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Suicide Rate Climbs For Middle-Aged Americans

This doesn't surprise me.

I was surprised that "Starting in 2009, though, suicides surpassed deaths from crashes. In 2010, there were about 38,000 suicides compared with about 35,000 deaths from motor vehicle crashes."

by Anonymousreply 4605/04/2013

It just shows that you should NEVER admit to being over 25 years old on Datalounge.

by Anonymousreply 105/02/2013


by Anonymousreply 205/03/2013

Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

Middle-age unemployment is the highest, and the chances of (decent) employment is scarce.

by Anonymousreply 305/03/2013

That's a terrible response to temporary employment issues.

by Anonymousreply 405/03/2013

wages have stagnated for 20 years and rents and food prices and bills go up; people are barely surviving

by Anonymousreply 505/03/2013

Really, R4? What makes you think it's temporary? Next week it will be a year that I got laid off from my job and never could I have imagined it would go on this long. I have a college education from a top tier University and I cannot find a job that pays me more than what I'm getting on unemployment. I'm not being picky either. I've applied for assistant/coordinator positions as well as Director level (my last job was Director). I'm in my mid 40's.

The job market is horrible and you cannot possibly know just how horrible it is unless you're stuck in it. And ageism is a factor that continues to be ignored...

by Anonymousreply 605/03/2013

R6 is right.

I'm in advertising and they want people who are "young and hip and fresh" and "with the times".


by Anonymousreply 705/03/2013

It's not just unemployment. It's unrealistic expectations.

I'm in my 40s. A surprising amount of people in my generation have lived their lives thinking fate had something amazing in mind for them and one of these days they'd wake up and life would be paradise. But reality set in and mid-life crises hit them big time. I've had friends quit perfectly good jobs in their mid to late 40s and float around doing nothing, unhappy and unmoored.

My brother killed himself last year. He could never come to grips with the fact that life is work. And work is effort. He always wanted to be one of those guys who "expressed himself" for a living. A writer, a painter, an artist of some stripe. He had real jobs throughout his life. He just chose not to keep them. He saw himself as Harry Potter in the cupboard under the stairs, waiting for an owl to deliver him a letter that would in turn deliver him to the life he felt he was meant for. I loved him dearly. But he was to blame for his circumstance, not the economy.

This "I'm meant for something special" delusion is hitting all the generations below mine, too, of course. But weirdly, I think that in this admittedly bad economy, reality will hit them in the face quicker. That's my hope.

by Anonymousreply 805/03/2013

I'm almost 50. I don't much care for my current job (I have no real passion for it), but if I ever lose it, I know I'll be very unlikely to ever find another job in my field... or if I do, it'll be at close to a 50% pay cut.

If I ever do lose my job, suicide becomes a pretty valid solution as far as I'm concerned.

by Anonymousreply 905/03/2013

Not for me; outliving my enemies is the best revenge.

by Anonymousreply 1005/03/2013

I feel the pain of several posters on here. I am nearly 48 and hanging on to a job I loathe going to every day. I hate it, but I am thankful to have it. I have taken a massive pay cut just to keep it. Bills, food, rent, etc. keep going up. Withholding and insurance keep going up. My pay is diminishing. If I lose my job, I will likely not find another job in my career field. It scares the hell out of me. This economy sucks, and it seems that no one is doing anything to fix it.

I have kept my resume up to date and I have looked around. It's pretty bleak. My standard of living has dropped considerably and my degree may as well not even exist. Suicide will never be an option, though. I love life, regardless of what it throws at me.

by Anonymousreply 1105/03/2013

You make your own life.

by Anonymousreply 1205/03/2013

I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.

by Anonymousreply 1305/03/2013

This is what happens when the safety net is shredded.

Social Security is next. When sequestration happened it was in the cards. Everyone comes back to the table and cuts in both spending and entitlements are on the way. Slashes to the safety net were in the DNA of sequestration.

Both parties knew it back then and both of them are looking forward to slashing Social Security even though it has nothing to do with the national debt. There is a two trillion surplus in in the fund.

