Straight, No Chaser: Suicide Data – Understand the Threat

There are amazing, shocking and saddening facts about suicide.  It is equally amazing that we aren’t discussing this as an epidemic.  Consider the following information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
There were an average of 105 suicides a day in the U.S. (over 38,000 for 2010).
An estimated 8.3 million adults reported having suicidal thoughts in the past year.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those aged 15-24, the second among those aged 25-34, the fourth among those aged 35-54, and the eighth among persons aged 55-64.
For those committing suicide:

  • 33.3% tested positive for alcohol.
  • 23% tested positive for antidepressants.
  • 20.8% tested positive for opiates (such as heroin and prescription pain killers).
  • There is one suicide for every 25 attempts.

Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts, but suicide among males is four times higher than among females (in other words, females think about it and try more often, but males complete the act more often.).
Among Native Americans aged 15-34, suicide is the second leading cause of death, fully 2.5 times higher than the national average.
There are some topics that aren’t amenable to Blogs.  Depression and suicide are among them.  They can’t be done justice.  What I can try to do is break components of the conversation into bite size pieces and give you information to work with.  I’ll do this in three parts.  Above, I’ve shown you the magnitude of suicide.  In the next post, I will help you understand what clinical depression looks like, then finally, I’ll review some Quick Tips to help you prevent falling into the deepest levels of depression and to help you know when immediate attention is required.  Just remember: this isn’t the type of depression that involves having a bad day.  I’m talking about when your downward mood interferes with your activities of daily living.  I’m describing depression that introduces suicide and homicide as an option.  If you don’t read these for yourself, read them for knowledge.  Someone you know may be affected.
I welcome any questions, comments or thoughts.

0 thoughts on “Straight, No Chaser: Suicide Data – Understand the Threat

  1. This is truly a discussion more parents should have with their children. Peer pressure, both socially and academically, can take its toll on an impressionable mind. Great topic Dr. Sterling, keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks, Elva. Parents can also remember to bring happiness into their children’s lives. Feelings of self-worth and a level of esteem are developed and ingrained early and set the course for what follows in life. Thanks for the comment and following the blog.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Dr. Grant. You’ll be pleased to note that we’ve been discussing your article in collaboration with my post over on my Facebook page. Great article, and I’d highly recommend that my followers click the link provided to join the conversation. Thanks for checking in with me.

    2. Dr. Grant,
      Dr. Sterling posted your article, not only on his Facebook page but also in a group in Facebook because we were having a conversation that touched upon much of what is in your article. Everything that you said in that article is so TRUE, and it is information that we in the African community need to hear. I posted it on my Facebook page, and also sent it to all of my family and friends because knowledge is power.
      I have been in discussion with my family and friends all day about Dr. Sterling’s blog on this subject, and now your article. Thank you both for providing the catalyst for a much needed dialogue between me and my family and my friends.