Diane Dimond: Who commits suicide? The data may surprise you with opinions

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Strange as it may seem, suicide was against the law in the United States. How could you punish a dead person for performing that last fatal act? However, some states continue to have laws on books that label the suicide attempt as a criminal act, although court proceedings have been rare.

The latest statistics show that in 2017 over 47,000 people committed suicide in the United States. Historically, that number has increased every year. Who are these people and what is driving them to turn off their lives?

There are no solid answers. Depression and despair seem to be the reasons n. 1 cited. Depression due to the loss of a job or a personal relationship, financial stress and ill health are often mentioned. Each victim has a unique story, but there are trends that everyone should be aware of.

According to Centers for disease control and prevention, while suicide occurs in all demographic and ethnic groups, the suicide rate is higher among middle-aged whites. In 2017, middle-aged white men 3.5 times more than women committed suicide and accounted for almost 70% of all suicides.

Those statistics made me wonder if the modern habit of criticizing the "privilege of the white man" had anything to do with these deaths. Nowadays harassment and prejudice against "old whites" seem to be tolerated much more easily, even encouraged.

Men with the highest suicide rates have often carried out construction work, such as carpenters or electricians. Also listed among the best works of those who committed suicide: mechanics, cable installers, commercial divers, illustrators, tattoo artists and professional sports athletes.

Women who committed suicide most of the time had a job in the world of art, design, media or sport. Also frequently affected were women working in protective jobs, such as private investigators, and police officers TSA agents, as well as those with health care jobs, such as dental assistants, masseurs and pharmacy helpers.

Parents should take note of the Survey on the behavior of young people at risk of CDC. Seven percent of children between grades 9 and 12 reported having made at least one suicide attempt in the previous 12 months. Female students attempted suicide about twice as often as male students and black female students were at higher risk than whites.

The most common method of suicide was with the weapon; more than half of the time, the dead used a gun to end their lives. Choking was the next most frequently used method, followed by poisoning. Over 54% of those who died by suicide did not have a diagnosis of mental health problems. One day, their loved ones simply discovered they had committed suicide.

The CDC website has a map of the United States that shows the suicide rate in each state. At present, the states with the top five suicide rates are Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico and Idaho.

It is a myth that the dark and sad days of winter or holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are the first moments of suicide. In fact, it is the spring months of April, May and early June that regularly see an increase in dejected people who succumb to the dark side.

And unfortunately, there seems to be a script component – the experts call it the "cluster" or "contagion" effect – very often following a high profile suicide like the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain or fashion icon Kate Spade.

"When c & # 39 is a pre-eminent suicide, we can see more suicides," Shari Sinwelski del National lifeline for suicide prevention He said. "Sometimes people can already feel very vulnerable and see someone they can relate to and their vulnerabilities."

A study conducted after the comic Robin Williams tragically he took his life in 2014, showing that in the months following his death, there was an increase in suicides of almost 10 percent. Another script effect was seen after the movie star's suicide Marilyn Monroe. During the month of his death, in August 1962, there was a 12% increase in suicides. A National Institute of Health the report explained the mentality of a sensitive suicidal person in this way: "If a Marilyn Monroe with all her fame and fortune cannot stand life, & # 39; Why should I?"

Studies have also shown that the way in which the media report suicides with celebrities can also increase the risk of further deaths. The more suicidal and sensational the romantic coverage is, the more likely a vulnerable person is to be activated in the same fatal action.

This is only part of the information one should consume if one is concerned that a loved one might think about suicide. The best advice is to be proactive: involve the person in conversation about how they feel, try to convince them to see an authorized therapist and, above all, not think that ignoring fear will diminish it.

This is what many of the victims of suicide have thought. And then it was too late.

Diane Dimond is the author of three books, including Pay attention to those you love within the Michael Jackson case, which is now updated with new chapters and is available as an audiobook. Contact her a [Secure e-mail]or click here to read the previous columns. The opinions expressed are his.

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