Why do you think Obama chose Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, two notorious enemies of Social Security, to head his committee on the deficit? To increase benefits? To preserve the benefits? Simpson made his bones when he called Social Security beneficiaries "teat suckers." What does that tell you about where Obama is headed?

Obama can cut Social Security because he is a Democrat. Here is a top advisor, Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin. He had a question and answer session at a Wall Street Journal breakfast.

"But I still think it gets down to this, and the President has said this to Republicans: You want to do entitlement reforms; I do too. I can produce entitlement reform and bring Democrats to the table because I am a Democratic president. And so I am ready to sit down with you and work out an approach".

Bill Clinton wanted to change Social Security into private accounts. The Monica furor stopped that. Now Obama is going to start the slow death of a thousand cuts. First up, chained CPI. Obama put it forward only when the deal was cut.

If Social Security is cut once, it can be cut again and will be. When benefits gets so little and so uncertain that people know they can not count on it in retirement, they will be forced to put their money into Wall Street.

That is the idea. Give the investment houses the funds for the next boom. The first rule of investors -- "Don't touch capital -- use other people's money."

Pete Petersen has set aside a billion dollars to kill Social Security and money talks. No. It commands. Both parties.

"We can't take it out on the banks, so we are going to take it out on grandma."

by Anonymousreply 1405/03/2013

[quote]they will be forced to put their money into Wall Street.

What money? It's all gone and it doesn't look like I will have any "nest egg" waiting for me when I retire.

by Anonymousreply 1505/03/2013

And so will more Americans kill themselves rather than fight for some kind of solution?

by Anonymousreply 1605/03/2013

I've been unemployed for several month now. I have never been happier. I hated my last job.

They want me to come back. But it is never going to happen.

Can you imagine what kind of place it is that at this time in history they can't find anyone to work there.

There are worse things out there than being without a job.

by Anonymousreply 1705/03/2013

Honestly, I think about suicide every day...and haven't done it, yet.

It's nice to know it's an option, though.

by Anonymousreply 1805/03/2013

The comments to this story on NYT are very sad. Beyond the obvious economic angle (which basically everyone recognizes), people talked intelligently about American culture (self-reliance, materialism, work-as-identity, shame), social isolation, and mental illness. Basically, no one is surprised. And, there were some really thoughtful comments about how maybe suicide may be a rational choice in certain situations. Absolutely no one was saying, "yes, this person should have committed suicide." But, they were willing to accept that a person could come to that conclusion and they would respect that.

by Anonymousreply 1905/03/2013

I'm still pretty young (21) and I would not want to live to middle-age any way. It's old. You can't do anything you enjoy and your health goes bad. Better to die young and pretty. Live fast, die young. That's what I'm gonna do. That way I don't have to worry about being laid off because I'm over 35 or about stockpiling money for retirement. Not for me, no way!

by Anonymousreply 2005/03/2013

R17, so how do you pay for your rent?

Unemployment doesn't go on forever and if you live alone like I do, then you have nobody who shares the burden of rent/elec/groceries. UI has paid for my rent, utilities and groceries but barely... I had to cancel a lot when I first got laid off. The sequester will slash my federal unemployment by 18% which will not cover my groceries therefore I will have to go on foodstamps which is something I never had to do.

I agree that it's important to love your job. My last job was definitely no picnic. Ten years ago, I would've not been in such a state of panic. The job market is hell right now....especially if you're over the age of 40.

And the worst part is that nobody cares. Congress should be trying to pass tax breaks for corporations who hire long-term unemployed or people over the age of 50. They should pass legislation giving tax breaks to company who hire in the U.S. and, better yet, penalize companies who outsource. But they do nothing. It makes me sick.

Today I read some BS that UI is better than it's been in 4 years. Bullshit! More people have simply stopped looking or are no longer on UI.

by Anonymousreply 2105/03/2013

I looked at that cursory graph.

Why wasn't there a dotted line for "suicide by saucy backtalk"?

by Anonymousreply 2205/03/2013

R21 I am still receiving unemployment. I know it is not going to last forever but I still feel positive about my future.

