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Suicide is a bigger problem than you might think

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Illinois News Network

Suicide rates in Illinois have increased by nearly 25 percent, mirroring national trends.

With a state total of 1,415 suicides in Illinois in 2016, it’s becoming increasingly clear to advocates and experts that awareness is only half the battle. The state’s suicide rate increased about 23 percent from 1999 to 2016. Nationally, the rate increased about 25 percent over the same period.

“(Suicide) is the 11th leading cause of death in Illinois last year, and actually, when you look at the numbers for young people, the number is actually greater,” said Steve Moore, co-chair of the board of directors for the Illinois chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “For (the) age group of 15 to 34, it is the third leading cause of death. It’s the fourth leading cause of death for those between the ages of 35 and 54. [The number of suicides in 2016] is actually higher than homicide.” […]

Placing some of the blame for suicides on the availability of healthcare resources, Moore said that to lower the risks, proper help needs to be provided. In fact, 90 percent of suicide victims had diagnosable mental illnesses, he said.

Emphasis added because wow.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

79 Comments
  1. - Suburbs - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 7:22 am:

    Two houses away from us one way, a teenager committed suicide; two houses the other way, a Dad committed suicide…on a quiet suburban street. It’s very sad and too real.


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:13 am:

    Some more facts on the matter from the National Institute of Mental Health in the link below.

    About halfway through the link, you’ll see a map showing the states by suicide rates. FWIW, Illinois is among the states with the lowest suicide rates.

    And the non-coastal Western states, as a bloc, top the charts for highest suicide rates.

    What’s up with that, I wonder?

    https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml


  3. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:16 am:

    Too frequent and too sad. Public awareness of this serious problem hopefully will enable more help sooner.


  4. - Ga. Dawg - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:28 am:

    Too often we try to offer simple solutions to complicated problems, not that the post is doing that. There are many reasons for the increase in the number of suicides - stigma attached to mental illness, lack of crisis response workers, lack of appropriate treatment resources - made worse by the decimation of provider agencies through the budget mess, jailing of mental health patients rather than treatment - which only exacerbates the mental illness, loss of hope due to poverty, lack of education, fractured relationships and stress, and more. Until we develop a complete approach to address the issues, those numbers will remain high. We spend billions of dollars as a society on entertainment and sports, and are woefully short on providing services that will improve and save lives.


  5. - Earnest - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:31 am:

    Great and important post. Trouble is, something like this gets drowned out. It’s an awful thing, but addressing the issue will come back to a loud and divisive discussion about people paying taxes to support government spending on social services, on funding our mental health system, on funding K-12 so they can assure the support services are available, on keeping ACA requirements for insurance policies to have adequate coverage for mental health services. And, would it be remotely possible to drown out the noise when you talk about mental health services outreach to the (shockingly high) demographic of suicide of white rural males who own firearms? We’ve had some good discussions here about the positive impact mental health services could have in keeping people with serious mental health issues out of prisons as well as the tragic conditions for people already in prisons.

    It would take someone with a very loud megaphone to cut through the noise to get to the heart of the issue and make the argument for funding mental health services. One person comes to mind, but he’s probably very busy running ads about national immigration issues.


  6. - Small Town Boy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:46 am:

    Growing up in a small town, I have seen many suicides over the past 50 years. One of my best friends was dying of a brain disease, he committed suicide, two cousins committed suicide, one had a family history of suicide (believe it or not) and the other had a beautiful family and a good job, so who knows why. I just know that the numbers are staggering.


  7. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:51 am:

    Opioid overdoses causing death alone are estimated to reach 2154 this year….in Illinois alone! Int’l Overdose Awareness Week is 8/27 to 8/31. We have to do better. These are nearly all people under 25. It’s heart-breaking.


  8. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:56 am:

    I recently had reason to go over the CDC report in detail. The CDC found that 54 percent of people who committed suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition when they died (I’m a bit wary of the 90 percent figure quoted above).

