Thoughts From MY Cluttered Mind offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Bipolar Disorder myself and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Suicide - The New Midlife Crisis?


Watch the news and you will see the story of a young person who has committed suicide.  We believe these adolescent kids do not understand that life can get better, there are brighter days ahead, instead they are cut down in the prime of their lives.   What many call, “A permanent solution, to what is often a temporary problem.”

The idea that teens have the highest risk of suicide may not be correct.  In 2007 statistics showed the greatest rate of suicide was among those aged 45-54, and those between 55and 64 showed the largest increase from what was recorded in 2006.  This information is shocking, since it is more common to see middle age as the happiest time of life, after all they now call 50 the new 30.  Reality seems to show, however, that this time of life is actually a time of confusion, doubt and uncertainty.  

We see the realization of dreams never followed through on,  and now face a job; they are not happy with and feel life has been wasted.  Many see debt mounting as their kids head to college and retirement approaches.   In addition, many are faced with caring to aging parents, as their own mortality becomes a reality, for some men when they approach middle age, they find their bodies are not what they used to be, and feel inadequate.  The idea of retiring to the Bahamas or traveling across the world becomes less of a reality with each passing day, and depression takes over for what should have been..    

Additional theories, may also shed some light on the causes, for instance, the fact that as we age the circle of friends, we spent time with and counted on throughout our lives, slowly dwindles; we are more alone, and there seems to be nowhere to turn.  Assisting in this epidemic is the ever growing supply of drugs to help the pain that often comes with aging, which can lead to either intentional or unintentional overdoses.     

With so much emphasis on the treatment of teenagers and younger adults and their risk of suicide, these older Americans are being overlooked.   The chances of suicide and how the act may be carried out can depend on whether you are male or female.  It is well known that women are more likely to seek help and to consider or attempt suicide, with the hope of someone noticing their cry for help.  Men, on the other hand, prefer to keep their depression to themselves and find counsel in their own way, often drinking heavily and turning to guns to ensure their attempt is successful. 

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