Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Rising Suicide

This article looks at possible explanations for the rising suicide rate, noting that some things thought to cause suicide don't actually correlate. 

I think the closest is "deaths of despair."  Consider the also skyrocketing rate of opiate abuse ... and the government's draconian response, which cuts off medical care for many people such as chronic pain patients, some of whom go right to their car after being denied health care and pull a trigger.  That's very upsetting to doctors, but they have done fuckall to protect those patients.  Another interesting example is heath providers themselves, who have a higher-than-average suicide rate.  For some, like EMTs, it may simply be exposure to soul-destroying experiences.  But the higher you go, the more money becomes an issue: the only way to pay off ruinous medical school debt is a medical job, and if someone hates that job, there is no path to a livable life for them.

If you want to stop suicide, first you need to look at why people find life unlivable.  Some of this could be fixed, like poverty, but society chooses not to.  Some is much harder, like the existential despair of scientists trying and failing to stop global warming.  All the yammering I see is trying to spackle over a massive breach with "awareness" and "counseling."  That won't do any good for someone living on a reservation with a 5% employment rate or someone trapped in an abusive relationship because their health care is tied to the abuser's job.  You would have to make the person's life bearable, and society doesn't want to do that. 

If you want to know WHY people commit suicide, try asking them.  Look at what people say when they are suicidal, or if they make attempts but are forcibly stopped from leaving a life they are done with.  Look at suicide notes; not everybody leaves one but some people do.  Among the most common reasons cited are incurable pain, incurable other health problems, life-wrecking debt, abuse, and a miscellany of other things that can be summarized as "no legal way out of this mess."  Health care is unable to solve the first two, and often actively contributes to the others.  Society doesn't give a flying fuck if people are happy.  It just doesn't want them to escape.

So people keep dumping society since they don't wish to be tormented for years on end.  This is actually quite sensible; organisms don't like to be in distress.  They have better places to be and are going there.  Of course society is upset.  Nobody likes being dumped; it is distressing and makes you feel unwanted. But society is a shitty boyfriend and often deserves to be dumped.
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