U.S. suicide rates are at their highest since World War II, according to federal data—and the opioid crisis, widespread social media use and high rates of stress may be among the myriad contributing factors. In 2017, 14 out of every 100,000 Americans died by suicide, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That’s a 33% increase since 1999, and the highest age-adjusted suicide rate recorded in the U.S. since 1942. (Rates were even higher during the Great Depression, hitting a century peak of 21.9 in 1932.) “I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits all reason” since there’s almost never a single cause of suicide, says Jill Harkavy-Friedman, vice president of research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit that supports suicide prevention research, education and policy. “I don’t think there’s something you can pinpoint, but I do think a period of increased stress and a lack of a sense of security may be contributing.” It’s even more difficult to assign causes to the uptick, Harkavy-Friedman says, because it’s happening across diverse demographic groups. Men have historically died by suicide more frequently than women, and that’s still true: As of 2017, the male suicide rate was more than three times higher than the female rate. But female suicide rates are rising more quickly—by 53% since 1999, compared to 26% for men—and the gap is narrowing. For both genders, suicide rates are highest among American Indians and Alaska natives, compared to other ethnicities, and when the data are broken down by age group, the most suicide deaths are reported among people ages 45 to 64—but nearly every ethnic and age group saw an increase of some size from 1999 to 2017.
The secret? How about I go out on a limb here and name three main causes:
1. Alienation due to lack of meaningful future, hence drugs, among other things;
2. Radical atomization;
3. Mental decline due to social media and degenerate art and culture.
Here is interesting fact: in Russian, mentally unstable people (and suicide often, not always, is a result of such instability) are still called, even in medical practice as Душевнобольной (Ill with soul, or sick soul), which, I think, is a good description. No amount of material possessions can make one happy unless one's life is filled with purpose and love. Some, revert to religion--this seldom helps, others--they do develop deep faith (I hope you understand why I separate these two: religion and faith). Some have faith in God, whatever God is for them, others have faith in inherent good, beauty and order which must prevail universally, others have faith in dream--but it is always a faith. Even militant atheists have faith, however misguided it is sometimes. Life has to be filled with meaning, without it--no amount of material valuables will suffice.
Looking at the modern West in general and US in particular today, one cannot fail to notice this increasing stench of nihilism and depravity which permeates the atmosphere--from mass media to human relations. Moreover, the future for many (in their view) doesn't look bright at all--it is one of signs of a serious crisis in the society. People lose desire to live, they don't see the value in living--their souls die before physical death occurs. How to deal with that? Well, a very serious question. I'll give you a hint, for the sake of discussion--there is a reason that American 1950s seem so appealing today for many youth. It is not just escapism. Idealization, same as it is with Soviet 1960s and 1970s in Russia, has a deep meaning--there still was a great deal of civility then and that mattered a great deal. As Meatloaf sang prophetically: Future Ain't What It Used To Be. One MUST have future to look for in life, otherwise it becomes life not worth living. Your opinions?
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