Zeitgeist

Why Is Suicide Becoming So Trendy?

June 11, 2018

Multiple Pages
Why Is Suicide Becoming So Trendy?

For anyone who takes cheer in the idea that all this “progress” we’ve been making the past generation has led to increased happiness, think again:

The nation’s suicide rate has spiked nearly 30% over the past 20 years.

According to a CDC report released last Thursday, suicide rates have shot up “among both sexes, all racial/ethnic groups, and all urbanization levels.” The only state where it didn’t rise was Nevada—where it dipped a mere one percent—but Nevada has always boasted very high suicide rates, so they’re still pulling their load.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among American adults. In addition to Alzheimer’s and drug overdoses, it is one of only three causes of death that is on the upswing. Close to 45,000 Americans over age 10 took their own lives last year. The country had more than twice as many suicides than homicides.

The rates shot up highest in sparsely populated Western and Northern Plains states. Whereas—AKA, “The Useless State”—saw the lowest increase with 5.9%, whereas North Dakota, where there is literally nothing but flat dirt and snow, saw the highest rise, with an alarming increase of 57.6%. Big, beautiful, low-crime, traditionalist, ethnically homogenous, wide-open Montana still has the country’s overall highest per-capita suicide rate, much of it among war veterans.

Gay people still have far higher suicide rates than the straights, and whether that’s due to the fact that “society” supposedly hates them or they hate themselves is anyone’s guess.

“The nation’s suicide rate has spiked nearly 30% over the past 20 years.”

A robust 76.8% of the suicides the CDC recorded were by males. Even though women threaten suicide far more often, men are the ones who get the job done. Over the past two decades, the rates increased “significantly” in 34 states among males and in 43 states among women.

Non-Hispanic whites committed 83.6% of all suicides, even though they currently account for a mere 62% of the population. Whites even enjoy disproportionate privilege when it comes to killing themselves. Rates shot up a startling 80% or so among white middle-aged women. The only racial group where rates increased higher than among whites was among what nice people like to call Native Americans, where the rates ballooned 89% over the study’s timespan. The suicide rate among black males actually dipped a tad.

Suicide rates climbed among every age group over ten except for those over 75, who probably just gave up and figured it’s less effort for the Grim Reaper to come and pick them up in an Uber when he gets around to it. The rates rose the highest among the middle-aged (45-64), swelling 45%.

Studies have consistently shown that suicide rates are higher among atheists than the religious. They are also much higher among divorced men than among married guys.

I guess what all this means is that if you’re a divorced gay atheist middle-aged white male living in a cabin near Billings, you’re fucked. If you’re a married straight Baptist black woman over 75 living in a brick row home in Delaware, I’d say you’re still fucked, but you’re less likely to kill yourself.

How to explain the increase?

Well, since this amorphous and constantly expanding thing known as “mental health” is nearly a $200-billion-a-year industry, the “wellness” charlatans were immediately barking about how we don’t do enough about mental health and how it’s a shame that we don’t spend more on mental health, and even though “rates of psychiatric treatment and diagnosis have…greatly increased” and “Treatment for chronic depression and anxiety — often the precursors to suicide — has never been more available and more widespread,” we need to haul in more pills by the trainload because obviously the only problem here is we don’t spend enough money on mental-health treatment.

Please, if you will, pay no mind—or what’s left of your mind after all those antidepressants and painkillers—to the fact that over the same timespan that the suicide rate shot up 30%, the number of Americans sitting around strung-out and placidly drooling on antidepressants nearly tripled.

You know, despite what many of you may think, I have feelings. I think everyone does. I want to go back to an age where we didn’t refer to feelings as “mental health” or “mental illness,” where people’s natural feelings weren’t twisted into lucrative (for the doctor, expensive for the patient) medical conditions. In nearly all cases leading up to suicide, we’re dealing with people who have powerful feelings and are unable to handle them. It’s not a goddamned medical condition, and according to the statistics, your insistence that it is doesn’t seem to be helping matters.

In nearly all of these cases, I don’t think what these people need are more psychiatrists. They need friends and family and girlfriends and jobs. (Speaking of girlfriends, the most common reason for suicide given in the CDC was “relationship problems,” most commonly of the intimate type, which accounted for two of every five suicides.)

Instead of the “mental health” route, others will attempt to explain the rise in suicides through a materialist framework—people are killing themselves because the American Dream is dead, packed up and shipped off somewhere overseas while dark hordes arrive on our shores daily, eager to underbid us for whatever scrap of a job remains. Several analysts have described the rise in suicide and lowered life expectancy among working-class whites as “deaths of despair” for those who acutely sense the New Global Economy no longer wants or needs them. And there’s some credence to an economic explanation—during the Great Depression, the country’s suicide rate was about 50% higher than it is now.

I had an initial impulse to blame the spike in suicides on the fact that certain groups—such as, cough, white males—sense they’re being prepared for extinction, which is why I find it fascinating that the Injuns, who used to be prominent in American popular culture but have effectively been erased out of that, too, are the only group whose suicide rates increased more than it did among whites.

Like many others, I was also quick to apply a “cultural degradation” thesis, arguing that there’s no tribal “center” to the country anymore and people don’t know who they are or where they belong and so many are denied any cultural identity at all, they blot out themselves like the mainstream culture has blotted out their meaning. Multiculturalism and a global economy have left us alienated and atomized and suicidal…right? Surely there weren’t this many suicides back in 1950 when the USA was 90% white and overwhelmingly Christian?

Well, not quite as many. In 1950, the USA’s per-capita suicide rate was 13.2 per 100,000 residents. By 2015, it had skyrocketed to 13.3, an astronomical gain of one-tenth of one percent. So the suicide rates have remained essentially static since more culturally wholesome days; it’s just that they took a brief dip a couple decades ago and shot up again.

What has changed is that a significantly higher quotient of Americans today compared to 20 years ago feel that life is so hopeless, they are willing to kill themselves.

I won’t pretend to know the answer, but I do have a hunch. I sense that bad times are coming. REALLY BAD times are coming. So does everyone I know.

I suspect the reason that more people are committing suicide is because they’re trying to beat the rush.


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