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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Suicide Among White Middle Class Increases

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Oct 25th 2008

 According to an investigation done by the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Sciences and Psychiatry Department there has been a significant increase in the rates of suicide among while middle class men and women in the United States. This represents a dramatic shift from the years prior to the year 2,000 where the numbers were much lower. Actually, world wide studies show that in most nations around the world the middle aged report feeling the least happy with their lives than any other groups. The rate of increase is especially high for women in this age group. By the way, the middle age group is considered to range from 36 to 65 years of age.

Thus far, researchers have not discovered the reasons for the increase in this suicide rate. However, the speculation goes along these lines:

Possible Reasons for White Middle Class Suicide

1. Menopausal women who started hormone replacement therapy may have stopped the therapy on their own initiative and experienced severe depression as a result.

2. Baby boomers who abused drugs when they were younger and continued to do so into the present may be experiencing a severe increase in depression.

3. There has been a serious increase in prescription drug abuse that may be contributing to the problem.

While there is a lot of information and prevention with regard to teenage and elderly suicide, not such attention has been paid to this middle aged group. Following is a list of symptoms to be aware of if anyone you know may be vulnerable to suicide:

Warning Signs of a Possible Suicide Attempt:

1. Talk of, or preoccupation with, suicide or death.

2. Threatening suicide.

3. Writing about death or suicide.

4. Serious depression including: desperation, feelings of hopelessness, feeling no sense of purpose, loss of interest in things one used to care about.

5. Trouble sleeping.

6. Withdrawal from family and friends. 

7. Reckless behavior: increased risk-taking.

8. Irritability.

9. Making statements about life not being worth living, hating life, that the "world would be better off without me," and similar feelings.

10. Lots of stress: loss of job, divorce, death of spouse, death of child, debt, chronic illness, alcohol and drug abuse, etc.

It is important to be aware that even though you know the warning signs of suicide it is also extremely difficult to stop someone who is intent on making the attempt.

It is also important to understand that depression and suicide affects all age, ethnic, religious, racial, social class and cultural groups. Those with family histories of things such as depression, psychiatric illness, suicides among close relatives, and those who abuse drugs, alcohol and explosive anger, are at increased risk for suicide.

If you are feeling suicidal you can go to the emergency room of the local hospital, call the suicide hot line, or call 911. If you are with someone who is suicidal it is alright to call 911.

 

 

 

 

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at dransphd@aol.com for details.

    Reader Comments
    Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

    Happiness must be for propagation - Y. Kang - Nov 23rd 2008

    Happiness must be for propagation, otherwise mankind can not survive.

    Rright?

    To be happy is easy - Yi Kang - Oct 26th 2008
    Dear Editor, Could happiness be as simple as that said in the appended 2 essays of mine?(Key:  Ineffective happiness, optimal points, bio-entity,….)  Thanks. Yi Kang(康易)(Professor of chemistry, retired) ------- Essay 1  Summary of 500 Essayson Health-Happiness Yi Kang  To be happy is easy if we know:     1.  Happiness (including love, sense of beauty,…) is the feeling of things being good for our propagation and encouraging us to go further.  (Except ineffective happiness, as smoking …)    2.  Well-being is the ongoing feeling of things going well for our propagation.     3.  Suffering is the feeling of things being harmful to our propagation and calling us for taking measure to prevent or rectify it.     4.  The ultimate goal of life is to propagate forever. (The origin of all things in human world) All the four above are instincts. An instinct is ancestors’ successful experiences saved on our DNA. Also, the following are instincts:   * * * Babies, children …. eat, play(learn), ….
    Being in love is the in the process of carefully matching of the couple’s instinct data and programs (intuition, feeling, soul,…) and their acquired data and programs (knowledge, statuses, accuracy,….) for their propagation.