    It is not simply a matter of mental health care or access to health care. In 2015, Anne Case and Angus Deaton (Princeton economists) published that death rates had been rising dramatically since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans. The main causes of the increase were alcohol abuse, drug overdose, and suicide. They labeled these “deaths of despair.” They identified several causes, and an important one was reduced labor force participation. A job and a living wage does a lot of good.

    Rural America has the highest incidence of these deaths. Its easy to see in some of these towns where opportunity is drying up and blowing away.


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 8:58 am:

    –Growing up in a small town, I have seen many suicides over the past 50 years.–

    Following up on my earlier comment regarding the highest suicide rates are in the non-coastal Western states, I wonder if relative isolation and gun culture play a role.

    More than half of successful suicides are by gun. It is by far the most “highly effective” method.

    –Guns are a particularly effective means of suicide precisely because they are so lethal: Of those who attempt suicide by firearm, nine in 10 succeed. By contrast, only one in 50 overdose attempts result in death. The lethality is compounded by impulsivity: The majority of suicide attempts occur less than an hour after the decision is made to commit suicide.==

    And this:

    ==A new report by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun safety advocacy group, delivers sobering stats based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and academic journal articles—perhaps the most eye-opening being that keeping a firearm at home increases the risk of suicide by three times. A whopping 82 percent of teens who commit suicide with a gun are using a family member’s firearm.==

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/09/suicide-gun-stats/


  10. - Anonomo - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:00 am:

    This is a very sad trend. Underlying it, IMHO, is a combination of a lack of economic security caused by the “ownership society’s” elimination of private sector pensions, access to affordable health care and other basic safety net protections that earlier generations carried with them to the grave and a “throw the book at them” mentality that may causes a person to overreact to criminal and other legal problems because the consequences of their actions are much more damaging to their personal reputations and finances now. The days of heading west in the US and reinventing yourself are basically over except for a few wiley, tough individuals.


  11. - Yup! - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:06 am:

    Do not be afraid to ask someone for help, or make a call. This is an important topic to discuss, and mental health is not something to ignore.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Call 1-800-273-8255


  12. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:06 am:

    ==More than half of successful suicides are by gun. It is by far the most “highly effective” method.==

    The people who choose this method are by far the most committed to carrying it out.


  13. - Downstate - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:08 am:

    There is a HUGE problem securing behavioral specialists in many communities. Many places are only able to get access to psychiatrists via tele-networks. While not optimal, it’s better than nothing.

    Of course there is a weekly activity that can reduce suicide, drug and alcohol abuse by 50% in American families.


  14. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:24 am:

    ===Of course there is a weekly activity that can reduce suicide, drug and alcohol abuse by 50% in American families.===

    I’d argue it should be a daily commitment coupled with the weekly activity but your point is a good one.


  15. - A Jack - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:29 am:

    There has also been an increase in suicide among military members. Some of this increase is likely the fallout of the protracted wars in the Middle East and the resulting PTSD among thousands of current and former military members.


  16. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:32 am:

    A guy, you wrote: “The people who choose this method are by far the most committed to carrying it out.’

    That is untrue. It is often a sudden impulse. If such people have intervention, they often go on to life without much risk of suicide. The guns are too effective, tho.

    One doctor described the risk of guns vs other means as: “crystallizing passing impulses into something horrifically permanent.”

    Suicide attempts by overdose are actually more common than attempts using guns.


  17. - Techie - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:36 am:

    I’m no expert on this, but it does seem like there are at least three big factors at play.

    1) It’s not easy to make a living wage (often requires expensive education/training, which involves large debt).

    2) With increases in political divisions, technology, and geographic mobility, people feel less of a sense of community than they would like. The average American probably has fewer close relationships with neighbors than they did 40 years ago.

    3) There are fewer mental health resources available than there were 40 years ago.


  18. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:36 am:

    What’s sad is how this is just brushed under the rug. There is/was a deliberate effort to not report suicides in the media, due to a belief that it would increase suicides.

    Every time you hear the morning traffic reports on the radio and they say “A metra train has hit a pedestrian” - this is actually a suicide. Aside form guns, standing in front of a metra train is one of the most popular ways to kill yourself. But how many people know this?

