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Why are suicide rates up 30% in the United States?

 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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07 June 2018 19:29
 

This is a disturbing trend. Why are so many more people, across genders, deciding that life is not worth living? I see in the comments section that people blame everything from too much focus on gun control to ‘spoiled kids today’ to the decline of religion to social media to the economy to capitalism, but I honestly don’t know what is going on here, or, more importantly, what we can do to change this trend?


Edit: Cut and paste link as I see that the click-able link is blocked by the forum software: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/06/07/u-s-suicide-rates-rise-sharply-across-the-country-new-report-shows/?noredirect=on&utm;_term=.06813ba2a2ce

[ Edited: 07 June 2018 19:35 by sojourner]
 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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07 June 2018 20:29
 

Majority of suicides are male and using a firearm.  This link shows more breakdown among ages and races:

https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/

So white, middle-aged men are greatest.  But I see that the elderly also are near the top.  I found conflicting stats on links between income level and suicide. 

My inclination is to link the rise in suicides with the rise in drug addiction and with mounting financial challenges (including the repercussions of the financial crisis a decade ago).

 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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08 June 2018 05:14
 
NL. - 07 June 2018 07:29 PM

This is a disturbing trend. Why are so many more people, across genders, deciding that life is not worth living? I see in the comments section that people blame everything from too much focus on gun control to ‘spoiled kids today’ to the decline of religion to social media to the economy to capitalism, but I honestly don’t know what is going on here, or, more importantly, what we can do to change this trend?


Edit: Cut and paste link as I see that the click-able link is blocked by the forum software: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/06/07/u-s-suicide-rates-rise-sharply-across-the-country-new-report-shows/


JFYI ... you can usually chop everything from the question mark on in links like that, and sometimes you have to for others to use it.

Based upon the map in the article it seems clear that this is caused by an exodus of highly suicidal people from Nevada—aliens and/or dark, extragovernmental operations are almost certainly behind it. Haven’t you people seen the X-Files?

In all seriousness though, those are some really striking stats. I think the article covers the probable causes pretty well. One thing in my personal purview that speaks to how poorly we as a society (species?) handle these kinds of issues this is that there’s such a low systemic demand for addiction specialists, while there’s such a high actual need.

[ Edited: 08 June 2018 05:45 by SkepticX]
 
 
EN
 
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EN
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08 June 2018 09:01
 

Now Anthony Bourdain.  Sad.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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08 June 2018 09:18
 
EN - 08 June 2018 09:01 AM

Now Anthony Bourdain.  Sad.

Bourdain was one of the coolest guys anywhere, an extraordinary person. I remember reading his first New Yorker piece back in the early 1990s I think, and being completely impressed with his edgy descriptive talents.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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08 June 2018 09:46
 
nonverbal - 08 June 2018 09:18 AM
EN - 08 June 2018 09:01 AM

Now Anthony Bourdain.  Sad.

Bourdain was one of the coolest guys anywhere, an extraordinary person. I remember reading his first New Yorker piece back in the early 1990s I think, and being completely impressed with his edgy descriptive talents.

I would have traded for his lifestyle -travel, meeting new people, eating & drinking, having friends everywhere.  Never know what happens in a person’s head.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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08 June 2018 09:55
 

His suicide surprised me, too. I wasn’t aware of his reported mental illness.

When asked what brought him into the office, Bourdain says ... “I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I’ll order an airport hamburger. It’s an insignificant thing, it’s a small thing, it’s a hamburger, but it’s not a good one. Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.”

He goes on to explain how he often feels alone.

“I feel kind of like a freak and I feel very isolated. I communicate for a living but I’m terrible at communicating with people I care about.”

http://www.tmz.com/2018/06/08/anthony-bourdain-dead-talked-depression-parts-unknown/

 

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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08 June 2018 11:42
 
nonverbal - 08 June 2018 09:55 AM

His suicide surprised me, too. I wasn’t aware of his reported mental illness.

When asked what brought him into the office, Bourdain says ... “I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I’ll order an airport hamburger. It’s an insignificant thing, it’s a small thing, it’s a hamburger, but it’s not a good one. Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.”

He goes on to explain how he often feels alone.

