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Thread: U.S. Suicide Rates Are the Highest They've Been Since World War II

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    U.S. Suicide Rates Are the Highest They've Been Since World War II

    U.S. suicide rates are at their highest since World War II, according to federal data—and the opioid crisis, widespread social media use and high rates of stress may be among the myriad contributing factors.

    In 2017, 14 out of every 100,000 Americans died by suicide, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That’s a 33% increase since 1999, and the highest age-adjusted suicide rate recorded in the U.S. since 1942. (Rates were even higher during the Great Depression, hitting a century peak of 21.9 in 1932.)

    “I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits all reason” since there’s almost never a single cause of suicide, says Jill Harkavy-Friedman, vice president of research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit that supports suicide prevention research, education and policy. “I don’t think there’s something you can pinpoint, but I do think a period of increased stress and a lack of a sense of security may be contributing.”

    It’s even more difficult to assign causes to the uptick, Harkavy-Friedman says, because it’s happening across diverse demographic groups. Men have historically died by suicide more frequently than women, and that’s still true: As of 2017, the male suicide rate was more than three times higher than the female rate. But female suicide rates are rising more quickly—by 53% since 1999, compared to 26% for men—and the gap is narrowing. For both genders, suicide rates are highest among American Indians and Alaska natives, compared to other ethnicities, and when the data are broken down by age group, the most suicide deaths are reported among people ages 45 to 64—but nearly every ethnic and age group saw an increase of some size from 1999 to 2017.

    Youth suicide is becoming an especially pressing problem, with rates rising more rapidly among boys and girls ages 10 to 14 than in any other age group. A separate research letter published June 18 in JAMA found that youth suicide rates are at their highest point since at least 2000.

    The JAMA letter doesn’t identify causes of the youth uptick, but first author Oren Miron, a research associate in biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School, has two theories.

    Opioid use, he says, has been shown to drive suicidal behavior among drug users and their children and families, and so recent high rates of drug abuse and overdose may be tied to rising suicide rates. The opioid epidemic may harm entire communities’ mental health, Miron says. “The entire community is bleeding. Kids see less of a future, they see more of their friends dying,” Miron says. “This might give us just one more reason to crack down on” substance misuse.

    His second theory is that social media may be contributing to rising suicide rates, particularly for young people. “We know that now it’s used in younger ages and more intensively, and we also see some new apps that allow more anonymity, which in turn allows more bullying and more kids talking about suicide without their parents knowing,” he says. Heavy social media use may also lead to fewer meaningful in-person interactions—which can protect against mental health issues and suicidal behavior—and encourage unhealthy comparison with others.
    https://time.com/5609124/us-suicide-rate-increase/

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    Max Lucado Identifies Reason for Suicide Epidemic Across US, Offers Solution

