Thanks to Philip over at Furious Seasons, we find that suicide rates for 2006 (the last year the government has data for) remain virtually unchanged from 2005 and 2004. Despite the dire warnings we heard about the decline of antidepressant medications (due to an FDA-mandated …

11 Comments to
Suicide Rates Unchanged, But Lots More Think About It

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  1. There’s no doubting depression is a serious problem. However, answers also abound in treating depression in both medical and alternative modalities.Thousands have been affected. But hope abounds. Alcohol abuse leads to further depression because so many lives are adversely affected. Therefore, treatment for both alcoholics and family members remains a mandate for recovery.

    Barbara Altman, author of soon to be released “Battling Depression, Psychosis and Anxiety.”

  2. I wonder, of those who attempted suicide and survived, but got no medical attention or didn’t stay overnight in hospitals, how many never came to the attention of professionals, or got treatment for an injury but didn’t disclose that it resulted from a suicide attempt? Do you know whether that question was included in the SAMHSA survey? Those numbers are scary.

    It’s also scary that antidepressant prescriptions are up but psychotherapy to go with them is down; the AMA has said that to prescribe antidepressants without also getting a patient into therapy is negligent, and I’d agree. Even if the antidepressants help for a while, their benefits start diminishing in several months to a year, and if someone hasn’t learned other coping skills, he/she will be right back in the pit sooner or later.

  3. Dr John, thanks for blogging about suicide. I hope you will continue to explore the topic and share your insights via your blog. We need more research and education about suicide because there may be a whole lot of people thinking about it but not many who are willing to discuss it.

    I think the most detrimental aspect of having suicidal thoughts is that people become isolated by the thoughts because they are not able to talk about them. A lot of people —including some of the “professionals” are timid about discussing the realities of suicide. So, sometimes it’s hard to find somebody who is willing to face suicidal thoughts and who understands how to help.

    Suicide is a painful, heart-wrenching decision. It is agonizing to go through the emotional process of deciding whether or not you should commit suicide. It is a hell that many people face all alone—they make the most important decision they will ever have to make and they do it in isolation and without support.

  4. Now, this may seem totally unrelated, and off the point, and I know that nobody is going to respond to my comment, but I am still stupid enough to take the risk and comment in hopes that someone will understand my point is not totally off.

    Many years I was hospitalized for serious major depression as a result of trauma and PTSD. (except, I was forbidden to talk about the trauma because it was related to a taboo subject that had to do with medical care and medical professionals)

    Anyway, I healed and have not been depressed for years.

    A few weeks ago, I started on a medication that millions of women take, and within a few hours of taking it, I became seriously depressed, among other things. I mentioned this to my doctor and she said: “Well, you do have a history of Depression”, as if this was all there was too it. I told her that this was not about past depression but about this medication and that it started within a few hours of taking it, and it also stopped after a few days of stopping it.

    On WebMD, I read that at least half of the women taking this drug also experienced severe depression as a result of this drug and they were mostly placed on Wellbutrin which helped.

    Then, my doctor wanted me to try another drug in the same family and she told me that it may work better. Within a day of taking it I felt like someone had ripped out my soul, and I also felt homicidal, and totally panicked.

    The doctor made me come in and when I was called by the nurse I ran away in total panic and almost crashed my car driving home, because my head was literally exploding. (I never got a call back and am sure was labeled uncooperative) I am still not over all of it but it’s improving.

    Again, I went to WebMD, and half of the people commenting on their experience with this drug have severe headaches that require treatment with prescription headaches, and more than another half experience serious depression.

    So much for my two cents. (not edited)

  5. i KNOW that professionals shy away from talking about their patients suicidal feelings

    i know firsthand that people w/psychology degrees are NOT trained in how to deal w/clients with suicidal feelings/urges/thoughts

  6. various organs of the us govt have stymied the publication of papers about suicide rates when the news is damaging to them.
    for instance, the high suicide rate of german warbrides in the usa was suppressed by the army after the second world war. my psychiatrist was refused the right to write about it at the time by the defense dept when treating them at military hospitals.
    no news is good news is not a defense of talk therapy or anything else.
    these drugs have changed lives. and even if unreported yet the results of our economic collapse must hurt many breadwinners although we won’t hear about it -understandably– until well into the recovery.
    additionally there is the cumulative effect of multiple tours of duty leading to desensitized violence here.
    if our statistics do not yet describe our problems this is an issue of descriptive mathematics and its failings–not an issue of a different truth.

    i know that sounds a bit arrogant ( to blatantly deny accepted facts ) so forgive me for feeling so opinionated about what i see in real life.

  7. well, one guy who is chronically mentally ill, presented with ‘feeling suicidal’ in the ER here where I live. Of course he was not taken seriously as a repeat visitor and the doctor asked him what he was planning on doing after he left the ER. The guy told him he was going to take the elevator to the top floor of the hospital and jump.

    LAUGHTER

    So that is what he did right after, took the elevator and jumped to his death.

  8. One of my professors in Graduate School, it seems like his favorite subject was suicide. But he also liked to shock students, as the students were mostly really naive, and religious, and the type that if you even mentioned that you had at some point felt that way, they would run to their advisors and report that this person was suicidal.

    This happened to me, and I just couldn’t believe it. Luckily it was this professor who was her advisor and he told her to get out of his office, and that this was ridiculous and that she (I) could feel whatever I want. (and I was not even suicidal; it was something I had told her about the past)

    A few years after I graduated, the man was reported missing, and his wife volunteered that her husband had been depressed lately.

    So, i called the police and told them that he had committed suicide and that I knew this from the four classes I took with him several years earlier. They almost arrested me for making inappropriate joke calls when none of this was funny and totally irrelevant. 9I guess I just did what I had to and didn’t think it was such nonsense or so irrelevant)

    Two days later he was found dead in the river after he had drowned himself.

    And last, I don’t really think anyone cares if you kill yourself or not. The first time you get a bonus, and after that you are ‘out’ and not worth being listened to. And for those who do it, the comment is: “Well, she was mentally ill”, as if that explains it and that is the end of the conversation.

  9. hell I was once forcefully hospitalized for 3 weeks and i never even tried to kill myself. Suicide rates will be up for 2009, i can promise you that. For the record i wanted to kill myself alot more after being hospitalized then before. It’s something to think about

  10. Nine years ago I attempted suicide. It was an impulse at that moment. I hadn’t planned the attempt at all. Circumstances of the evening made me tired and I wished I could just fall asleep and never wake up. So, I took my entire prescription of xanax (29 pills). I spent five days in the psych ward. Today, my family and friends won’t or don’t talk about it. They tiptoe around me not wanting to upset me in case I would attempt suicide again. After years of psychotherapy and several medications I feel much better, but, the thought is still haunting me. It never goes away.

  11. It is absolutely critical families living with severe autism get the help and support they need. Something is very wrong when suicide rates among parents/primary caregivers/ raising autistic kids are skyrocketing. Get on You Tube: Type in “Autism: When More Help is Needed” . Mother of severely autistic son featured in video talks about her concern over parents killing themselves, in one part of video.. She’s SHOWING us a real life wake up call while displaying her experience with an extraordinary case of autism, the kind most people would’nt have survived, but her family has and will (resilience factor?). AUTISM is HIGH stress sitution, but NOT without HOPE. I think you can also google video: “Autism: When More Help is Needed”

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