Since suicides are the highest in April and May, this is an excellent time to talk about depression and other factors that contribute to suicide. In our commitment to wellness, we are committed to helping our patients achieve their health and happiness goals.
But, how do people get to the point where their lives are so deeply troubling?
Seasonal Affective disorder
According to what we know about seasonal disorders, the short days of winter can cause severe depression in many patients. April and May seem to be the peak times for suicide--a puzzle until one considers that the longer days bring more energy to these depressed people, perhaps not enough to significantly lift their mood, but enough energy to complete the suicide act.
The indignities of aging
The American Society for Suicide Prevention asserts that not only are suicides responsible for more deaths than all natural disasters, murders and wars combined, but they’re also the second leading cause of death among Americans ages 15-34. While this statistic is compelling, the one which is more alarming and often ignored is the suicide rate among older, white men, which is significantly higher than that of other age and ethnic groups. The reason, according to University of Colorado researcher Silvia Sara Canetto, is that these men don’t deal well with what is described as ‘the indignities of aging.’
Untreated substance abuse
Another statistically significant factor is that 45% of all patients with untreated substance abuse disorders commit suicide and approximately 24% are legally drunk at the time of their suicide. The opioid epidemic, far from merely being an addiction crisis, is also a large pointing finger at undiagnosed mental illness, as over half of those with mental illness never reveal it due to the stigma associated with it. And increase in drug or alcohol abuse is an outward sign of an inward turmoil.
Who is at risk?
The American Association for Suicidology uses the following acronym to teach people the warning signs of suicide:
IS PATH WARM
S Substance Abuse
M Mood Changes
In the case of many suicides, the victim will speak out, write about, hurting themselves, killing themselves, death or dying. This ideation may come in the form of threats, or be expressed in concrete or abstract terms.
The other key factors, including purposelessness, anxiety, feeling trapped or hopeless (PATH), can lead to behavioral changes, including withdrawal, anger, recklessness (which may be financial, sexual, or physical), and mood changes (WARM).
By becoming aware of these expressions, feelings and behaviors, friends and family members an at-risk individual. If you or someone you love is exhibiting these behaviors, there are several options available. Call the Suicide Prevention hotline, talk to one another, speak to a caring professional, and make it a singular priority to get some help for yourself or a loved one.
Health and happiness are closely linked, and both should be a priority in our lives.
If you need a wellness partner to achieve your health goals call New Life Wellness Clinic at (480) 510-5344.