May 8, 2010
Stats on Suicide/NIMH:
Suicide is a major, preventable public health problem. In 2006, it was the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 33,300 deaths.1 The overall rate was 10.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.1 An estimated 12 to 25 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death.1
Suicidal behavior is complex. Some risk factors vary with age, gender, or ethnic group and may occur in combination or change over time.
What are the risk factors for suicide?
Research shows that risk factors for suicide include:
- depression and other mental disorders, or a substance-abuse disorder (often in combination with other mental disorders). More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have these risk factors.2
- prior suicide attempt
- family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
- family history of suicide
- family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- firearms in the home,3 the method used in more than half of suicides
- exposure to the suicidal behavior of others, such as family members, peers, or media figures.2
However, suicide and suicidal behavior are not normal responses to stress; many people have these risk factors, but are not suicidal. Research also shows that the risk for suicide is associated with changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Decreased levels of serotonin have been found in people with depression, impulsive disorders, and a history of suicide attempts, and in the brains of suicide victims. 4
Are women or men at higher risk?
- Suicide was the seventh leading cause of death for males and the sixteenth leading cause of death for females in 2006.1
- Almost four times as many males as females die by suicide.1
- Firearms, suffocation, and poison are by far the most common methods of suicide, overall. However, men and women differ in the method used, as shown below.1
If you are in a crisis and need help right away:
Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.
December 2, 2009
Is it because of the recession?
Wall Street Journal had an article that reported that early signs suggest the number of suicides in the U.S. crept up during the worst recession in decades. WSJ does make clear that tough economic times alone don’t push most to suicide. About 90% of those who kill themselves have a mental-health disorder, experts say, most often depression or substance abuse. An economic downturn can exacerbate them, said Paula Clayton, medical director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
I had no idea that there’s been an 15% uptick in suicide rate in the State of Tennessee. How come I haven’t heard about this? Do the other states who’ve seen a similar trend been talking about this disturbing news? I would think that this would be of some news. With these rising numbers, I think it would be critical that the state reexamine their suicide prevention strategies.
(This post is fourth in the series of posts about suicide.)
September 19, 2009
Here are some interesting news I found before I left town for the weekend.
Drinking, Weight, Depression linked in Young Women: US News & World Report
"A study in the September/October issue of General Hospital Psychiatry found that women with alcohol abuse issues at age 24 had three times the risk of obesity by age 27. And women who were obese at 27, the researchers found, were twice as likely to be depressed by the time they turned 30."
Telehealth to manage Depression: Psychcentral
"German researchers report positive result from a new means to monitor depression managed by a primary care practice. The method involves monthly phone calls to patients with depression by health care assistants."
Biomarker Predicts Response to Antidepressant Treatment : Medscape Medical News
"These findings suggest that the biomarker, used early in treatment, may help identify not only whether a patient is likely to respond to treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor but also whether a patient is likely to respond if switched to a different antidepressant early in treatment."
Study: 8 million Americans consider suicide: AP
"About 32,000 suicides occur in the United States each year, but a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that many more give the idea serious thought. The new SAMHSA report is based on a survey of 46,190 people aged 18 and older. In the past, the question about suicide had only been asked of people who reported major depression but in 2008 it was added to all questionnaires."
June 28, 2009
Alcohol Use Associated With Suicide, Especially in Minorities – ABC News
Nearly One-Quarter of Suicides in New Study Linked to Alcohol Intoxication
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