    WASHINGTON — Pastor and best-selling author Max Lucado said that the dramatic increase in suicide over the last two decades is partially due to the lack of hope stemming from the rise of secularism across the U.S.
    Speaking at the launch of his new book, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God, at the Museum of the Bible on Aug. 6, Lucado said we live in a society "where it's like somebody put a liposuction on our hope and is sucking it out."
    "I think it's the price we pay for secularism," he said, explaining that secularism promotes the idea that "all of life is what happens between birth and hearse."
    "There's no preeminence or divine power; there's no reason to be here, there's no reason to long to live," he said. "All of life is bookended."
    This view of the world "sucks the hope out of you" and creates a "sour society," Lucado warned.
    "We wonder why the suicide rate has increased 24 percent since 1999. That's an epidemic," he said. "I know it's a complex issue, and I don't want to over simplify it, but part of the reason is, we're dying for lack of hope. There's just not hope. But if you can get hope ... it changes the world."
    At the event attended by The Christian Post, the pastor said that his book, Unshakable Hope, draws upon the promises of God to provide hope that is unchangeable and unsinkable in a sin-damaged world.
    "We as Christians believe we were not made to live with cancer and diseases and bitterness and hostility, and somebody's coming for us," he said. "There's a rescue mission happening, and that just lifts my spirit. Life can be tough, but if I believe that somebody, someday is going to come, that gives me hope ... Hope changes everything."
    Lucado emphasized that all of us build our lives either on the problems of life or the promises of God.
    "I believe that for every problem in life, there's a promise from God," he said. "Do you feel all alone? God made you a promise, 'I will be with you always, even until the end of the earth.' Do you need someone to speak up for you? Jesus makes the promise — He's at the right hand of God and He's also interceding for us. One of my favorite promises is found in the book of Psalms: 'Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.'"
    Author Max Lucado offered words of wisdom about happiness, stressing that the best way to become happy is to give encouragement.
    In a Monday discussion at the Museum of the Bible, Lucado sat down with National Community Church Pastor Mark Batterson to explore the nature of happiness. Lucado's latest book is called How Happiness Happens.
    During a summer sermon series the author stumbled upon some statistics about happiness that whet his appetite for exploring the subject — a Harris survey showing that only one in three Americans considers themselves to be happy. In light of this discovery he continued to research the topic and found several other pieces of corresponding data.
    "How could this be? We've never lived in a more advanced culture. We've never lived in a society that has more technological advances, and I know we're far from perfect ... but there's a lot of things to be grateful for," Lucado said.
    It dawned on him that the focus of his sermon series, which was on the "one another" verses in Scripture, were the "secret sauce" of happiness. He recalled the words of Jesus where he said that "it was better to give than receive" and how he had seen that to be true. As he gave, his spirit was lifted, and he was happier. A self-centered life, by contrast, yields sadness, he continued.
    Asked why he thinks happiness is so hard to find, he replied: "Unique to our day and age, unique to our generation, unique especially to our society, is this literal bombardment of marketing that seeks to tell me I'm unhappy in order that I'll make a purchase that will make me happy, which eventually does not make me happy, which disappoints me, which then makes me think I need to try all again. It's this cycle."
    "For example, I didn't know that I should be self-conscious about having a bald spot until the television commercial told me I shouldn't have a bald spot," the author said, receiving laughs from the crowd.
    He soon found himself looking in the mirror.
    "The counterintuitive message of Christ is that happiness happens not when you accumulate but when you share. Happiness happens not when you have more, but when you give more.
    "The true, lasting happiness that no one can take away from you happens when you give it away."
    He defined happiness as a "deeply rooted sense of contentment that does not depend upon circumstances."
    Joining the conversation, author John Maxwell argued that there is a difference between success and significance. Success is about what one has done and accomplished. Significance is about others.
    "It's impossible to be selfish and significant at the same time," Maxwell said, adding that it is impossible to be happy and selfish simultaneously.
    Lucado made a point to say that at times people do need professional help to deal with the sufferings of life.
    The invitation of Jesus is to do as he did to serve and not be served and give his life as a ransom, the author elaborated.
    "I think God wants us to be happy," Lucado said. "I think we have a moral obligation to be happy.
    "The church has a much better testimony if they are people of contagious kindness."
    Lucado's latest book centers on the approximately 50 "one another" verses in the Bible, and that Jesus was the best encourager.
    In the healthiest of homes there are five positive comments for every negative one, he noted.
    "If you want to encourage somebody you are taking on a divine role their lives," he said, noting that a name for the holy spirit is Paraclete, which means to come alongside.
    "The best way to be encouraged is to give encouragement. You want to be happy tomorrow? Make somebody happy today," he said.
    Asked during the Q&A if certain personalities are more attuned for experiencing happiness, he responded that there is no doubt that is the case.
    "Some people are more reflective maybe even melancholic. Some people are more outgoing, more positive. I think it's more of a challenge for others than it is for some. And the last thing I would want to do is for somebody to feel bad about feeling unhappy."
    "Be kind to yourself," he said. "If you come out of a certain personality group or type. It could be that it's going to be a little more difficult for you, but you have advantages that others don't ... all of us can make progress in this area."
    Max Lucado is a bestselling author and the longtime teaching minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.

    "Morning will come. Not as quickly as we want, maybe not as dramatically as we desire," he continued. "Then again, it may come more quickly than we want and more dramatically than we could have thought."
    To illustrate his point, Lucado recounted the story of Mary Magdalene, a woman who had seven demons inside of her before meeting Jesus. Yet, despite her troubled past, she traveled with Jesus as one of His followers and was a witness to His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
    "Joy comes becomes Jesus comes," he said. "And if we don't catch it at first, that's OK — He'll call out our name; if we don't recognize Him at first, that's alright — He'll linger until we get it. ... Your name is not buried in some heavenly file; God needs no name tag to jog His memory about you. You're everything to God."


    https://www.christianpost.com/news/m...o-unhappy.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwab View Post
    Max Lucado Identifies Reason for Suicide Epidemic Across US, Offers Solution