    A couple of spouses or lovers are one biological entity integrated spiritually in order to propagate.
     The old ….love grand-children.   * * * Friends are the essential members of our symbiotic group.Moral, conscience, justice,… are instincts for maintenance of our symbiotic group.    * * * Everything has its own optimal point. Being not up to or going beyond the point is harmful.For people, the optimal point is 10,000-years-ago norm in most cases.    * * * The optimal point of wealth is not being rich but passably well-to-do. (e.g. Bill Gates after 2008)    * * * Our health, beauty, and long life are based on 10,000-years-ago norm.    * * * The 10,000-years-ago norm based on instincts.The instincts run our thinking and body.The thinking runs our body.  Right?  (from http://blog.sina.com.cn/happywellness) P.S. The balanced diet, essential exercise, best environmental standards and highest happiness index …all meet the norm. Ineffective happiness does not.  ________   幸福“万标”500博文  摘要         康易  幸福人生(含婚姻) 不难,只需明白 下边:    (尤其“最佳点”)  快乐(含:爱、美感、……)  是 事物 利于“传种接代”之感。(肯定、鼓励)幸福 是 “传种接代” 进行顺利之感。痛苦(含:恨、丑感、……) 是 事物 有害“传种接代”之感。(警告、监改)人生最终目的  —— “传种接代”。(人间万事之源)  以上四者 都是 “本能”。 “本能”是 DNA上祖先成功经验。还有:  儿时,吃、玩… 为长大后“传种接代”。  恋爱 是 仔细、不断 核对  本能的 数据和程序(感情、直觉、心声、灵魂、… ;60分以上 启动 爱情程序)、后天的 数据和程序(理智、知识、精确度、…)利于“传种接代”的 程度。                                   (见:拙博 照片 4,点击放大 情侣、 夫妻 是 用精神连结成的  一个完整的 生物体。双方 互视“己身之半”、分工合作“传种接代”。                                 (见:拙博 照片 4-5,点击放大  老年,乐在育孙。  朋友、伙伴    “群居共生”的必要成员。道德、良心、正义、助人(含授课)…  是  维持“群居共生”以利“传种接代”的  本能。  万事 各有“最佳点”。不及、过之,都不好。对人,此点  经常 是“万标”。  财富 “最佳点” 是 小康。不然、 “传种接代”不良。(如 盖茨)  健康、苗条、雀跃长寿,  靠“万标”。  “万标”从  本能。  本能 定 心身。  心领身。  对吗?  有例外?   (参见: 小书简介(拙博 相册 照片2,点击放大))   学生 还觉得: “饮食平衡”(含减肥…)具体化  是  “万标”饮食。“必要运动”(含 健脑、减肥…)的  量、质、境,  也是  “万标”那样。“心态平衡”具体化  是  “万标”心态。 “无效快乐”,  是  非“万标”的快乐。“无效痛苦”,  是  非“万标”的痛苦。“无效美”,  是  假美、不利于“传种接代”之美。 “环保指标”的 最终点,是“万标”的环境。“幸福指数”最高的 生活    最接近“万标”的 生活。  对吗?  学生康易(happy_wellness)敬上 (自http://blog.sina.com.cn/happywellness --- 欢迎转贴 ---   Essay 2 
    HappinessEffective or Not?
    by Yi Kang
     (1/500 Examples of 10,000=Years-Ago-Norm)(Mini-Topic on Health No.0 (1st/86)) Keywords: Definition of happiness, mechanism of happiness, effective happiness, ineffective happiness, baton, self-reproduction, standards of 10,000 years ago, evolution. 
    1.  Origin of Happiness
      According to the evolution knowledge learned in our high school, it is obvious that happiness is originated from biological evolution of human being.  As all kinds of human activities need a director or “baton” to coordinate themselves to reach the best resulthappiness was gradually formed during the long period of evolution. (1,3,4)
      
    2.  Definition of Happiness
      Happiness is a director or baton or feeling that confirms and encourages people for whatever they want to or are doing or have done is ultimately good for their propagation. (1) 3.  Role of Happiness
      All activities of human being are for the ultimate goal of their propagation (keeping their DNA alive). To reach this goal in the most efficient way, there has to be a unified director in charge of all the kinds of human activities so as to avoid chaos or low efficiency that will eventually lead to the extinction of human being. This director is obviously the happiness, which directs all activities toward the right way as a traffic baton. (1)
      
    4.  Mechanism of Happiness
      To simplify the explanation, let us suppose that human brain worked just like a personal computer.  Similarly, there were decision programs in the human brain computer, too.  One of the programs was used to deal with the happiness.  Using the data in the database of the human brain computer (instinct data on DNA saved by our ancestors), the program could recognize accurately whether a human activity is in favor of propagation or not. If it is, then the program making people feel happy runs for a short time. (1,3,4)
      
