Women, young adults more likely to ponder suicide

ATLANTA Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:32pm EDT

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ATLANTA (Reuters) - A new federal survey estimates that more than 8 million adults in the United States had considered suicide in a year's time and more than two million actually made plans to kill themselves.

Women, Caucasians and those under age 30 were more likely to have suicidal thoughts, according to the first-of-its-kind study released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study indicates a wide variation in suicidal behavior by state. One in 15 adults in Utah had serious thoughts of suicide, the highest in the nation. That compared to Georgia, the lowest, with 1 in 50 adults saying they had seriously considered killing themselves.

More than 1 million adults reported attempting suicide, according to the survey, which studied data from 2008-2009. Rhode Island had the highest number of reported attempts at one in 67 adults, according to the study.

The purpose of the study was to identify which groups are most vulnerable to suicide, said Dr. Alex E. Crosby, a CDC epidemiologist and one of the authors.

Each year, about 35,000 adults in the United States commit suicide, Crosby said. Prior research has shown that those who have considered suicide are at the greatest risk of eventually killing themselves, he said.

"The burden of the problem is not just with those who die," Crosby told Reuters. "We are trying to find out where the most vulnerable populations are."

Although the study did not examine the causes of the variations by state, possible factors are differences in demographics and access to health care, Crosby said.

"One state may have a higher population that is young and female," he said.

The large variation requires having more than one strategy for fighting suicide, the CDC said.

"We need to work together to raise awareness about suicide and learn more about interventions that work to prevent this public health problem," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement.

The CDC recommends that anyone having suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)

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Comments (2)
One way to curb the escalating suicide rate is to guarantee housing quarters and enough food to sustain life (above the starvation level) for those unemployed, disabled, or mentally ill. People who have no home and insufficient food face slow humiliating deaths. Technically they’re being murdered by primitive societal views on giving everyone the right to live (not just if they justify their existence through employment, family wealth, unexpected windfall, or crime).

Nobody will convince me if you allow someone to be evicted from a home or other dwelling and live on the street, they will not eventually die. It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science or medicine to understand this biological fact. The human body needs shelter and food, to state the obvious. Without these factors the human body dies a slow death, as demonstrated in third world countries.

Is it more dignified to go through a protracted dying process? I personally would like to go out “kicking and screaming” into that dark night, but I see suicide as a sort of throwing down the gauntlet, a moment of weakness, kind of like vomiting, losing consciousness, or other involuntary acts. Do don’t physically prevent people from doing these involuntary actions, rather, medical professionals treat them for the root cause that makes them sick to the point of losing consciousness and so forth.

Why can’t society treat the root cause of those who involuntarily get into situations where they lose their dwelling (home or rental), cannot afford food or medicine? I believe it’s because we’re still in the middle ages of human history. In a few hundred years this century will likely be considered the tailend of the middle ages, a renaissance in technology yet no more enlightened socially than the centuries prior. Religions eschew Darwinism yet act no less neanderthal and apelike in accepting the outrageous and primitive social state of affairs, as if “survival of the fittest” in business was the yardstick which to measure the right to life.

Oct 22, 2011 7:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Lb114 wrote:
I feel that if the study that was used in this article were to be performed again today, the data may have change greatly. The study is from 2008-2009,and says that generally women are more likely suicidal. I feel that recently, there are more types of people contemplating suicide that those included in the gay population or those being bullied and can’t seem to stand up for themselves. Suicide of gay teenagers seems to be increasing and becoming more publicized. If only people were able to read the signs of depression and try to help others before they decide on suicide.

Oct 25, 2011 9:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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