…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
According to The New York Times of 3rd May, 2013, “Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.”
The increase of suicide rates all over the Western world is an important matter and should not be left entirely in the hands of female academics, distinguished by their inability to think logically, and devoid of non- politically correct compassion.
More people now die of suicide than in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the findings in Friday’s issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides. Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly, and the surge in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is surprising. From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7.
Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.
The most pronounced increases were seen among men in their 50s, a group in which suicide rates jumped by nearly 50 percent, to about 30 per 100,000. For women, the largest increase was seen in those ages 60 to 64, among whom rates increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.
Suicide rates can be difficult to interpret because of variations in the way local officials report causes of death. …
“It’s vastly under-reported,” said Julie Phillips, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University who has published research on rising suicide rates. “We know we’re not counting all suicides.”
From Rutgers School of Arts and Science Department of Sociology website: “Julie Phillips is a social demographer and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Health, Health Care
Policy and Aging Research. Her research focuses on the causes and
consequences of various forms of social inequality in the United States,
such as violent crime, suicide, marital disruption, and migration.”
“It is the baby boomer group where we see the highest rates of suicide,” said the C.D.C.’s deputy director, Ileana Arias. “There may be something about that group, and how they think about life issues and their life choices that may make a difference.”
From C.D.C’s website: “She (Arias) is a well–respected clinical psychologist with research expertise in intimate partner and family violence. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in professional journals and has given presentations across the United States and in several foreign countries. Dr. Arias is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma; the Review of Aggression and Violent Behavior; and Violence and Victims; and serves as a reviewer for 11 professional journals.”
The rise in suicides may also stem from the economic downturn over the past decade. Historically, suicide rates rise during times of financial stress and economic setbacks. “The increase does coincide with a decrease in financial standing for a lot of families over the same time period,” Dr. Arias said.
Does that mean that women are not affected by economic downturns? Or only one woman for three men? Washington Post reporter Liza Mundy in her book “The Richer Sex” claims that forty percent of working wives now earn more than their husbands, and that by 2030 that number will rise to fifty percent. Perhaps that makes men depressed.
Another factor may be the widespread availability of opioid drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone, which can be particularly deadly in large doses. Although most suicides are still committed using firearms, officials said there was a marked increase in poisoning deaths, which include intentional overdoses of prescription drugs, and hangings. Poisoning deaths were up 24 percent over all during the 10-year period and hangings were up 81 percent.
Up 81%. Could that be due to the widespread availability of ropes? Thanks God I am not an academic.
Dr. Arias noted that the higher suicide rates might be due to a series of life and financial circumstances that are unique to the baby boomer generation. Men and women in that age group are often coping with the stress of caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children.
Is she perpetuating the myth of an irresponsible male? Since women kill themselves less perhaps they do not care for aging parents and adult children. Also, I would think that having somebody depend on you would make you less likely to feel abandoned and thus less likely to commit a suicide.
Nancy Berliner, a Boston historian, lost her 58-year-old husband to suicide nearly two years ago. She said that while the reasons for his suicide were complex, she would like to see more attention paid to prevention and support for family members who lose someone to suicide.
“One suicide can inspire other people, unfortunately, to view suicide as an option,” Ms. Berliner said. “It’s important that society becomes more comfortable with discussing it.”
One could also wonder whether the ad nausea medial debates of euthanasia makes people more comfortable with the idea of taking life.
“Then the people left behind will not have this stigma.”
It is nice to see that a Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, Ms Berliner is worrying about her stigma. Many husbands, nagged to death by their wives, have no longer such worries.