    5.  Effective Happiness
      The effective happiness is a kind of happiness that happens 10,000 years ago when a thing in favor of propagation is done by or to human.(2)   For example, eating unprocessed fresh food and living in an environment same as those 10,000 years ago. All these activities are good for our propagation.1 6.  Ineffective Happiness
      The ineffective happiness is such a kind of happiness that does not happen in favor of human propagation 10,000 years ago.  For examplesthe happiness people have during eating junk food, smoking tobacco, taking drug, living in a luxurious house with various pollutants, etc.  And all these activities are harmful to our propagation. (2 )
      
    7.
    Harm of Ineffective Happiness
      Facts show that almost all of ineffective happiness are harmful to human health and survival on the earth. (2)   It is overshooting.
    References
       1. 英文 著,《吃、喝、穿、住、其他:康乐简则》, 2005, Jerry&Harry /He Co. ISBN 978-0-9771-8610-5. (To be published in English ( W. Ying, “Eat, Drink, Wear, Dwell, etc.: An Easy Rule for Happy Health” )) or http://www.geocities.com/happy_wellness/HappyWellness1stEdtion.pdf.
      2. ibid, p. 18-148.
      3. Paul Kwatz, “Conscious Robots”, 2005, Lulu, Inc., http://www.consciousrobots.co.uk/.
      4. Stevenson, J.  2006.  “Man, the Digital Machine.”  http://www.onelife.com/evolve/digman.html. 
      Last updated October 7, 2008
    Copyright 2005-2008 Jerry He and Harry He All Rights Reserved.
      (From  http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4bcbe5d1010007p7.html )    保健漫谈 小议0:(1st/86(幸福“万标”500用例  之一)
    快乐,有效?无效?
    (进化论)

    关键词:快乐、快乐的定义、快乐的机理、有效快乐、无效快乐、指挥棒、传种接代、一万年前标准、进化论。  1、快乐的起源
      快乐 起源于 人的生物进化。人的活动需要一个“指挥棒”,方能得到最好效果,才能延续到今天。经过漫长的生物进化,才形成了“快乐”这个“指挥棒”。(1、3)

    2、快乐的定义

      “快乐”是 对进行“传种接代”活动的
    事前、事中、事后肯定、鼓励。(1)
    3、快乐的用途

      人的活动的 最终目的 是“传种接代”(延续 自己DNA的活动)。为了最有效地达到这个目的,要用“快乐”这个“
    指挥棒” 统帅人体的一切活动。(1)
    4、快乐的机理

      用电脑常识来比喻:“快乐”好像是“人体电脑”里的一种判断程序。它能根据“人体电脑”中储存的数据,判断出所作所为是否有利于“传种接代”。如果是,就启动一个“快乐”程序,使人感觉“快乐”。(1)

    5、有效快乐

      符合“一万年前标准”的人间万事。 例如:吃未加工的天然食品、住原始生态的环境、等时,感觉到的快乐,是有效快乐。因为,这些活动对传种接代 有效。(1)

    6、
    无效快乐
      从不符合“一万年前标准”的人间万事中得到的“快乐”,都是“无效快乐”。例如,吃垃圾食品、吸烟、吸毒,住污染的高级建筑中,等时感到的“快乐”,是无效快乐。因为,这些活动对传种接代无效。(2)

    7、无效快乐的
    危害
      事实证明:“无效快乐”,绝大多数,都损害 人的身心健康。所以,不但浪费 人力物力,而且有害 人类 在地球上 生存。(2)
      

    参考文献

      1. 英文著《吃、喝、穿、住、其他:康乐简则》,18-24页, 2005,Jerry & Harry / He Co. ISBN 878-0-9771-8610-5 或 http://www.geocities.com/happy_wellness/HappyWellness1stEdtion.pdf。
      2. 同上,18-148页。
      3. Paul Kwatz, “Conscious Robots” (有意识的机器人), 2005, Lulu, Inc., http://www.consciousrobots.co.uk/.
        4. Stevenson, J.  2006.  “Man, the Digital Machine.”  http://www.onelife.com/evolve/digman.html
        5. Sharpe. K., 1998, “The Sense pf Happiness: Biological Explanations and Ultimate Reality and Meaning”, Ultimate Reality and Meaning 21 (4) December 1998: 301-314. Or www.ksharpe.com/Word/EP20.htm

    恭候赐教!
      
    Last updated
    October 3, 2008
    Copyright 2005-2008  Jerry He and Harry He  All Rights Reserved.
       (  http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4bcbe5d1010007p7.html )    

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