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Sun 15th September 2013

Suicidal subspecies

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 12:00 pm

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9166782/Disturbing-trend-in-boomer-suicides

The following comments are based on the above article by Sarah Harvey.

The post-World War II population bubble is just that, a post-war population-bubble. For some reason people born into that era seem to be viewed as a genetic deviation to the human race, their existence conveniently answering awkward questions for lazy researchers.

Baby boomers risk pushing our already high suicide rate to new levels as the rate of elderly people committing suicide skyrockets.

There we have it; Babyboomers are responsible for the ‘skyrocketing’ rates of elderly suicide. By the same analysis since there were only 94 murders in the decade of the 1950′s and over 500 in the current decade – we’re homicidal maniacs as well.

Conwell [a geriatric psychiatrist, either well past his use-by or can't get a job elsewhere] said there was no conclusive evidence as to why the suicide rate among the baby boomer generation was higher, but our statistics back the disturbing trend. [Does this mean he can count or read a graph?]

Statistics released by chief coroner Neil MacLean showed men aged 80 and over have higher rates of suicide than any other age group in New Zealand. [Really!]

In the year to June, nine men aged 85 or older committed suicide at a rate of 31 per 100,000. Three women of the same age committed suicide at a rate of six per 100,000. [Let's play games with numbers and disguise the truth.]

The total number of suicides for any age group over the 2012/2013 June year was 541, a decrease of six from last year, and two less than the average number of suicides over the past six years.

So, a decade of suicides is approximately 5430 bodies of which 80% are male (that’s 4344) most of whom are NOT teenagers or sensior citizens. Of these 4344 people, the above demographic would account for 90 deaths in a decade.

Conwell said, common contributing factors to older people committing suicide included clinical depression or other mental illness, physical illness and functional impairment, and social disconnection.

“Seeing friends die, family moving away and one’s home becoming increasingly hard to maintain are losses that are hard to bear, and older people may become depressed about their ability to manage alone, yet not want to see their GP about the black dog that sits on their shoulder.”

Would you think that there is a slight possibility that a human being at one age might have a similar outcome to another human being at a different age in similar circumstances? If younger men were losing their family and finding it increasingly difficult, if not impossible to afford their lives they might react in a similar way.

Really, does this man think New Zealand men are a bunch of Muppets that believe in fairy-dust prescriptions that change the world? We do actually understand that doctors dish out pills and politicians make the law which governs our social circumstances.

Conwell said there needed to be improved detection and treatment of depression in older adults, social programmes to reach out to isolated seniors, and access to good health care that allowed them to remain as independent as possible.

That’s a commendable approach to caring for our seniors – see also Cold comfort for the working man.

On we go with the discussion we are having about what we are not discussing which in the nomenclature of the Babyboomer would be known as a ‘Clayton’s discussion’ about mass suicide of men in New Zealand. The total military deaths in the 6 years of WWII were 11,900. In two decades we can kill as many men at home as we can on the battlefield.

Babyboomer: person born between 1946 and 1965, subspcies of homosapien, inclined to unpredictable (and supposedly unexplained) self destruction.

Full article below:

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 15/09/2013

Baby boomers risk pushing our already high suicide rate to new levels as the rate of elderly people committing suicide skyrockets.

The baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1965) was a large group that had carried with it higher rates of suicide at all ages, a world expert on older adult suicide, Professor Yeates Conwell from New York, said at a conference in Auckland last week.

“So as [baby boomers] move into later life, a period of increased risk, the number of suicides may rise higher,” he said.

Conwell said there was no conclusive evidence as to why the suicide rate among the baby boomer generation was higher, but our statistics back the disturbing trend.

Statistics released by chief coroner Neil MacLean showed men aged 80 and over have higher rates of suicide than any other age group in New Zealand.

In the year to June, nine men aged 85 or older committed suicide at a rate of 31 per 100,000. Three women of the same age committed suicide at a rate of six per 100,000.

The total number of suicides for any age group over the 2012/2013 June year was 541, a decrease of six from last year, and two less than the average number of suicides over the past six years.

Conwell, a geriatric psychiatrist, said common contributing factors to older people committing suicide included clinical depression or other mental illness, physical illness and functional impairment, and social disconnection.

Marie Hull-Brown, a mental health promoter at the Mental Health Foundation, said the figures were distressing but “not surprising”.

“Seeing friends die, family moving away and one’s home becoming increasingly hard to maintain are losses that are hard to bear, and older people may become depressed about their ability to manage alone, yet not want to see their GP about the black dog that sits on their shoulder.”

Conwell said there needed to be improved detection and treatment of depression in older adults, social programmes to reach out to isolated seniors, and access to good health care that allowed them to remain as independent as possible.

If you or someone you know is feeling depressed contact the following services, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.

Lifeline, 0800 543 354; Depression Helpline, 8am to midnight, 0800 111 757; Kidsline, for children up to 14, 4-6pm weekdays, 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline); Suicide Crisis Helpline, noon to midnight, 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO); Youthline, 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz; www.thelowdown.co.nz or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between noon and midnight).

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