    Is it because of the above reasons by the media of not reporting suicides? Is it metra not wanting to be associated with people killing themselves on their tracks? A combination of the two?

    One thing is clear - ignoring this and pretending like it will just go away if nobody talks about it is not working. I’d argue it is making the problem even worse.


  19. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:36 am:

    ==Suicide attempts by overdose are actually more common than attempts using guns.==

    We’re not debating this fact. Attempted suicides can often be those “calls for help” that are much discussed.

    When someone decides to use a gun, they are very committed to carrying it out to completion. Overdoses, are often thought of as a more “painless” method. They are not!


  20. - Moby - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:51 am:

    == [The number of suicides in 2016] is actually higher than homicide.” […] ==

    Suicides have been outpacing homicides for nearly 20 years, actually.


  21. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:51 am:

    I’m currently writing an article on suicide so I have many sources at my fingertips. My wife is also a mental health professional.

    InvisibleMan, you wrote: “There is/was a deliberate effort to not report suicides in the media, due to a belief that it would increase suicides.”

    The concerns are not unjustified. Copycat suicide is a documented phenomena, especially among teens.

    CDC researchers observed a 10 percent spike in suicide—almost 2,000 additional suicides—in the months after actor Robin William’s took his own life in 2014. There was genuine concern that the same thing will occur following the widely-reported suicides of Kate Spade and Tony Bourdain.

    Reporters must be careful reporting on suicides. It is not their job to describe a train hitting a person as a suicide if that cannot be determined with certainty. When a celebrity dies by suicide, it is too often sensationalized. Less reputable tabloids (National Enquirer, TMZ) do this more than real journalists.


  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:52 am:

    –Aside form guns, standing in front of a metra train is one of the most popular ways to kill yourself. But how many people know this?–

    No one knows it because it’s not true. It happens, but it’s not a leading method.

    Guns, suffocation and poisoning account for 92% of suicides.

    Seriously, dude, people research this stuff.

    https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/


  23. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:53 am:

    I’m always amazed at how the U.S. has plenty of money for expensive defense systems and wars but puts a low priority on health care. Is it because there’s not any profit in it?

    The opioid crisis isn’t all about pain relief. Some of it is self-medicating over mental pain. As conditions make it harder for middle class and low income people to survive, look for even more suicides.


  24. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:53 am:

    “There is/was a deliberate effort to not report suicides in the media, due to a belief that it would increase suicides.”

    The concerns are not unjustified. Copycat suicide is a documented phenomena, especially among teens.

    CDC researchers observed a 10 percent spike in suicide—almost 2,000 additional suicides—in the months after actor Robin William’s took his own life in 2014. There was genuine concern that the same thing will occur following the widely-reported suicides of Kate Spade and Tony Bourdain.

    Reporters must be careful reporting on suicides.


  25. - FDB - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:54 am:

    @TheInvisibleMan

    While in many cases a person on the tracks is a suicide it is also a distinct possibility that it could be some sort of freak accident. Immediately after it happens Metra has to make some sort of announcement but they also can’t just declare it suicide without some verification.

    Not sure how Metra announcing “hey, by the way, somebody just offed themselves delaying your morning commute” would help to lower suicide rates.


  26. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:54 am:

    The concerns are not unjustified. Copycat suicide is a documented phenomena, especially among teens.

    CDC researchers observed a 10 percent spike in suicide—almost 2,000 additional suicides—in the months after actor Robin William’s took his own life in 2014.

    Reporters must be careful reporting on suicides.


  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    –The people who choose this method are by far the most committed to carrying it out.–

    All you can know for sure is that they had access to a gun. I don’t think you can quantify “level of commitment.”


  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    –Of course there is a weekly activity that can reduce suicide, drug and alcohol abuse by 50% in American families.–

    Why don’t you just spit out whatever you’re being so coy about, then back it up.


