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 Suicide on the rise for middle-aged Americans

[u]Suicide on the rise for middle-aged Americans[/u]

Rates for adults ages 45-54 climbed to highest level in 25 years, CDC finds


updated 9:49 a.m. CT, Fri., Dec. 14, 2007

ATLANTA - The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans has reached its highest point in at least 25 years, a new government report said Thursday.

The rate rose by about 20 percent between 1999 and 2004 for U.S. residents ages 45 through 54 — far outpacing increases among younger adults, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

In 2004, there were 16.6 completed suicides per 100,000 people in that age group. That’s the highest it’s been since the CDC started tracking such rates, around 1980. The previous high was 16.5, in 1982.

Experts said they don’t know why the suicide rates are rising so dramatically in that age group, but believe it is an unrecognized tragedy.

The general public and government prevention programs tend to focus on suicide among teenagers, and many suicide researchers concentrate on the elderly, said Mark Kaplan, a suicide researcher at Portland State University.

“The middle-aged are often overlooked. These statistics should serve as a wake-up call,” Kaplan said.

Roughly 32,000 suicides occur each year — a figure that’s been holding relatively steady, according to the Suicide Prevention Action Network, an advocacy group.

Highest for middle-aged women
Experts believe suicides are under-reported. But reported rates tend to be highest among those who are in their 40s and 50s and among those 85 and older, according to CDC data.

The female suicide rates are highest in middle age. The rate for males — who account for the majority of suicides — peak after retirement, said Dr. Alex Crosby, a CDC epidemiologist.

Researchers looked at death certificate information for 1999 through 2004. Overall, they found a 5.5 percent increase during that time in deaths from homicides, suicides, traffic collisions and other injury incidents.

The largest increases occurred in the 45 to 54 age group. A large portion of the jump in deaths in that group was attributed to unintentional drug overdoses and poisonings — a problem the CDC reported previously.

But suicides were another major factor, accounting for a quarter of the injury deaths in that age group. The suicide count jumped from 5,081 to 6,906 in that time.

In contrast, the suicide rate for people in their 20s — the other age group with the most dramatic increase in injury deaths — rose only 1 percent.

 2007/12/14 14:46
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re: Suicide on the rise for middle-aged Americans

Do you remember I posted a thread last week concerning suicides and the holidays? I posted it from a mortician's perspective, and it's funny that this subject came up again, because we had our first "Christmas suicide" two days ago. I tell you, Satan is very busy this time of the year.

A middle-aged woman swallowed an entire bottle of her husband's sleeping pills. It was an eerie thing to call her house yesterday and get the voice mail. What I heard was obviously a recently recorded greeting: her voice was very cheerful, Christmas music was tinkling in the backround, saying she was sorry that "Robert and I can't get to the phone...we're out Christmas shopping! Please leave a message and we'll call you back!"

Her voice was all sunshine and rainbows. You would think everything was just great, the typical North American, middle-income, two-car garage, white-picket fence housewife. Her husband comfortably employed, her grown children coming in from out of town to spend Christmas with mom and dad...and mom suddenly and unexpectedly commits suicide.

People do strange things this time of the year. People are more depressed around late December, I think, then they are at any other time during the year. We see more deaths, more suicides, more drug-related fatalities around Christmas than the 4th of July and Halloween put together. I have stories you brethren wouldn't believe...stories about receiving death calls on Christmas Eve around midnight...

Sorry about bringing in the sobriety, but reality is reality.

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/14 16:19Profile









 Re: Suicide on the rise for middle-aged Americans

PaulWest:

Quote:
Do you remember I posted a thread last week concerning suicides and the holidays?


I must have missed it, and will look for it. Have been in prayer and away from the computer a lot lately. When i did see this article my heart just sank. It's so sad and heartbreaking. Even though i could never commit suicide with the fear of going to hell, Christmas is still the most grieving time of the year for me. I stay to myself, alone. It's just to painful.

 2007/12/14 16:55
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Christmas is still the most grieving time of the year for me. I stay to myself, alone. It's just to painful.



