Suicide – It’s Not Just a Risk for Teens

Suicide rates rising in Americans 35-64

Suicide womens healthContributed by Jyoti Sachdeva, MD

Both local and national news has recently carried stories of suicide by teens and young adults. Suicide is a tragedy that is heart breaking for families, friends and communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just reported what I suspect many of us may have been thinking — that it seems more and more people are taking their own lives. In fact, the CDC said that more people die from suicide than car wrecks. And while suicide is often thought of as a teenager problem, there has been a surge in suicide rates among white Americans ages 35-64. For men in their 50s, the suicide rate has jumped nearly 50 percent. Among women, the largest increase was for those in the 60-64 age group.

Why is the suicide rate rising?
There are many reasons hypothesized for this alarming trend. These include financial stress, the widespread availability of opioid drugs like Oxycondone and increasing stresses being faced by baby boomers. This includes things like caring for aging parents and providing financial and emotional support to adult children.

What can I do to prevent suicide?
If you or someone you care about is experiencing hopelessness, mood changes, agitation, increased substance abuse, and isolation, take immediate action. Helpguide.org provides a few basic guidelines to help prevent suicide, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Depression, stress, emotional imbalances, and suicidal thoughts are complicated. A professional can help you or your loved one navigate the right course of action and try to help you find hope.

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