The CDC has recently released new studies that indicate Americans are committing suicide more than ever before. Suicides in adults between the ages of 34 and 65 are up by more than 28%. This is an unprecedented figure. More people die by suicide than in traffic accidents.
Every year more than 253,000 anti-depressants are prescribed such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft yet the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) sees little evidence that these drugs are having any effect on people with severe to moderate depression.
Anti-depressants were found to be as effective as sugar pills. Exercise actually helps depression more than these medications. Not only are they ineffective, but anti-depressants intensify violent thoughts and behaviors, including suicide and homicide. Children are particularly effected by them but anyone taking these drugs or withdrawing from them can “snap”. This could be play a vital role in the startlingly anti-social behaviors that are becoming more prevalent in children, teens and adults. Consider for a moment all the school shootings in the past decade, bullying, and the general lack of empathy in the people who commit these crimes.
Financial problems, erosion of the family and community structure and the widespread use of anti-depressants are all factors in the escalated violence we are seeing in society.
Warning signs of Suicide:
If you notice changes in the behavior of someone, stop for a moment and look closely to see if normal stress or sadness has progressed to a potentially suicidal level.
- Acquiring a weapon
- Hoarding medication
- No plans for the future
- Putting affairs in order
- Making or changing a will
- Giving away personal possessions
- Mending grievances
- Checking insurance policies
- Withdrawing from people
If someone you know exhibits these signs and you think they might be considering suicide do not leave them alone. Try to get immediate assistance from a doctor, suicide hotline or the nearest hospital. In most cases suicide is a cry for help, please take the person seriously. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 911.
CDC Suicide Among Adults Aged 35-64 United States 1999-2010
Psych Central May 4, 2013
New York Times May 2, 2013
IMS Institute for Healthcare Infomatics, The Use of Medicines in the US: Review of 2010
Jama 2010, 303(1):47-53
Institute for Mental Health April 29,2013
The Verge May 3, 2013
Depression Research & Treatment 2012 doi:10.1155/2012/257172