I'm so sorry to hear this, brother. Unfortunately, you prove my point - this is a very depressing time of the year for many, many people. There's just so much involved...so much baggage that goes way, way back. Stemming from early childhood. Satan picks up on this, the strongholds, and flares them. The whole 'spirit' surrounding Christmas is quite evocative, more than any other time of the year. If you've experienced deaths of children, Christmas can be very hard. You become paralyzed with bittersweet memories, filling in all the torturous "what if's", and a time of the year that is one man's pleasure suddenly becomes another man's prison.

There's alot of spirtual warfare going on, lots of emotion and pent-up skeletons scratching on closet doors. I am always extra careful to be on my guard this time of the year, keeping close watch over my heart.

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/14 17:08Profile









 Re:

Brothers, this thread really got me. Right in the heart.

We had a thread here this summer about suicide and it was gut wrenching.

We need to give the world the reason for our hope.

We need to tell the world that there is a Hell and that suicide is not the answer.

That if they think this present suffering is anything - that it cannot compare in anyway to the eternity in Hell where there is No escape.
My heart goes out to anyone this distraught and who thinks of ending it. I did - but the thought that I'd never see Him saved me. That was ALL that saved me from ending it.


I've had a Christmas story I wanted to share, but kept feeling to wait on it. I'll share it now.

In 1977, I was stationed in Puerto Rico with the Navy. I had Christmas Eve and day off, so I went to San Juan and got a room on the third floor overlooking the ocean.

At night I turned the radio on and found an all Christmas music station.

I turned the comfy chair to look out at the ocean with the beautiful moonlight on it and with Him and the music, it was one of the best Christmas memories I have.

As I sat there, the thought came to me and I prayed, "Lord, if I could only have one thing for this Christmas, more than this, it would be that there wouldn't be so many car accidents and deaths over these holidays." and that was it.

I continued to enjoy His Presence and get goose bumps just thinking of the impact the songs and view of His creation had on me and it was a Gift from Heaven, I know.

After the holidays, on the Base, I went to have breakfast at the chow-hall.
I saw a table in the distance and headed right for it.
As I sat down, I saw a newspaper laying open in front of me.
The page was opened right to an article that my eyes hit first.
It said, "This year's Holiday Fatalities - Lowest".

I was a baby Christian - less than 2 years old in the Lord - but that has stayed as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday.

I tell it now so that maybe we all could pray for His Glory to fill this next month (and beyond) and we could see many converts and the same such headlines in this coming New Year.

Thank you and thank you for helping me pray.



Edit typo

 2007/12/15 0:29









 Re:

This doesn't even include all of those who are either thinking about or threatening to commit suicide. :-( Our weather man commited suicide last year. Nobody knew he was having problems. He put a gun to his head in his garage.Sorry to be so morbid but that is reality. :-(

 2007/12/15 10:18
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777


 Re:

What a tragedy it is - that our Christmas traditions turn into such a curse for many. Of course, Christmas (as described in a recent thread) is rooted in pagan custom, and only in the fourth century were those customs adopted by the church. (as a compromise by the Roman Church – to get pagans to convert) In many ways our society pays a price by insisting on maintaining these customs.

Quote:
Christmas is still the most grieving time of the year for me. I stay to myself, alone. It's just to painful.



I’m just wondering: What is it about Christmas that induces deeper suffering for those like you who struggle with depression? Would you value the company of those Christians who do not follow the traditions?


Diane


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Diane

 2007/12/15 11:46Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

It almost makes the mantra: [i]"'Tis the season to be jolly"[/i] perverse and a mockery. When we think of this imbedded mantra around Christmas, and if we are honest with ourselves, it is not Jesus Christ that comes to mind.

Instead, what comes to mind are the big-booted, blustery, rosy-cheecked Santa Clauses, the mistletoe and holly, the twinkling, multi-colored lights, flying reindeer and sleighbells. This is what we've been programmed to invision at the sounding of this seasonal mantra.

The "jolly season" thing absolutely permeates all the stores, beginning even a week before Thanksgiving. This is for a reason. I believe (and everyone is welcome to debate me on this) there is a spiritual psychology behind it all. And this "spirit" driving the jovial decorum is not of the God of Israel, but of a familiar spirit that exploits the supposed birthdate of our Saviour as a means to enslave, numb, imprison, whitewash. On the outside we see the twinkiling lights of green, red and blue and glass ornaments - on the inside of many a person this year, however, there is alot of hurt. As long as the carols are sung, and bells rung, and "It's a Wonderful Life" aired on TV, all is calm and all is bright.

