Tag Archives: suicide

Critical link between pain intensity and suicide

VA study uncovers critical link between pain intensity and suicide attempts   Oct 2019

Here’s the earthshattering conclusion of a new study:

New study finds pain intensity is a telling risk factor for suicide!

Apparently, this is BIG news for the medical community. They’ve never found such results before – probably because no one has studied it.

It saddens me that most people still don’t understand how devastating chronic pain becomes, how it upends lives and sometimes cuts them short.  Continue reading

Want To Reduce Suicides? Follow The Data

Want To Reduce Suicides? Follow The Data — To Medical Offices, Motels And Even Animal Shelters | Kaiser Health NewsBy Maureen O’HaganSep 2019

This article explores how suicides are identified and also scrutinizes data to find indicators that someone is getting close to acting.

On Kimberly Repp’s office wall is a sign in Latin: Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae. This is a place where the dead delight in helping the living.

For medical examiners, it’s a mission. Their job is to investigate deaths and learn from them, for the benefit of us all. Repp, however, isn’t a medical examiner; she’s a Ph.D. microbiologist.   Continue reading

Military Sees Frustrating Trend as Suicides Spike

Military Sees Frustrating Trend as Suicides SpikeBy Lolita C. Baldor – Sep 2019

Military suicides have surged to a record high among active duty troops, continuing a deadly trend that Pentagon officials say is frustrating and they are struggling to counter.

The difficulties involved in identifying service members with possible problems and finding ways to prevent suicides were underscored earlier this month when the Navy reported that three crew members who served on the USS George H.W. Bush took their own lives within a week.

The number of suicides across the military increased from 511 in 2017 to 541 in 2018.

“Our numbers are not moving in the right direction,” said Elizabeth Van Winkle, director of the Pentagon’s office of force resiliency. She said that most of the military rates are comparable to civilians, but added, “that’s hardly comforting.”

Military and defense leaders expressed dismay and a resolve to do more to increase resilience in the force, train service members how to handle stress better and encourage troops to seek help when they need it.

Van Winkle said the military is also looking at increasing efforts to train troops on the safe storage of firearms and medication.

…recognizing service members who may be struggling or at risk of taking their own lives is very difficult, and that sometimes suicide is a sudden, impulsive decision with little warning. They said it’s difficult to identify reasons for suicide because there are so many stresses that could contribute.

They also acknowledged that service members are reluctant to come forward and seek help, because they worry that it could affect promotions or security clearances

This year for the first time, the Pentagon included statistics for suicides by military spouses and dependents. Van Winkle said the most recent numbers available were for 2017, but officials are working to get better at collecting family data.

According to the report, there were 186 families that had suicides — 123 were spouses and 63 were dependents between the ages of 12 and 23.

Suicide a Major Part of Opioid Crisis

Suicide Deaths Are a Major Component of the Opioid Crisis that Must Be Addressed | Nora’s Blog, NIDA – Sep 2019

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In observance, our two institutes, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), are taking this opportunity to highlight a dimension of the opioid crisis that receives too little attention—the links between opioid use, opioid use disorder (OUD), and suicide.

They forgot an important one: unbearable pain when opioids are withheld.

the opioid overdose epidemic is not limited to people with opioid addiction who accidentally take too much of a pain reliever or unknowingly inject a tainted heroin product. Concealed in the alarming number of overdose deaths is a significant number of people who have decided to take their own life.  Continue reading

Pain Awareness IS Suicide Prevention

Coincidentally, the month of September is “Pain Awareness Month” and its 2nd week is also “Suicide Prevention Week”.  I believe pain awareness *is* suicide prevention, so here is my yearly post about the unintended serendipity of these two awareness campaigns going on at the same time.

By now we have direct evidence that a lack of pain awareness, as demonstrated by all the politicians and healthcare “experts” enshrining the CDC “guideline” prescription opioid restrictions as law, is leading to suicides of patients with uncontrolled pain.

Can the connection become any more obvious?  Continue reading

Even Moderate Pain Associated With Suicide Risk

Moderate, Severe Chronic Pain May Be Associated With Suicide Risk in Veterans – Clinical Pain AdvisorBrandon May – Mar 2019

Pain intensity may represent a reliable indicator of suicide risk in veterans, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain.

The data of veterans who used Veterans Health Administration pain specialty services (index visit) between 2012 and 2014 were analyzed (n=221,817);

Medical records and suicide surveillance sources were used to identify suicide attempts in the year following the initiation of pain services.    Continue reading

Opioid Treatment Programs to Provide Suicide Care

Opioid Treatment Programs Gear Up to Provide Suicide Careby Christine Vestal– Apr 2019

It’s long been suspected that the nation’s unprecedented drug overdose epidemic and sharply rising suicide rates are linked.

Now health researchers are finding concrete evidence that the two preventable causes of death — which are among the top 10 in the United States — are intrinsically related:

  • People with an opioid addiction are at much higher risk for suicide than the rest of the population; and
  • opioid use was a contributing factor in more than 40% of all suicide and overdose deaths in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Note: this identifies opioids only as *contributing* to overdose deaths]    Continue reading

2017 Suicide Statistics: over 47,000 deaths

Suicide Statistics — AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) – Apr 2019

While this data is the most accurate we have, we estimate the numbers to be higher. Stigma surrounding suicide leads to underreporting, and data collection methods critical to suicide prevention need to be improved.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US
  • In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide
  • In 2017, there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts
  • In 2015, suicide and self-injury cost the US $69  Billion

It’s a strange coincidence that almost the same number of people died from all drug overdoses as from suicide – especially since it is suspected that some overdosed intentionally and would count in both tallies.  Continue reading

CDC Guidelines Driving Some Opioid Patients to Suicide

Could CDC Guidelines Be Driving Some Opioid Patients to Suicide? – Rolling Stone – by EJ Dickson – Mar 2019

Some doctors have issues with the suggestions made by the CDC for how opioids should be prescribed for pain.

Since the Centers for Disease Control issued its guidelines dictating appropriate opioid prescription rates and dosages in 2016, opioid prescriptions have declined significantly. Overdose deaths have also been on the decline, though some health experts believe that effect might be temporary.

Two groups that have not benefited from increasing public health efforts to stem the opioid crisis, however, is people living with chronic pain and their health care providers.   Continue reading

When Is Depression Terminal? Deliberative Suicide

When Is Depression a Terminal Illness? Deliberative Suicide in Chronic Mental Illnessby Constance E. George, MD, MA – Jun 2016

In this discussion about the validity of suicide in patients with untreatable depression, it struck me that it could just as well apply to patients with chronic pain, untreatable without opioids, when opioids are no longer allowed.

This article concludes:

“So, an important lesson … has to do with understanding that mental illness can be a terminal illness and that the concept of hope has therapeutic limitations.” Continue reading