  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    ==I’m always amazed at how the US has plenty of money for expensive defense systems and wars but puts a low priority on health care. Is it because there’s no profit in it?==

    Bingo. Absolutely. See Education. Everyone values it—–so important—–top priority but we regard those who provide it as drainers of taxpayer dollars. I’d assume the same here. Some people see people as users of “their” dollars. Not important. Unless it’s you, of course.


  30. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    ===Of course there is a weekly activity that can reduce suicide, drug and alcohol abuse by 50% in American families.===

    I wonder if the decrease outweighs the increase the same institution has had on LGBT youth?


  31. - Stats Malone - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    The suicide rate is ordinarily higher than the homicide rate. The opposite impression arrives from the press seldom reporting suicides while reporting homicides almost without fail.

    The suicide rate also varies more narrowly, such that comparison rather measures the homicide rate. The closest the two have approached parity in the past four decades was 1991. The suicide rate wasn’t below average; that was the year with the highest homicide rate.


  32. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    ===Of course there is a weekly activity that can reduce suicide, drug and alcohol abuse by 50% in American families.===

    Bath night? Once a week, whether I need it or not.


  33. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    There are a number of prescription drugs where suicidal thoughts or tendencies are listed side effect. I saw an ad just this morning for a diabetes drug that warned of this side effect. This should get more attention.


  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:32 am:

    You are wrong. I know from experience that it is not a sudden impulse. Suffering from untreated or badly treated depression increases that depression. When a person desides to commit suicide, they are in so much pain that they don’t want to stick around any longer.

    Suicide is a lot more complicated that many people are making it. If a person wants to commit suicide, they will find a way.

    As far as overdose, the case I am referring to took place in 1995. The person took thousands and thousands of pills. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. It is shocking that he survived but luckily afterwards got the help that he needed. He wanted to died from the extreme pain that he was in and when he decided to kill himself after almost a year of increasing depression did it within a few days.

    I have heard stories of people dieing by taking less then a hundred pills. And no he did not leave a note. He did not want people to know that he was commuting suicide. He was in so much pain that he could not think clearly. He did not realize that they would have done an autopsy of why a healthy 27 year old would have died.

    Suicide is more complicated that the post that I have seen today.

    Also, suicide has nothing to do with guns. It is about depression and if a person reaches that point, they will not tell anybody of their plans and will do it.


  35. - Saluki - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    I think the since deleted comment was referring to going to Church.

    http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-church-attendance-suicide-20160629-snap-story.html


  36. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    “Of course there is a weekly activity that can reduce suicide, drug and alcohol abuse by 50% in American families.”

    Maybe but I’ll thank you to keep your sex life to yourself.

    – MrJM


  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    –Also, suicide has nothing to do with guns.–

    Except that guns account for half of suicides and that suicides attempts with guns are by far the most “successful.”

    Why deny those obvious facts?


  38. - Freezeup - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    “Over The Edge, Death In Grand Canyon” details the instant regret that many people feel after acting on powerful impulse and making a suicide attempt.

    Terry Salad, I read your comments carefully. You demonstrate some true understanding of an issue I have a very difficult time absorbing.


  39. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    Sorry for repeated posts — they weren’t showing up (it seems an issue on my computer side).

    A single anecdote does not disprove anything. I am citing the recent CDC report on suicide. See it for yourself here: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/suicide/index.html


  40. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:16 am

    You have a political agenda. I do not. You obviously do not understand depression. The method is not what makes people commit suicide. People commit suicide because of major depression.


  41. - Freezeup - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    @anonymous 10:12

    My comment was made before I read your comment, it is not a response to yours. I do not want to appear argumentative in any way.


  42. - Heather ODonnell - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    One major reason for high suicide rates is because we often don’t treat serious mental health conditions when they begin, typically during the teen years and early 20s. SB2951, The Early Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and is awaiting the Guv’s signature, aims begin a shift toward early treatment


  43. - JoanP - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    =The method is not what makes people commit suicide.=

    No, but it does make a difference as to whether or not the attempt is successful


  44. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 11:02 am:

    “You have a political agenda. I do not. You obviously do not understand depression. The method is not what makes people commit suicide. People commit suicide because of major depression.”

