Demystifying Psychiatry

A resource for patients and families

Large Increase in Suicide Rates Among 35 to 64 Year Olds

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a substantial increase in the suicide rate of persons 35 to 64 years old. No increase in suicide rates were observed in younger or older age groups. Suicide accounts for more deaths than motor vehicle accidents. Why might suicides be increasing in middle-aged people? Read More

Suicide Rate In Middle Age People

I took a quick look at the section and I apologize if my theory was included first off. To address the issue, the baby boomers are now dying off quickly. There should be more people around the age of 20 and 30 than any other age group this year. (2014) My point is the middle age group are probably the sons or daughters of the parents dying off. It is a direct correlation with the suicide rate. I.E. (Increased trauma, Increased Depression, so-on...) That's my idea of it anyway.


Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. The ones dying today from old age, etc., are the ones born before 1946 - known as the Silent Generation and the WWII generation.

The boomers are still a relatively young group with a very large population that are still alive - the oldest turned 68 on January 1, 2014.

poking the elephant blindfolded

All of the epidemiology of lethal suicide attempts doesn't get at causative and fundamental distressors. Thomas Joiner's Interpersonal Theory of Suicide gets as close as any to the root: sense of not belonging, perception of being a burden, and the learned capacity to kill oneself.

Suicide rates and attempt rates are inversely correlated with open and inclusively tolerant societies. The US is about as far from that as is possible. Safety nets for people who have had their jobs and careers yanked from underneath them (support), have then lost their homes and families and their places in their communities.

What, exactly, are they supposed to do to survive, let alone thrive?
Ergo, suicide.

People who are ostracized - especially whistleblowers - suffer irreparable harms to every facet of their lives - careers destroyed, blacklisted from employment, legal harassment, financial ruin and then see above. Kipling Williams and C Fred Alford's work go hand in hand and complement Joiner's.

And then let's take a gander at the state of the art treatment for suicidal ideation and attempts:

Call a hotline and get - who exactly? "a trained volunteer in crisis prevention"

What does she provide? A listening ear for a few minutes (calls are timed and cut off after time's up), and if the trained volunteer makes a snap judgment about "dangerousness", she, via call tracing, calls law enforcement.

If involuntarily taken from one's home or detained in a hospital, there is a total loss of civil rights for people who HAVE COMMITTED NO CRIME. Their detainment likely directly leads to loss of their housing (shelter beds are largely doled out via daily appointment-based lotteries - turn up absent, and not only the bed, but any locker stored belongings are tossed out), their jobs (sick days may or may not be used/employers may demand verification of hospitalization and then fire the employee - at will employment in most states), careers - licensed individuals may have their involuntary treatment reported to their respective licensing boards and be subject to penalties up to and including the loss of their license and professional practice/income/professional standing. I could go on and on.

People who seek treatment for suicidality will be told that the underlying "mental illness" is what's treated. Sho' enuff, suicidality IS NOT a DSM disorder. But courts allow the testimony of psychiatrists to serve as the sole authoritative voice and overrule victims' rights routinely. (By the way, the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality - CAMS - treatment isn't even recognized the "prestigious" psychiatric Hospital of one of its authors, Dr. Maltsberger. It's one of the very few therapeutic tools for the treatment of suicidality in and of itself as an entity).

Until the penalties for seeking help for the causative distressors of suicidality are removed, the treatment is immediately available and accessible to anyone who has psychache - Schneidman's term for unbearable psychological distress, and the leers, sneers and jeers of so-called treaters are abolished, there will be no overall declines in suicide rates.

Fat chance of that happening in my lifetime.

It's reassuring to see

It's reassuring to see someone articulate the obvious.

It's like the rest of society is blind to the carnage suffered by the older long term unemployed.

How could anyone possibly wonder why suicide rates increased or try to blame it on something else?

It is True!

Yes, it is true that suicide cases are increasing rapidly. However, in order to cease them, it is vital to educate people about the causes and consequences of suicide. In case of mental disorders, this education may or may not work but it is something that we all need to know beforehand. Luckily, I found a good source on suicide at

Stop Suicide

Homeless shelters need to be replaced with "council housing," based upon one's ability to pay. Take care of the housing issue, and 99% of the problem is solved. People facing eviction, foreclosure, or struggle to come up with rent each month, should quickly be placed into government housing. Shelters are inhumane.

It is important to realize that the vast majority of suicides (more than 90%) are associated with major psychiatric disorders.

"It is important to realize that the vast majority of suicides (more than 90%) are associated with major psychiatric disorders."

Maybe that is the problem.

How many of us would want to live if we were diagnosed with a "major psychiatric disorder" --- especially if our family, friends, acquaintances and employers were informed?

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Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis - School of Medicine.


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