Deaths on the news are fixated on murders. Suicide is rarely mentioned on broadcast television. Why is the CDC reporting on deaths as an unintentional injury, if not to hide a national truth about suicide? Nearly 50,000 people died by suicide in 2018. One person dies by suicide every five hours in New York State.
Facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Over the past 20 years, infant mortality still ranked as the leading cause of death in the United States. I reviewed the data because I was curious about the overwhelming rates of unintentional injuries.
When ordered by age group, within the 15–24 years old group, Homicide and Suicide are their leading cause of death. That triples in the 25–44 age group. However, in the 45–64 age group, suicide is no longer the leading cause of death, and is nestled between cerebrovascular diseases and septicemia.
If you knew someone in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s who died from a brain or heart disease, or a basic blood infection called sepsis, then you also know someone else who has died from suicide.
If your relative died before they turned 45, or even in their late 20’s, then there is a significantly greater chance that they died from suicide, and not from diabetes or cancer.
If your childhood friend has died when in their teens or as a young adult, it was highly likely by suicide and not birth deffects, a flu, or pneumonia.
The media portrays homicides as tragic murders. Suicides are rarely discussed. The prevailing attitude is that discussion may lead to ideation. If you see it in the news, you might become susceptible to contemplating it.
Psychologists know that media discussions do not cause suicides. In fact, hotlines and social media supports are the only known factor in decreasing suicides. Let’s discuss.
Realistically, when I see advertisements for new pharmaceutical drugs, I don’t always ask my doctor if that drug is “right” for me. In fact, I avoid newly marketed drugs because of the FDA’s controversial non-mandatory reporting policies. Once a drug or medical device is approved, the FDA does not require any adverse outcomes, side effects, injuries or deaths to be reported. Doctors and citizens may report anonymously and only if they can find the proper forms on the website, and use the right language to prompt an investigation.
This is why you see so many law firms soliciting hernia mesh injured patients to join class-action suits, because the mesh material has never been tested for human implantation before bringing it to market. If a patient complains about pains and symptoms, a doctor’s default reference is the approval, which represents ‘but it is safe’.
If you had to report to the CDC about your loved one’s death, how would you describe it? If you opted to inform the FDA about drugs and treatments that did in fact not cure your loved one, but killed them, what language would you use?
Typical Resources are:
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).
- Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889
I propose free and public discussion online to end the stigma, misinformation, and promote support that is proven to help.