Suicide is becoming a far too common theme in the headlines these days. Depression, like so many other illnesses, does not care about the size of your bank account or how much success you have in your chosen profession. The struggle with depression for so many people is very real and death by suicide is on the rise.
Suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016, according to research published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%.
More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.
“These findings are disturbing. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it’s one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem — and something that is all around us,” Schuchat said. The other two top 10 causes of death that are on the rise are Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdoses, she noted.
In 2016 alone, about 45,000 lives were lost to suicide.
“Our data show that the problem is getting worse,” Schuchat said.
According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, some of the warning signs of suicide are:
• Talking about wanting to die. About 50%-75% of people who attempt suicide tell someone about it first.
• Finding ways to kill themselves, like hoarding medicine or buying a gun.
• Losing interest in things and becoming withdrawn from family and friends.
What to do
If you know someone who is thinking about suicide, you should not leave them by themselves. Also, remove anything that might be harmful to the person, such as guns, according to NIH.
“Try to get your loved one to seek immediate help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911,” NIH says on its website.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).