    WASHINGTON — Pastor and best-selling author Max Lucado said that the dramatic increase in suicide over the last two decades is partially due to the lack of hope stemming from the rise of secularism across the U.S.
    Speaking at the launch of his new book, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God, at the Museum of the Bible on Aug. 6, Lucado said we live in a society "where it's like somebody put a liposuction on our hope and is sucking it out."
    "I think it's the price we pay for secularism," he said, explaining that secularism promotes the idea that "all of life is what happens between birth and hearse."
    "There's no preeminence or divine power; there's no reason to be here, there's no reason to long to live," he said. "All of life is bookended."
    This view of the world "sucks the hope out of you" and creates a "sour society," Lucado warned.
    "We wonder why the suicide rate has increased 24 percent since 1999. That's an epidemic," he said. "I know it's a complex issue, and I don't want to over simplify it, but part of the reason is, we're dying for lack of hope. There's just not hope. But if you can get hope ... it changes the world."
    At the event attended by The Christian Post, the pastor said that his book, Unshakable Hope, draws upon the promises of God to provide hope that is unchangeable and unsinkable in a sin-damaged world.
    "We as Christians believe we were not made to live with cancer and diseases and bitterness and hostility, and somebody's coming for us," he said. "There's a rescue mission happening, and that just lifts my spirit. Life can be tough, but if I believe that somebody, someday is going to come, that gives me hope ... Hope changes everything."
    Lucado emphasized that all of us build our lives either on the problems of life or the promises of God.
    "I believe that for every problem in life, there's a promise from God," he said. "Do you feel all alone? God made you a promise, 'I will be with you always, even until the end of the earth.' Do you need someone to speak up for you? Jesus makes the promise — He's at the right hand of God and He's also interceding for us. One of my favorite promises is found in the book of Psalms: 'Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.'"
    Author Max Lucado offered words of wisdom about happiness, stressing that the best way to become happy is to give encouragement.
    In a Monday discussion at the Museum of the Bible, Lucado sat down with National Community Church Pastor Mark Batterson to explore the nature of happiness. Lucado's latest book is called How Happiness Happens.
    During a summer sermon series the author stumbled upon some statistics about happiness that whet his appetite for exploring the subject — a Harris survey showing that only one in three Americans considers themselves to be happy. In light of this discovery he continued to research the topic and found several other pieces of corresponding data.
    "How could this be? We've never lived in a more advanced culture. We've never lived in a society that has more technological advances, and I know we're far from perfect ... but there's a lot of things to be grateful for," Lucado said.
    It dawned on him that the focus of his sermon series, which was on the "one another" verses in Scripture, were the "secret sauce" of happiness. He recalled the words of Jesus where he said that "it was better to give than receive" and how he had seen that to be true. As he gave, his spirit was lifted, and he was happier. A self-centered life, by contrast, yields sadness, he continued.
    Asked why he thinks happiness is so hard to find, he replied: "Unique to our day and age, unique to our generation, unique especially to our society, is this literal bombardment of marketing that seeks to tell me I'm unhappy in order that I'll make a purchase that will make me happy, which eventually does not make me happy, which disappoints me, which then makes me think I need to try all again. It's this cycle."
    "For example, I didn't know that I should be self-conscious about having a bald spot until the television commercial told me I shouldn't have a bald spot," the author said, receiving laughs from the crowd.
    He soon found himself looking in the mirror.
    "The counterintuitive message of Christ is that happiness happens not when you accumulate but when you share. Happiness happens not when you have more, but when you give more.
    "The true, lasting happiness that no one can take away from you happens when you give it away."
    He defined happiness as a "deeply rooted sense of contentment that does not depend upon circumstances."
    Joining the conversation, author John Maxwell argued that there is a difference between success and significance. Success is about what one has done and accomplished. Significance is about others.
    "It's impossible to be selfish and significant at the same time," Maxwell said, adding that it is impossible to be happy and selfish simultaneously.
    Lucado made a point to say that at times people do need professional help to deal with the sufferings of life.
    The invitation of Jesus is to do as he did to serve and not be served and give his life as a ransom, the author elaborated.
    "I think God wants us to be happy," Lucado said. "I think we have a moral obligation to be happy.
    "The church has a much better testimony if they are people of contagious kindness."
    Lucado's latest book centers on the approximately 50 "one another" verses in the Bible, and that Jesus was the best encourager.
    In the healthiest of homes there are five positive comments for every negative one, he noted.
    "If you want to encourage somebody you are taking on a divine role their lives," he said, noting that a name for the holy spirit is Paraclete, which means to come alongside.
    "The best way to be encouraged is to give encouragement. You want to be happy tomorrow? Make somebody happy today," he said.
    Asked during the Q&A if certain personalities are more attuned for experiencing happiness, he responded that there is no doubt that is the case.
    "Some people are more reflective maybe even melancholic. Some people are more outgoing, more positive. I think it's more of a challenge for others than it is for some. And the last thing I would want to do is for somebody to feel bad about feeling unhappy."
    "Be kind to yourself," he said. "If you come out of a certain personality group or type. It could be that it's going to be a little more difficult for you, but you have advantages that others don't ... all of us can make progress in this area."
    Max Lucado is a bestselling author and the longtime teaching minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.

    "Morning will come. Not as quickly as we want, maybe not as dramatically as we desire," he continued. "Then again, it may come more quickly than we want and more dramatically than we could have thought."
    To illustrate his point, Lucado recounted the story of Mary Magdalene, a woman who had seven demons inside of her before meeting Jesus. Yet, despite her troubled past, she traveled with Jesus as one of His followers and was a witness to His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
    "Joy comes becomes Jesus comes," he said. "And if we don't catch it at first, that's OK — He'll call out our name; if we don't recognize Him at first, that's alright — He'll linger until we get it. ... Your name is not buried in some heavenly file; God needs no name tag to jog His memory about you. You're everything to God."


    https://www.christianpost.com/news/m...o-unhappy.html
    If it weren't for my faith I'd have killed myself long ago I think.

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