The suicide rate in mid-age Americans have gone up due to the detrimental effect of the economic downturn of 2007 to 2009.
A new study suggests that suicide rates in Americans between the age of 40 and 64 years has increased by 40 percent since 1999. Moreover, the suicide rate in this age category has spiked a lot since 2007.
The researchers discovered that external factors related to the economy were existent in more than 37 percent of all suicides committed in 2010 when compared to just under 33 percent in 2005.
The study also found that suffocation method was excessively used in suicides amongst the mid-age Americans. About 60 percent of people between 40 and 64 years who committed suicide from 2005 to 2010 used suffocation. However, the rate of suffocation suicide was 18 percent in the age category of 15 to 39 years and about 27 percent for over 65-year-old people.
The researchers are unable to explain the exact reason for choosing suffocation as a suicide method. The study also pointed out that previously the most common means of suicide involved the use of firearms. However, gun ownership during the study period declined, which may have led to an increase in suffocation suicides.
The researchers found that a large number of suicides in mid-aged people were because of circumstances such as job, legal issues and financial problems.
"The sharpest increase in external circumstances appears to be temporally related to the worst years of the Great Recession, consistent with other work showing a link between deteriorating economic conditions and suicide. External circumstances also have increased in importance among those aged 65 years. Financial difficulties related to the loss of retirement savings in the stock market crash may explain some of this trend," per the study authors.
The study is important because it sheds light on the potential impact of economic downturn on a person's well-being. People who go through a natural disaster usually undergo counseling. The study authors suggest that people who face economic crisis should also seek and should be provided counseling to reduce the rate of suicide.
The researchers suggest that it is difficult to isolate one reason that pushes a person to commit suicide. A number of factors are at play which forces people to take their own lives.