond what might normally occur in childhood social interactions. Look at politics. Look at the internet.

            It’s like that young lady said. It’s everywhere. “It’s out of control. Nobody understands.“

  2. Speaking of you kids and bullying… http:// mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/us/childrens-arrests-in-bullying-case-distress-tennessee-city.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&referer=http://m.facebook.com/

    • Can you send that link again? I can’t get it to open and I’d like to read it.

      • Try here.

        The ACLU has a point.

        • Thank you, leftover. The adults are failing all of these kids. There are many wrongs in this situation. However, the countless instances of bullying alone rarely get the same attention as this.

          Do you think Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc should allow posting of these assaults (or other crimes)? These things are sometimes used to humiliate a victim or to share as (sick) entertainment. It seems wrong that there is a legal forum for this. It is like the Roman Colosseum has returned!

          • I think the owners and moderators of those properties have to be more engaged with the idea of social responsibility. There’s too much focus on marketshare (profit) and not enough on consequences…cause and effect, especially where young people are concerned.

            Technology is being exploited to create markets that profit from pandering. We’re expected to have a cavalier attitude about it because of the American myth of “free speech.” If these corporate persons are to be allowed to profit from such pandering, we must demand they take a proactive role in protecting the most vulnerable among us from the ill effects such pandering creates.

            We insist on it from other forms of pandering…like pornography.

            There has to be limits.

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