I read a good article on suicide that I want to share with you. I'll summarize it, but I encourage you to read all of it.
Keep in mind that suicide rates rise during recessions, and depressions. As you know, the world is in the worst economic period since the great depression. Back then the suicide rates increased, and we will see that happen again. Financial hardships like the loss of a job, and/or house can cause depression. Depression is a major cause of suicides. Economic hardship not only happens to the poor and elderly, but can happen to anyone. I know someone in his 50's who had a master degree and a good job. He made about $75,000 a year. He recently lost his job, and can't find another. Fortunately he has a good supportive wife who is employed, but it is still difficult for him. To my knowledge he is not suicidal, but he very easily could be. So keep an eye on your loved ones.
This article summery is from today's addition of The New York Times -
Suicide and Suicidal Behavior
Suicide is the act of deliberately taking one's own life. Suicidal behavior is any deliberate action with potentially life-threatening consequences, such as taking a drug overdose or deliberately crashing a car.
Suicidal behaviors can accompany many emotional disturbances, including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. More than 90% of all suicides are related to a mood disorder or other psychiatric illness.
Suicidal behaviors often occur in response to a situation that the person views as overwhelming, such as social isolation, death of a loved one, emotional trauma, serious physical illness, aging, unemployment or financial problems, guilty feelings, or dependence on alcohol or other drug.
In the U.S., suicide accounts for about 1% of all deaths each year. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year-olds, after accidents and homicide.Many suicides involve a firearm. This is especially true in elderly men, in which 80% of suicides are performed with a gun.
Relatives of people who seriously attempt or complete suicide often blame themselves or become extremely angry, seeing the attempt or act as selfish. However, when people are suicidal, they often mistakenly believe that they are doing their friends and relatives a favor by taking themselves out of the world. These irrational beliefs often drive their behavior.
- Sudden change in behavior, especially calmness after a period of anxiety
- Giving away belongings, attempts to "get one's affairs in order"
- Direct or indirect threats to commit suicide
- Direct attempts to commit suicide
Emergency measures may be necessary after a person has attempted suicide like first aid, and CPR.
Hospitalization is often needed to treat the recent actions and to prevent future attempts. Psychiatric intervention is one of the most important aspects of treatment.
Suicide attempts and threats should always be taken seriously. About one-third of people who attempt suicide will repeat the attempt within 1 year, and about 10% of those who threaten or attempt suicide eventually do kill themselves.
Mental health care should be sought immediately. Dismissing the person's behavior as attention-seeking can have devastating consequences.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
A person who threatens or attempts suicide MUST be evaluated immediately by a mental health professional. NEVER IGNORE A SUICIDE THREAT OR ATTEMPT!
Many people who attempt suicide talk about it before making the attempt. Sometimes, simply talking to a sympathetic, nonjudgmental listener is enough to prevent the person from attempting suicide. For this reason suicide prevention centers have telephone "hotline" services. Again, do not ignore a suicide threat or attempted suicide.
As with any other type of emergency, it is best to immediately call the local emergency number (such as 911). Do not leave the person alone even after phone contact with an appropriate professional has been made.
Click here to read more of this article
By the way, I read that most suicides take place in spring.
Other reading -
Army Data Show Raise in Number of Suicides