It seems that we are hearing more about suicides in the news lately and most recently with some rather famous people. People are asking the question why is suicide becoming more common, and what, if anything can be done to reverse the trend?
Opinions vary with some researchers proposing everything from social isolation to bullying as the reason. But the real causes are still elusive and remain a mystery.
That the suicide rate is increasing is a fact supported with data gathered by the CDC. In a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the rates of death by suicide in the United States have risen by roughly 25 percent in the last couple of decades.
Though the precise reasons for the increase are not completely clear, some experts have suggested that it could in part be due to an increased sense of isolation among Americans. Another contributing factor could be economic troubles and a rise in mental illness. Some have even gone as far as to blame the rise of technology as having replaced face-to-face interactions while others counter that technology actually decreases loneliness. Of course, all these explanations still fall in the area of speculation.
Regrettably, suicide has become the second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 20 in the U.S., and there is now a growing concern that aging Baby Boomers will be especially vulnerable to suicide in the coming years.
In a previous report from the CDC, it was noted that suicide in the U.S. is often connected to other forms of violence like bullying, sexual violence or child abuse. But seeming to contradict those findings is the fact that rates for those forms of violence have not increased, and possibly dropped in the past two decades.
Whatever the reason, the increase in suicides is a disturbing trend. Hopefully researchers will be able to find the causes soon.