There is no easy way to say that suicide rates have increased in the U.S.
A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a report that has some grim statistics including that overall suicide rates that have been age-adjusted have increased by 24 percent as of 2014. Increases in rates were not limited to either gender nor age group. Increases were more pronounced in certain age groups with larger increases in females aged 10 to 14 and males aged between 45 and 65.
The question that we should be asking is how can we stop this increasing trend and what are the warning signs? Recent studies by psychologists may provide some guidance on how we can mitigate suicide and self-harm rates.
Psychology Today reported research into suicide notes from individuals that had attempted suicide and those that had, for lack of a better word, succeeded. According to researchers, a major component that differentiated the two groups was that the latter group’s letters had greater references to being a burden on loved ones or for society.
Another aspect that can lead down a dark can include if the personal history of an individual has allowed them to be resilient to physical pain or emotional distress. Researchers have found that suicides are more likely when the person has built the capacity to self-harm in addition to feeling they are a burden to others.
Feelings of burden can be found in those that suffer from clinical depression. While not all with depression consider suicide and not all those who attempt it are clinically depressed, the connection between the two cannot be ignored.
Clinical depression is understood as a chemical balance within the brain and can cause thoughts that someone in a healthy mindset would not have. This includes being unable to enjoy activities that were once fulfilling, being unable to realize the options that are available out there among other thoughts. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) states that people may not even realize that this condition is treatable.
Treatment for clinical depression can consist of utilizing antidepressants, therapy and assistance from a mental health facility in severe cases. In most cases, antidepressants will influence how certain neurotransmitters perform in order to normalize operation, especially in serotonin and norepinephrine transmitters. Any medication regimen requires consultation with a doctor or psychiatrist.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that statistics like those above are below the actual number of people who attempt or complete the act of ending their lives. They note that underreporting can be attributed to the stigma that suicide has, in addition to weaknesses in reporting and data collection.
Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide should call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for help.
While this is not something that will be solved overnight, there is help available. Those that are taking medication to mitigate clinical depression, bipolar disorder or other conditions may search our website, perks.optum.com for the best prices on medication and coupons. Information is also available through our mobile application on Android and Apple platforms.