What's the Latest Development?
The national suicide rate has increased dramatically in the past decade such that self-inflicted deaths now outnumber those caused by motor accidents. "From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives." The suicide rate among middle-aged men rose most sharply, jumping by nearly fifty percent. Researchers say that generation, the baby boomers, also had more suicides per capita when they were adolescents.
What's the Big Idea?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently released the new figures, there may be something about how baby boomers think about life issues and their life choices that makes an important difference. "Men and women in that age group are often coping with the stress of caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children. 'Their lives are configured a little differently than it has been in the past for that age group,' said Dr. Ileana Arias of the CDC. 'It may not be that they are more sensitive or that they have a predisposition to suicide, but that they may be dealing with more.'"
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