    You guys are talking past each other I think. You’re arguing two separate points. Yes, depression and other mental health issues cause suicide, no one is debating that. And the people who use guns to attempt to kill themselves, who can use a gun to attempt to kill themselves, are more successful at it. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/means-matter/case-fatality/

    That’s a fact. Now from that fact you can start making your own conclusions, you might decide that limiting access to guns is, at least in part, a solution to the problem, or at least might alleviate it. Or you might choose to ignore that facet of the argument, say that instead of trying to mitigate/handle the symptoms (i.e. taking away sick people’s guns or otherwise physically stop them from killing themselves) we should focus only on trying to get them help before they make any attempt because they could still try to kill themselves in other ways. Or we could do both, and more. You guys don’t need to make the conversation this hostile.


  45. - Anonomo - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    A couple of interesting reads:

    http://business.time.com/2012/11/08/why-suicides-are-more-common-in-richer-neighborhoods/

    https://www.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2018/06/15/americas-rising-suicide-rate


  46. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    –You have a political agenda. I do not. –

    Do I? What is that? Be specific.

    –You obviously do not understand depression. The method is not what makes people commit suicide. People commit suicide because of major depression.–

    Well, the curse of your brilliance is that you have to deal with mere mortals.

    I understand the leading method of suicide is guns and that method is 90% effective.

    Why do those indisputable facts trouble you? Do you have a political agenda?


  47. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    ==And the non-coastal Western states, as a bloc, top the charts for highest suicide rates.
    What’s up with that, I wonder?==

    Word, there is a theory floated a while back that living at altitude is a contributing factor in suicidal behavior.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-the-curious-relationship-between-altitude-and-suicide-85716-20171106-story.html


  48. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    SBB, thanks.

    It seems to me the higher up you are the more socially isolated you are as well. And I imagine most mountain dwellers have a gun handy, too.

    Isolation can certainly let depression run wild. Going to church or any other kind of fellowship could certainly be a lifeline for those at the edge. It only takes a few seconds to make that fatal act.


  49. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    About 60 percent of suicides in the US are committed with guns. By contrast, guns are used in only 16 percent of suicides in Canada, where guns are much less accessible. There are more guns per capita in the US than in any other country.


  50. - Freezeup - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    And yet Canada has has a similar or slightly higher suicide rate per 100,000 people depending on which google result you click.

    I feel a need to understand this issue better without it being bracketed in an issue de jour.


  51. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    “You have a political agenda. I do not.”

    Making such a claim on *this* website is risible.

    – MrJM


  52. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    Wikipedia lists the US suicide rate for 2015 at 14.3 and Canada’s at 12.3 per 100,000 people. Canada is ranked 87th in the world, and the US is ranked 48th. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate


  53. - Anonomo - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    “Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 9:32 am:
    You are wrong. I know from experience that it is not a sudden impulse. Suffering from untreated or badly treated depression increases that depression. When a person desides to commit suicide, they are in so much pain that they don’t want to stick around any longer.”

    I think there are both “sudden impulse” suicides that result from a sudden loss of something in a person’s life (think of the Great Depression suicides resulting from the market collapse) and also long term depression resulting from physical or mental illness.

    The feelings behind a “sudden impulse” suicide can be very intense but only last a short period of time. That’s why religion or a strong family support structure may help someone cope with a sudden, terrible loss or drastic change in circumstances and with the resulting suicidal thoughts and impulses. It’s also why having access to efficient methods of suicide (like a firearm) can be dangerous at these moments in a person’s life. That said, there are other methods used in these situations.

    Long term depression – especially resulting from a physical ailment or aging – seems more difficult to treat and impacts people across social-economic lines.


  54. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    –The people who choose this method are by far the most committed to carrying it out.–

    Is that what your interviews with successful suicides told you?

    The only thing you can know for sure is that at the critical time they had easy access to a gun.


  55. - West Wing - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    No doubt there are several complex reasons for suicides, but the loss economic opportunities which lead to hopelessness and drug abuse no doubt contributes. One more reason to build a growing economy in every region of the state.