But strip away all the candy canes and fruit cakes and gingerbread houses and what do you have? Tonight, if you have an adorned Christmas tree already in your home (as I do), see how quickly your festive mindset can be altered in one moment by simply unplugging your tree. Try turning off all the lights in your house, except for the tree, and sit and gaze at its beauty a moment or so. Soak in what this beautiful thing represents and how it is able to so effortlessly bring back things from your childhood like nothing else can.

Then, reach for the switch and turn it off.

You're in a dark house now. The Christmas spirit (embodied in the tree) is suddenly gone, and you're uneasy. Cold. I'm showing you this to demonstrate the transitory nature of the "jolly" season spirit. It's all in the plastic. The painted bulb. The fragrances. The chimes. And on December 26th, the crow will once again fly and people will be left even emptier than they were the Christmas before.

Now, please understand me; I have a Christmas tree, I drink eggnog (not spiked, thank you) and we open presents on the 25th. But as I open my presents, I can't help but think of those who have no presents, who, like Brother Julian, are alone and depressed, buckling under strongholds that flare up this time of the year, every year. When I was a child (and a babe in Christ), I was blissfully innocent to all this. As an adult, however, I cannot ignore the bald-faced truth of reality, of what really drives this "holyday", and of the spiritual and economical repurcussions it brings, of the bittersweet memories and impulses it evokes in so many hurting people. In fact, the feelings can be so intense that I have come to almost dread the approaching of Christmas. (gasp!)

As with anything in life, the cheap, worthless stuff sits on the surface for all to see, but the real life and truth is beneath the surface. If you dig down deep enough through a person's flowery tattoo, you'll soon stain you fingers with their blood; you dig down deep enough through the tattoos of pretty trees and Santas and mistletoes, you'll also discover the blood of the power behind this "jolly season."

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/15 12:49Profile









 Re:

We [i]can[/i] be "re-programmed" and can be a witness to the world - now more than ever.

To me, this time of year is just when they play hymns about His Coming. His First Advent - that's all.

I don't decorate - I just love the music and the messages about Him.

Mike posted "Oh, Holy Night". I love that one and "Oh come Immanuel" and "Oh Come all ye Faithful" ... just for a few. The words are fantastic.

If we could just have one thread that just Glorifies Him and carry that witness wherever we go and PRAY for the world - that these suicides, etc. that result in death were seriously decreased, than we've made something of what the pagans have tried to do - to His advantage.

Whatever Satan meant for harm, HE can use us to turn around, for the good and that's scriptural.

I only miss my family and still do, but I don't miss receiving gifts, (never thought it was 'my' birthday) and I don't miss the decorating, etc.. But I would miss the songs. I hope they never take them away.

This time of year should be when Christians put on that extra push to Evangelism and The Message that "He came and why" and not spent fighting with each other over it. What sort of witness is that to a world that is already fighting and depressed? Or even to Christians who have been depressed for other reasons. They all need a Postitive message.
Even folks who are sick right now. It's very easy to want to end it when you're sick --- when we hold the Tidings of Great Joy that we could be sharing.

We really need to knock off the negatives and start exalting Him, because some of us need it too. Some of us need it very badly.

Each negative is a positive for the devil and it brings him great joy. I don't want him having an ounce of joy from us.


The positive is "JESUS - GOD in the flesh - came to save all mankind because HE LOVES them."


"Joy to the world - the LORD has come."

 2007/12/15 13:20









 Re:

Quote:
What is it about Christmas that induces deeper suffering for those like you who struggle with depression?

In a nut shell, pure 100% loneliness!

Christmas is a very lonely time for me as well. I love the Season and all that it entails but as it gets close to Christmas especially Christmas Eve, it's the most difficult for me. Come Spring time the same thing happens and I think it has a lot to do with not having an intimate companion to share it with.

Someone might say, "Why don't you get yourself a girlfriend or wife?". The very thought of it scares me to death. At 40, I still enjoy my singleness, when it comes to the winter season it's an entirely different situation. I have a false image of a wife, overbearing, dominant, nagging. It's better to endure the winter blues me thinks.

 2007/12/15 13:46





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