“I feel kind of like a freak and I feel very isolated. I communicate for a living but I’m terrible at communicating with people I care about.”

http://www.tmz.com/2018/06/08/anthony-bourdain-dead-talked-depression-parts-unknown/

Very sad.

In regards to Bourdain’s quote, when depressed one can be overly sensitive to the “insignificant thing”.  A careless or thoughtless remark can be crushing; a kind remark or gesture can sometimes help immeasurably.  We don’t always know when someone we know is suffering from depression, but a little more human kindness all-way-round couldn’t hurt.

In general, people are sometimes less polite, less kind, less gentle, with each other than they could or should be.  It appears to me less so than they used to be.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is a factor in regards to the OP question.

[ Edited: 08 June 2018 13:05 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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08 June 2018 12:13
 
EN - 08 June 2018 09:46 AM
nonverbal - 08 June 2018 09:18 AM
EN - 08 June 2018 09:01 AM

Now Anthony Bourdain.  Sad.

Bourdain was one of the coolest guys anywhere, an extraordinary person. I remember reading his first New Yorker piece back in the early 1990s I think, and being completely impressed with his edgy descriptive talents.

I would have traded for his lifestyle -travel, meeting new people, eating & drinking, having friends everywhere.  Never know what happens in a person’s head.

Or maybe (just maybe?) the lifestyle was part of the problem ... airports, lonely hotel rooms, lots of acquaintances ... rather than one or two close friends and/or family that know one intimately.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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08 June 2018 12:39
 

I’m surprisingly disheartened by Bourdain’s suicide. If he had died of natural causes, I wouldn’t be so shocked, but his death by suicide has left me sad. He seemed the pinnacle of success, traveling the world, meeting people and raising his daughter. Success doesn’t necessarily bring happiness apparently.

I found out about Anthony Bourdain when my friend Mark, who was also a chef, gave me Kitchen Confidential as a present. The book was a great read; smart, funny, honest and edgy. Through that book, I got an insight into my friend: being a chef, at least according to Bourdain, was hard work, but also had a bit of the outlaw/bad-boy quality to it. And so did my friend. Mark died eight years ago.

When Bourdain first started doing television, I’d made a point to watch him and found the guy interesting and entertaining.

I’ve watched his career blossom over the years, going from network to network, increasing his fame and his audience with each move.

I guess I could relate to him. We are both are big city guys – him New York, me Los Angeles – with similar tastes in music and politics. We are also the same age.

The brilliant idea that his program showed us, was that you could gather people from all over the world — people of different cultures, races, beliefs, economic status, religions — and through the simple acts of sharing a meal and conversing, our common humanity would be revealed.

I saw this tweet which I think caught the essence of his show:

Anthony Bourdain had one of the only shows on tv that tried with all its might to teach Americans not to be scared of other people.
— Allison F. (@ablington)

Amen.

Farewell, Anthony.

[ Edited: 08 June 2018 13:01 by Cheshire Cat]
 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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08 June 2018 13:55
 

Substance abuse was part of the problem with AB, and for many other suicides.  AB admitted he had been addicted to heroin and cocaine.  He also drank and smoked.  With mental illness and drug abuse, it’s hard to determine the chicken and the egg.  Continual use of numbing or stimulating substances hinders a person from learning to manage moods in healthful ways, making straight life very difficult to tolerate.  But of course, depression often is self-medicated with drugs, alcohol, nicotine.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Bourdain’s personal troubles seemed to give him a special empathy and insight for others.

[ Edited: 08 June 2018 13:57 by hannahtoo]
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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08 June 2018 14:07
 
Jan_CAN - 08 June 2018 12:13 PM
EN - 08 June 2018 09:46 AM
nonverbal - 08 June 2018 09:18 AM
EN - 08 June 2018 09:01 AM

Now Anthony Bourdain.  Sad.

Bourdain was one of the coolest guys anywhere, an extraordinary person. I remember reading his first New Yorker piece back in the early 1990s I think, and being completely impressed with his edgy descriptive talents.

I would have traded for his lifestyle -travel, meeting new people, eating & drinking, having friends everywhere.  Never know what happens in a person’s head.

Or maybe (just maybe?) the lifestyle was part of the problem ... airports, lonely hotel rooms, lots of acquaintances ... rather than one or two close friends and/or family that know one intimately.