The great thing is that I found out I can get by on that amount. There have been jobs I was interested in before but I did not think I could afford the pay cut. So that opens up a lot more jobs.

by Anonymousreply 2305/03/2013

It's because they can't get laid.

by Anonymousreply 2405/03/2013

People who kill themselves at this time of their lives are best off dead. Culmination reaches the crescendo of being a self centered POS that never learned to give of themselves. Self important hollow souls. Bye. Not a soul will miss you within a years time.

by Anonymousreply 2505/03/2013


by Anonymousreply 2605/03/2013

I'm 26 and I've recently come the painful conclusion I am unattractive. Apparently in more ways than I first thought.

Am I at risk?

by Anonymousreply 2705/03/2013

I'm in my mid-40s. Haven't found work in a year and a half after losing my last job. I have no family, no spouse, no friends that I am close enough to to be a burden on their couch for a while. Unemployment and savings are long gone, getting to the end of being able to keep myself afloat with debt.

So yeah, you bet your ass I'm setting aside that last few hundred in credit card space left in order to get a bottle of pills or a shotgun for myself. What other realistic choice is there?

by Anonymousreply 2805/03/2013

R28, your post makes me sad. I wish you good luck. That's not the answer. I wish I had an easy one for you, but I don't. But please, try everything, anything, before you resort to that. I don't want you to give up. People have come through it, loads of them. You can too. Start talking to people now about ways and means to figure it out. Please. I don't want you to give up. xo.

by Anonymousreply 2905/03/2013

I predicted this on a Datalounge prediction thread about 4 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 3005/03/2013

I can not believe how easily you are all willing to think of giving up. Have you never suffered adversity? Are you really that spoiled? I've suffered more than what many of you are describing in my life and I can't imagine ending the precious gift of life for the reasons you're stating.

Then again, if you're that weak, perhaps you really should make room for the strong. We need the resources.

by Anonymousreply 3105/03/2013

Maybe they're lonely.

by Anonymousreply 3205/03/2013

Five years until full employment. Forget that. This is the new normal.

by Anonymousreply 3305/04/2013

I have bipolar disorder and have fought against suicidal thoughts off and on for many years. Luckily, I currently have a good job and am on decent meds. However, I'm 50 and am afraid of what would happen if I lost my job. My illness tends to kick in under severe stress.

by Anonymousreply 3405/04/2013

Baby Boomers can't stand not getting what they feel they're entitled to.

by Anonymousreply 3505/04/2013

[quote]The findings appear in the latest issue of Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

To think there are people who check the mailbox hoping the mailman brought their copy of Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

I just found what I'm giving everyone I know for Christmas this year.

by Anonymousreply 3605/04/2013

Heartless comment r35.

Isn't everyone entitled to food and shelter? Have you not read the other posts?

We're talking about the ability to find employment to support themselves.

I pity you.

by Anonymousreply 3705/04/2013

"Millions of years ago, dinosaurs fed on the leaves of those trees.  The dinosaurs were vegetarians.  That's why they became extinct -- they were just too gentle for their size.  And then, the carnivorous creatures -- the ones who eat flesh, the killers -- inherited the earth.  But then, they always do, don't they?"

by Anonymousreply 3805/04/2013


There are no psychiatric services for the working poor. If you are eligible for Medicaid, maybe, just maybe, you can find counseling and medication. But if you work but don't get health insurance, and you need medication? You are own your own.

by Anonymousreply 3905/04/2013

To help you battle anxiety, try meditation. It doesn't cost anything and you can do it at home. Not that it will fix your problems but it will maybe make it easier facing them until things get better.

Smooches, everyone!

by Anonymousreply 4005/04/2013

Sadly, this doesn't surprise me, either. I have friends who have suicide plans if things get bad for them.

The truth is, not everyone is cut out for homelessness. That's the ultimate concern, right? That things will get so dire that you no longer have food and shelter.

Don't think for one minute that people in such circumstances could turn to their local homeless shelter or church. They can't handle the volume they have now. Forget government services. They aren't there. Many people have tried to go the disability route because they can't get work. That's a long, hard process that can take a year or longer.

There is a storm brewing but the media doesn't cover it. It's a huge, gaping hole in our economy and its sucking a lot of people into the center of it.