  56. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    In addition to depression, we are becoming a more isolated, disconnected society. Social media doesn’t take the place of real relationships with real people in real time. So many jobs these days require travel and frequent relocation so ties and connections can’t be made. Feelings of disconnection and loneliness can lead the mind to dark places.


  57. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    Sling, you’re arguing with yourself. Choosing a gun is almost always going to secure the outcome of suicide. While some of these sad occurrences are impulsive, most are planned for some period of time and the method selection will indicate how dedicated a person is to carrying it out. The people who choose guns are very committed. It doesn’t at all mean it’s impulsive, though it could be. The state of mind ‘achieved’ to execute the act of suicide is often the result of a long, sad spiraling sense that it’s the only choice.


  58. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    –While some of these sad occurrences are impulsive, most are planned for some period of time and the method selection will indicate how dedicated a person is to carrying it out.–

    You just make things up. Believe it or not, some people actually do research before reaching conclusions.

    http://www.sprc.org/news/planned-impulsive-suicide-attempts

    http://www.businessinsider.com/many-suicides-are-based-on-an-impulsive-decision-2014-8


  59. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    The issue of motives and means of suicide has been studied and there is data.

    The Houston study interviewed 153 survivors of nearly-lethal suicide attempts, ages 13-34. Survivors of these attempts were thought to be more like suicide completers due to the medical severity of their injuries or the lethality of the methods used. They were asked: “How much time passed between the time you decided to complete suicide and when you actually attempted suicide?” One in four deliberated for less than 5 minutes!

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/means-matter/duration/


  60. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    == while some suicides are impulsive, most are planned for long periods of time. ==

    About 90 percent of the people who try suicide and live ultimately never die by suicide. If the people who died had not had easy access to lethal means, most would still be alive, according to Dr. Matthew Miller, a director of Harvard Injury Control Research Center and a professor of health sciences and epidemiology at Northeastern University. Miller says “You can reduce the rate of suicide in the United States substantially, without attending to underlying mental health problems, if fewer people had guns in their homes and fewer people who are at risk for suicide had access to guns in their home.”


  61. - HBS - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    I haven’t seen anyone mention the rise of chronic illness. I have a chronic disease that has a very high suicide rate. There’s no cure or anything close to it. Treatments that may or may not help are expensive. It can and does feel hopeless at times. Especially when our society so often equates earning with self-worth.


  62. - BlueDogDem - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:14 pm:

    I don’t understand the point some are trying to make. Is it “if we outlaw guns we will have less suicides?”


  63. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    ==You just make things up==

    Yep. I have no idea.


  64. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    ==Is that what your interviews with successful suicides told you?==

    That’s quite a thing to say.


  65. - BlueDogDem - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    A Guy. Don’t you know that cherry picking internet articles is doing ones research.


  66. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    –Yep. I have no idea.–

    –Don’t you know that cherry picking internet articles is doing ones research.–

    I posted links that drew on scholarship from experts in the field. That sort of thing scares you, I understand. But the next time you jokers demonstrate any research on anything will be a first.

    –I don’t understand the point some are trying to make. Is it “if we outlaw guns we will have less suicides?”–

    You don’t understand plenty, but no, it’s not, as no one but you has mentioned “outlawing guns.”

    Pavlov didn’t ring the bell, so you can stop drooling.

    The obvious point to all but the most blissfully thick is that if you have easy access to a gun at the critical impulsive moment, you’re far more likely to be “successful” in your suicide attempt.

    Real brain-teaser, huh?


  67. - Downstate - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    Didn’t mean to post and walk away. Got called away on an emergency.

    Yes, attending a form of spiritual worship on a weekly basis (preferably with ones family) that has a positive reduction in suicide and substance abuse.

    Our physical, mental and spiritual health are all tied together and each requires exercise. Just as physical exercise is shown to improve our physical health, spiritual exercise can be equally impactful.


  68. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    @BlueDog: “I don’t understand the point some are trying to make. Is it “if we outlaw guns we will have less suicides?”

    Yes. That is one point I’m making. The number of people who kill themselves impulsively will drop if this highly effective and immediately effective means is unavailable to them. Doctors know this.

