Suicide rate rises sharply among middle-aged Americans

  • Article by: TARA PARKER-POPE , New York Times
  • Updated: May 2, 2013 - 11:00 PM

CDC said economic worries may have taken a toll on middle-aged.

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gbill7May. 3, 13 5:09 AM

In addition, during middle age many people start to take more prescription drugs. Have the researchers forgotten that the side effect of many drugs is an increased risk of suicidal urges?

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lydia1952May. 3, 13 7:12 AM

My ex-husband committed suicide in his late 50's. He had always been coddled by his parents and had a difficult time standing on his own two feet. He did not want to be or act like an adult. It may be harsh to say, but some people simply cannot or will not stand the blows life deals them. They are very self-centered and incapable of understanding how their actions affect others. They lack empathy. That said, I think gbill7 has a point about some drugs increasing suicidal urges.

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pitythefoolsMay. 3, 13 7:35 AM

lydia1952: "They are very self-centered and incapable of understanding how their actions affect others. They lack empathy.

Let's see. A mortgage payment to make, with 1 in 5 mortgages under water. Retirement savings gone and little time to make up for it. College savings dried up and now the kids are old enough for college. Lose your job over 50 and it will take years, if ever, to find a new one. And likely passed the two year exclusion for suicide on their life insurance policies. I suspect that much of the increase is due to people who are making the ultimate sacrifice for the good of their families. So who's lacking empathy here?

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eman2001May. 3, 13 7:51 AM

Suicide rate for men is triple that of women. Another reason that a White House office on men is needed, just like the one for women. Reading "The Myth of Male Power," might be a good start.

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holtjanMay. 3, 13 9:23 AM

There is another reason that I think planned end of life will increase in the coming years. I am in my 60s and I have been the caregiver for elderly parents for 20+ years now. They are now in their late 80's and early 90's. They are in senior housing, I have consulted the recommended social agencies, support groups, have additional outside help twice a week, etc. I already have plans to end my life when I am (hopefully) reasonably well health wise and still cognitive of my surroundings, at the approximate age that both my parents could still function by themselves. I want quality of life, not quantity. Many of my friends are in the same age group and dealing with the same circumstances and this is a frequent topic of conversation. I WILL NOT subject my kids/grandkids to what I have had to deal with.

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vegasgalMay. 3, 13 9:31 AM

At 58, watching the shattered lives of my peers, this doesn't suprise me at all.

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sbuzz16May. 3, 1310:15 AM

Our nation has become evil to the core, with cold-hearted politicians and tycoons destroying Main St. with extreme austerity measures and income inequality going through the roof. People are losing their jobs and their homes, families are broken and savings are used up. It's very difficult to understand how a depressed mind can be affected by our current society.

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akornMay. 3, 1312:15 PM

The mainstream media is always quick to assure us that "economic worries" are the main reason for increased suicides, but we are the wealthiest society in history. The real culprit is lack of spiritual values and the flight from the Christian faith of our forefathers. Back in the Middle Ages, when everyone was a devout Catholic, the suicide rate was zilch.

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benjammin3May. 3, 13 1:24 PM

For me, it's not the current state of the country that concerns me, it's the future. Specifically, it's the future generation, the young adults today who grew up in the ultra-sheltered era of political-correctness and public over-reaction to every little incident... There are exceptions, but the majority of adults under 30 are incompetent morons these days, and I'm frightened to think of a world where they are taking care of us. My only hope for the future is that today's 20-somethings are going to be so helpless at raising their own children, that the next generation will be very independent because their parents won't know how to raise them. We'll just skip a generation. This one is a lost cause.

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JayschMay. 3, 13 3:36 PM

I'm in my mid-fifties and we think it's tough now? Wait till the full weight of aging boomers hits this country in 10-15 years. Our numbers will easily overwhelm any social service still solvent. We'll see the rise and acceptance of glorified hospice centers (death units) where seniors go for a quiet and peaceful exit. It will become our "duty".

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