As noted on another page on this website, suicide is among the top 10 causes of death in the US (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). And, for adolescents and young adults (10- to 34-year-olds), it is the second most common cause of death (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018).
In the last few decades, there has been greater awareness about what “depression” is, and acceptance of the need for treatment. Since the introduction of SSRIs in 1988, the proportion of adults in the US who are taking an antidepressant has skyrocketed to over 10%.
Given that depressive disorders are a major factor associated with suicide, one might expect that the trends discussed above would have reduced deaths from suicide. But, no.
Of the 10 top causes of death, death from suicide did NOT decrease over the last many years (from 2005 to 2017) even though it decreased for ALL the other nine.
Instead, the suicide rate in the US has INCREASED nearly 30% since 1999 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
5. Over 48,000 people died by suicide in the US in 2018, up from about 41,000 in 2013.
Five horrifying statistics about suicide that we should all know
How NOT to talk about suicide
A three-step ladder for asking about suicidal ideation
Types of suicidal behaviors
BEST books on suicide risk assessment and management
Suicidality: An interview with David Sheehan, MD
Quick tips in suicide assessment: Interview with Jack Krasuski, MD
Call 988, the “Suicide & Crisis Lifeline”
TED talk: The bridge between suicide and life
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QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Rates* of Suicide,† by State- National Vital Statistics System, United States,§ 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019 Sep 13;68(36):798. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6836a5. PMID: 31513560; PMCID: PMC6753971.
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