I think that kind of life would be a terrible fit for most people, and your guess seems likely correct. On the other hand, it could be that Bourdain would have ended his life even earlier if he’d been stuck in an ordinary chef’s job year after year. I have a feeling that EN would do well traveling so much, though he’d probably want to have his wife accompany him.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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08 June 2018 15:27
 
hannahtoo - 08 June 2018 01:55 PM

Substance abuse was part of the problem with AB, and for many other suicides.  AB admitted he had been addicted to heroin and cocaine.  He also drank and smoked.  With mental illness and drug abuse, it’s hard to determine the chicken and the egg.  Continual use of numbing or stimulating substances hinders a person from learning to manage moods in healthful ways, making straight life very difficult to tolerate.  But of course, depression often is self-medicated with drugs, alcohol, nicotine.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Bourdain’s personal troubles seemed to give him a special empathy and insight for others.

Bourdain said gave up heroin and cocaine years ago.

On one interview I saw fairly recently, he said that he did most of his drinking on the show and that at home he rarely imbibed. He seemed pretty happy be a late-in-life father and was trying to be a responsible person for his daughter, which is why his suicide is such a surprise to me. He sure screwed up on that one. How sad for his poor daughter.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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08 June 2018 16:18
 
Cheshire Cat - 08 June 2018 03:27 PM
hannahtoo - 08 June 2018 01:55 PM

Substance abuse was part of the problem with AB, and for many other suicides.  AB admitted he had been addicted to heroin and cocaine.  He also drank and smoked.  With mental illness and drug abuse, it’s hard to determine the chicken and the egg.  Continual use of numbing or stimulating substances hinders a person from learning to manage moods in healthful ways, making straight life very difficult to tolerate.  But of course, depression often is self-medicated with drugs, alcohol, nicotine.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Bourdain’s personal troubles seemed to give him a special empathy and insight for others.

Bourdain said gave up heroin and cocaine years ago.

On one interview I saw fairly recently, he said that he did most of his drinking on the show and that at home he rarely imbibed. He seemed pretty happy be a late-in-life father and was trying to be a responsible person for his daughter, which is why his suicide is such a surprise to me. He sure screwed up on that one. How sad for his poor daughter.

Heroin use changes the number of opiate receptors in the brain as well as dopamine production.  These changes may be permanent, affecting the perception of pleasure and satisfaction in the ex-user, unfortunately.  This is one reason most heroin users relapse after addiction treatment.

But, of course, I don’t know if Bourdain had lingering negative effects of his earlier heroin use.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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08 June 2018 17:18
 
nonverbal - 08 June 2018 02:07 PM
Jan_CAN - 08 June 2018 12:13 PM
EN - 08 June 2018 09:46 AM

I would have traded for his lifestyle -travel, meeting new people, eating & drinking, having friends everywhere.  Never know what happens in a person’s head.

Or maybe (just maybe?) the lifestyle was part of the problem ... airports, lonely hotel rooms, lots of acquaintances ... rather than one or two close friends and/or family that know one intimately.

I think that kind of life would be a terrible fit for most people, and your guess seems likely correct. On the other hand, it could be that Bourdain would have ended his life even earlier if he’d been stuck in an ordinary chef’s job year after year. I have a feeling that EN would do well traveling so much, though he’d probably want to have his wife accompany him.

(Yes, I have the impression that EN has joie de vie.)

As usually happens with a suicide, we want to try to understand.  It somehow seems incomprehensible that we can’t always see when someone is suffering so greatly.

I think there is often more than one reason or factor that leads to such severe depression, and that the person themselves may not completely understand.  Despair makes it difficult to think rationally and to be able to see or find another way out from under.

 

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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08 June 2018 18:40
 

Bourdain considered himself somewhat reckless.  In an interview 4 months ago, he said that he felt responsibility for his daughter to “at least try to live.”  And, “There have been times, honestly, in my life that I figured, ‘I’ve had a good run — why not just do this stupid thing, this selfish thing … jump off a cliff into water of indeterminate depth.”

Interesting that he would characterize suicide as selfish, contemplating the impact on others.  But to him, maybe it seemed like a relief?  So sad.

 
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