Suicide is a tragic event with strong emotional repurcussions for its survivors and for families of its victims. More than 36,000 people in the U.S. kill themselves every year, according to a 2010 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most federally-funded suicide prevention programs focus on helping teenagers, recent years have seen a spike in rates among middle-aged people. Men seem to be especially at risk, and have nearly four times the suicide rate as women. There are also major disparities amongst ethnic and racial groups, with American Indian and Alaskan Natives being the highest risk groups.

Recent Posts on Suicide

Will Kennedy LeRoy’s Suicide Have Been in Vain?

By Izzy Kalman on June 25, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
I recently suggested that our anti-bullying efforts are failing LGBTQ kids. The truth is that they are failing all bullied kids. Sixteen-year-old Kennedy LeRoy committed suicide in the hope of preventing other bullied kids from doing the same. But the suicides won't cease until we stop trying to protect kids from bullying and start teaching them to handle it on their own.

The Psychological Effects of Shaming Children

Public shaming videos seem to be on an uptick, and the recent story of a teen girl’s apparent suicide after a public shaming incident is an extreme example. Whether or not this particular case was a one of a parent shaming his child, there are lessons for all parents on the psychological risks of using shame to change your child or teen's behavior.

"So You're Going Crazy" by Hilary Dean

Psychosis is a deeply powerful and commanding experience...that type of power demands an even greater belief in human resiliency, the company of supportive others, good treatment, daily dedication to making a life, and the tincture of time.

Are We Shortchanging LGBTQ Youth?

By Izzy Kalman on June 17, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
The news continues to bring us tragic stories of LGBTQ kids–even ones who attend LGBTQ support centers–committing suicide because they can no longer tolerate being bullied. Perhaps its because these kids are not being taught resilience. If we truly want to be helping LGBTQ kids, here are some messages we need to be giving them.

Young People, Not Alone in Their Despair

What is that cautionary tale? Things may not always—if ever—be as they seem.

OCD

In and out of psychotherapy since age 14.

Can We Prevent Firearm Suicides?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 15, 2015 in Media Spotlight
A new article published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry explores the reality behind firearm-related suicide in the United States. Written by Carol Runyan, Talia Brown, and Ashley Brooks-Russell of the Colorado School of Public Health, this article points out many of the popular misconceptions about suicide that may be contributing to the problem we face today.

Climate and Suicide

Decades of data link increases in temperature to higher violent suicide rates. What sort of factors could be at play, and what questions need to be answered to help us understand this linkage better?

Fathers and Sons

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on June 12, 2015 in The Time Cure
Ciao! Phil Zimbardo here. I’d like to share some alarming new information we’ve gathered about men and boys, fathers and sons...

Bruce Jenner's Transformation

By Jeffrey Lieberman M.D. on June 11, 2015 in Shrink Speak
Illuminating gender identity.

Female Veterans Killing Themselves in Unprecedented Numbers

It is a blemish on this nation to do so little to help our military veterans. They volunteered to be placed in harm’s way for our safety and welfare. It’s our turn to ensure that they receive the benefits which they earned through their service.

Some Reasons Why People Kill Themselves

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on June 07, 2015 in Fighting Fear
The reasons that someone may commit suicide are more varied and complicated than usually thought. Depression is the most common cause, but not the only cause.

Reflections on ‘Montage of Heck’

Cobain is the poster child for emotional devastation. And yet, at the same time, there is something in his music which resonates powerfully with his generation. This documentary affords us a view as to how it all got established and played itself out – his pain, his shame, his his inability to relate, his drug addiction, his art, his suicide.

Life Unfiltered: Do We Mask Depression Online?

Are there ways we can authentically share ourselves online? How can we show how life is a balance of good moments—the pretty pictures with the fun filters—along with harder, more complex times?

Lubitz Likely Practiced Mass Murder by Airplane

By Kathryn Seifert on May 18, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
New details are still emerging about the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps in March of this year. Many are focused on the fact that co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had been diagnosed with a mental illness as being his major risk factor for suicide and mass murder. Mental illness alone is NOT a risk factor for violence or mass murder.

Suicidal Friends & Relatives: a Cartoon Story

By Anneli Rufus on May 15, 2015 in Stuck
A cartoon story about suicidal friends and relatives.

Death With Dementia

By Robin Marantz Henig on May 15, 2015 in Cusp
Sandy Bem needed to choose a day to die, and it had to be just right. Too soon, and it might be a day when she still felt basically fine, still essentially herself even as her Alzheimer's disease implacably ate away at her intellect. Too late, and she might no longer have the resolve, or the understanding, or even the physical dexterity to end her life on her own.

The Ultimate Price of Our Hyper-Achievement Culture

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in The Power of Prime
In an earlier post, I described the high cost that pushing kids too hard can have on their lives. A truly tragic example of this trend is Madison Holleran, a U. of Penn student and athlete, who committed suicide in early 2014. On the surface, she was a happy and successful young woman. But inside there was turmoil.

Campus Suicide

Conflict between expectations and forlorn self

Can Psychological Screening Prevent Pilot Suicide?

For every intentional crash there are hundreds of unintentional crashes. The money spent on a wild goose chase trying to keep a suicidal pilot from intentionally crashing would be better spent on training non-suicidal pilots to prevent unintentional (pilot error) crashes.

April (and May, and Probably June) Is the Cruelest Month

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on May 11, 2015 in Grand Rounds
Depression and even suicidal behavior increase in spring. But why?

Ending Stigma on the TEDx Stage

Stigma perpetuates mental illness. A passionately delivered TEDx talk informs viewers about 3 ways they can spread hope and create bright futures!

How Can We Nurture Our Teens?

What needs to be in place within communities to show teens that they’re not miniature adults, but valued for their stage in life?

How to Understand the Germanwings Crash

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on May 04, 2015 in Insight Therapy
The crash of Germanwings flight 9525, a murder-suicide perpetrated by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz killing all 150 people on board, is raising questions about how to account for, and protect ourselves against, such shocking instance of manmade terror.

Suicide Alert: The Spring Season Can Be Deadly

Suicide Alert: Springtime can be a deadly season.

My Sunday Morning With Mental Health Advocates

I wanted to spend our time hearing the thoughts of those who attended, families and patients, about they believed stood in the way of improving mental health services and what we could do about it

Why the Bruce Jenner Interview Matters

How will the transgender movement for rights be impacted by the Bruce Jenner interview?

The Shocking Truth about ECT

By Julie K Hersh on April 24, 2015 in Struck By Living
Should the media be reporting on medical treatments when they lack the time and expertise to fully present information?

A Dream of Decapitation

By Robert J Landy Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Couch and Stage
Two drama therapists discuss a dream about a beheading and an attempt to restore life. In doing so, they recount two mythological stories, one about the Golem of Prague and the other about a simple journey home. Through their dialogue they seek to understand the meaning of healing.

Backward America

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Do we just take it for granted that the U.S. is the best at everything? We don’t seem to notice how bad things really are or how much better off other countries are in ways we used to excel.