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SUICIDE AND THE BABY BOOMER

The stats don’t lie.

suicide-3

via http://esciencecommons.blogspot.com/

Across the spectrum of opinion and numbers, one constant continues to haunt boomers.

We cap ourselves.

We pull the plug.

And it’s happening a lot.

From Suicide Awareness Voice of Eduction:

Warning Signs of Suicide

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Additional Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

From the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention:

The most frequently cited risk factors for suicide are:

  • Mental disorders, in particular:Previous suicide attempt
    • Depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder
    • Alcohol or substance abuse or dependence
    • Schizophrenia
    • Borderline or antisocial personality disorder
    • Conduct disorder (in youth)
    • Psychotic disorders; psychotic symptoms in the context of any disorder
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Impulsivity and aggression, especially in the context of the above mental disorders
  • Family history of attempted or completed suicide
  • Serious medical condition and/or pain

A one-time neighbor gave away all of his stuff. He said he did it every five years. Said it was his way to get a new start.

I liked the idea and said so.

Then he bought an old car, ran a hose from the exhaust to a cracked window, and let it idle until it ran out of gas.

He ran out of gas, too.

His roommate didn’t know anything was wrong. Friends in the building hadn’t a clue.

One day he was cheerfully giving away VHS cassettes, a stereo, and television. The next day it was his life.

If you know someone exhibiting signs of suicide, take a moment with them. Talk to their friends and family.

Is it better to sound the alarm too early? Take another look at the blue, the green, and the black lines on the graph. They’re rising.

It’s not too early.

About David Gillaspie
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