Suicide: The Epidemic No One Is Talking About

Suicide: The Epidemic No One Is Talking About – Ian McLoone – Medium

With all this attention being given to opioids, we are overlooking another silent killer that’s responsible for even more deaths: suicide.

In 2015, nearly 45,000 Americans took their own lives. Why aren’t we talking about this, and where’s the national public health campaign to start driving these numbers down?

Staggering statistics

Suicide rates in this country are on the rise, having recently hit a 30-year high. 

Men remain more likely to commit suicide than women, White and First Nations people are by far more likely than other racial or ethnic groups to do so, and firearms are the most common method used for the deed.

Between 1999–2014, the overall suicide rate increased by 24%. Among women ages 45–64, though, it increased a shocking 63%, while among men ages 45–64 it increased a staggering 43%, over the same time period.

What is driving this epidemic?

Clearly, there are some serious issues facing middle-aged Americans today.

The Great Recession hit this group incredibly hard, with retirement savings accounts being decimated in a very short period of time.

Pensions have been thrown out the window by most large employers, and so the promise of a comfortable retirement at age 64 is more elusive than ever.

Faced with growing debt, a shrinking job market, and the prospect of not being able to retire as planned, it isn’t unimaginable that more people are taking their lives now than before.

Notice the addition of chronic pain as a risk factor?

I find it interesting as the CDC was publicizing new guidelines on the use of opioids to treat chronic pain, suicide risk among pain patients was increasing as well.

It is clear that an unintended consequence of these rules will be higher rates of suicide among chronic pain patients, an issue that I am sure will be getting more attention in the coming months and years.

So, what can we do about it?

Several programs have been termed, “Evidence-based Practices” for suicide prevention and treatment, after being proven effective through rigorous study.

But the gold standard, as one would imagine, remains comprehensive prevention and awareness programs that increase the likelihood of seeking help, while reducing the stigma associated with reaching out or talking about the issue.

Identifying those who may be at risk and connecting them with effective treatment is critical and can help to prevent suicide before it happens.

Take action

It is time we stand up and demand action be taken to address the growing epidemic of suicide in the US.

If we do nothing, these numbers will only continue to increase. Let’s not wait for the Surgeon General or CDC to declare an epidemic, let’s take action now.

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2 thoughts on “Suicide: The Epidemic No One Is Talking About

  1. BirdLoverInMichigan

    Maybe they want us dead. Post-viable human capital, perhaps?

    Harsh, I know, but when you put all the pieces together, they just don’t fit.

    But what do I know? I’m just another chronic pain patient. And my life’s savings are almost gone, too. It’s very hard surviving as a disabled person in this world. It doesn’t matter what I’ve paid into the system when I could work: it’s more of a “what have you done for me lately” kinda world.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Yes, it does seem our country just wants us to suffer in silence, even if the lack of opioid pain relief makes our lives miserable and eventually unbearable.

      The problem of pain in the USA can easily be solved by suicides of pain patients, which would also solve the medically complicated and annoyong issue of depression.

      In this country, suicide isn’t a problem, it’s a solution to the rising cost of healthcare.

      Like

      Reply

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