I'm so fascinated by the people who claim that they would work their fingers to the bone doing everything and anything to stay afloat. I have friends who are working four jobs and can barely make ends meet. Something will give one day. THe future is not looking bright for many.

by Anonymousreply 4105/04/2013

I am in my 40s and have been single most of my life. (Came from a really screwed up home environment and just had trouble getting close to people, social anxiety issues, etc. Fun times, lemme tell ya. I spent thousands on therapy in my 30's and still have only made a little progress.) But I digress...

As I result I have also been single-income my entire adult life. I made decent money (not great but decent) money until 2010 when the company that I had been with for 20 years went under. I never realized how vulnerable I was to have no one else to lean on financially in tough times. It was scary.

I went through my savings and cut everything I could but I would have horrible panic attacks about never finding another job and living in my car. I have a handful of close friends but I couldn't imagine putting them into a position to step in. So I just dealt with everything alone.

There were times when the thought of sleeping and never waking up was what comforted me the most. I never really seriously thought about it, but I liked having the option if things got to the point that I had no resources and no place for shelter.

Thank God I found a job last year. Granted I took a 33 percent pay cut but I'm back in the land of the employed and damn grateful.

That said, I know I sound like a "Chicken Little" but I'm terrified of what's going to happen to me in my elder years. I have no kids and 2 nieces that live in a different state who I wouldn't want to burden with that. I am terrified of living on cat food and in some public assistance nursing facility being abused by some overworked nursing staff. ( I know, I am a Negative "banned word" but those are my thoughts.)

I would have no problem calling up a Jack Kevorkian type to get euthanized if the day comes that I have outlived my savings and would only be a burden to society. If I can't take care of myself, how can I expect someone else to take on the burden?

I realize this is a 'Debbie Downer' email but I've had these thoughts as I get older and I experienced how scary it is when the money runs out. I think there are a fair amount of childless older Boomers out there who may ponder suicide as well as a future option, but I also realize that many of Boomers don't have those type of thoughts at all.

by Anonymousreply 4205/04/2013

It's not easy to go on living when your entire society says "You're over, we don't want you, go die." Which is what's happening to an extraordinary number of people right now.

by Anonymousreply 4305/04/2013

I hope I don't have to, and I have a decent life now, but if I were homeless for an extended period of time, or chronically ill with no way to pay for care, or faced with being stuck in a horrible facility, I'd definitely do it.

Americans, despite talk of wanting a social safety net and having compassion for people in dire straits, still have a deep-rooted belief in self-dependence and a deep-rooted view that their identity and worth as tied to their work, thus not working brings on intense shame. This has two effects - (1) people who actually have people to reach out to, don't do it - they're ashamed, don't want to be a burden, afraid of what others will think. They're used to being self-dependent and to not be is the ultimate blow to their very being. (2) People who can help, don't, or not as much as they could. (don't get me wrong some people do go above and beyond in being "there" for people). It's like people who need real, substantive help turn into lepers and all the bullshit talk of "doing anything for loved ones" (usually posited when everything is okay) turns into an empty sentiment.

There's enough social isolation as is, but what I described above causes another layer that doesn't necessarily have to be. It's sad.

If you have people you are really close to, friends and family, and they need help, please help them, even if it's a lot of work, even if it's hard. "Being there" is the hardest thing to do for a loved one.

by Anonymousreply 4405/04/2013

R42, my story is very similar to yours except I'm in my 50s.

I don't see things getting better. I was out of work for 2 years and got a job last year. Was cleaning out some files and found tax returns from 30 years ago (why I have them is another story). I made less money last year than I did in 1984 when I was in grad school.

The company I work for is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. We've had 3 waves of layoffs since I was hired. I just waiting for the shit to hit the fan there.

by Anonymousreply 4505/04/2013

A lack of spirituality leaves one to realize what a worthless world this is without it. After your parents die and your friends start to, after you realize most of your dreams are never going to come true, after your body starts to fall apart and you find your future is unsure and likely lonely, what is to stop you from killing yourself if there is no form of afterlife? Why spend a decade suffering illnesses followed by a decade shitting yourself in a diaper in some rest home where no one ever comes to visit?

by Anonymousreply 4605/04/2013
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