    In Florida, the NRA actually managed to get a law passed that explicitly prevented doctors from asking if patients had a gun at home — even suicidal patients. Fortunately, that law was struck down. Other States are trying variations of this, not IL, but Minnesota and Montana.


  69. - Dan S - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    Suicide is a serious mental health issue, yet SOI refuses to authorize licensed counselors (LCPCs) to bill for medicaid patients. Same with Feds and Medicare. All other insurance providers allow licensed counselors. People need help. LCPCs are the most readily available mental health professional in IL. More dispersed throughout the state.


  70. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    Any sensible gun regulation would also help. I don’t advocate outlawing all guns. But if there were fewer guns available there would be fewer suicides (not necessarily fewer suicide attempts).


  71. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    Lots of talk of guns and suicides - Governor Rauner can do something right now and sign HB 2354 the Firearm Restraining Order into law. Commonly called “red flag” legislation - this measure looks at the intersection of guns and mental illness and allows family members to petition the courts to remove firearms from someone if they think they might hurt themselves or others. It’s common sense and could help save lives.


  72. - Archpundit - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:48 pm:

    My stepmother was very sick and my Dad made sure his rifle was stored at a friend’s during that period. The fear was that in the pain and depression of the illness she might impulsively kill herself.

    After she passed, my Dad brought his rifle back home. My stepsister was diagnosed with breast cancer–not terribly advanced, but she was terrified of going through what her mother did. She shot herself the day she got the diagnosis.

    I don’t think there is anything we could have done to save her in terms of making the firearm less accessible as it was a surprise, but the notion that firearms aren’t a significant factor is nonsense. It doesn’t mean that we ban firearms, but a significant part of firearm safety is having the awareness of those around you and your own mental health.

    That some gun advocates cannot recognize baffles me.


  73. - BlueDogDem - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    Terry. Thanks for your honesty.


  74. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    ==I haven’t seen anyone mention the rise of chronic illness==

    HBS, I understand and sympathize with your plight. I have always felt that suicide is too often the result when intolerable pain (physical and/or mental) intersects with a feeling of hopelessness (a major symptom of depression). People were able to survive Auschwitz because they had hope that they could outlive the horror of it. By the same token, those with chronic illnesses need to know that there is always hope for a cure - especially today, when our knowledge base is expanding so rapidly. Don’t lose hope.

    To other points, yes, many people don’t choose suicide because of other influences (religious beliefs, concern for family members, etc.). And yes, having access to firearms does increase the likelihood a suicide attempt will be “successful” (although certainly not a necessity, Robin Williams used a bathrobe sash, I believe).

    One of the best “interventions” I’ve heard of was a shrink telling a suicidal client that “They should “postpone” acting out in favor of treatment; that if the treatment didn’t work, the person could always kill themselves later” the client saw that logic in that, received (successful) treatment, and never made an attempt. Early intervention is crucial should you witness someone making suicidal statements. Most suicidal people don’t actually want to die, they just want the pain to stop. We can help them with that.


  75. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 12:23 am:

    –but a significant part of firearm safety is having the awareness of those around you and your own mental health.–

    That was the only (obvious) point I was trying to make.

    But some sad, old wee-willie, Ted Nugent types who can’t play electric guitar thought I was questioning their manhood.

    Trust me, that question was settled long ago.

    You know how it went.


  76. - Robert M Roman - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 5:31 am:

    Being the tail-end charlie, this’ll not likely be read, but one aspect that hasn’t been mentioned is that these mass killings we’ve been witnessing are best understood as murder-suicides. It’s also not a new phenomenon, but one made potent by mass media and automatic / semi-automatic weapons.


  77. - BlueDogDem - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 9:02 am:

    I love when someone is called out how they resort to second grade name calling.


  78. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 12, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    –I love when someone is called out how they resort to second grade name calling.–

    I’m sure second grade was some of the best years of your life.


  79. - market research online - Tuesday, Jul 17, 18 @ 5:45 pm:

    With the paid surveys under you’ll generate income.


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