Saturday, November 15, 2014

Are Holiday Suicide Rates Higher? (Video 1:33)

The annual excitement building up from Thanksgiving through the Christmas season is commonly believed to ignite depressive feelings in people who may feel despondent, on the outside observing the joy of others. Some may conclude that more people probably commit suicide during this time of year. Is this true?

Let’s examine one form of suicide that includes ingesting poison as a way to end life. Do particular days of the week, seasons, or holidays really have an impact on the number of attempted and completed suicides that occur by poisoning? In this research on poison suicides, calls were recorded in the National Poison Database System coded as "suspected suicide." Exposures were evaluated by day, season, and holidays and compared to control dates.There were 1,065,067 exposures related to suicide attempts with completions in 0.4% of cases. Sundays and Mondays for adults and Mondays and Tuesdays for ages below 19 years were the most common times when suicides were committed. Spring and fall had higher numbers of exposures than summer and winter. New Year's Day also had a higher number of exposures, but Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas had fewer exposures. In conclusion, this research on suicides by poisons indicated that the beginning of the week, spring and fall, and New Year's Day were associated with higher numbers of ingestions with suicidal intent.

What about suicides in general and globally? Once again, the suicide rate does not peak during the holidays. Suicides are most common in spring and summer. Why do people kill themselves more in the spring? The following video explains this phenomenon further:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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