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Old November 5th, 2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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Why is it that so many young people in America don't want to live any more?


It's good to see that people are driving better, but now young kids are killing themselves so much that their chances of suicide are as likely as dying from a car accident.

Quote:
In 1999, the death rate for children ages 10 to 14 from traffic accidents about 4.5 deaths per 100,000 was quadruple the rate for suicide. But by 2014, the death rate from car crashes had been cut in half, part of a broader trend across the entire population. The suicide rate, however, had nearly doubled, with most of the increase happening since 2007. In 2014, the suicide death rate was 2.1 per 100,000.
The red line is suicide, and the blue line is traffic accidents, while the gray line is homicides.

Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/he...tionfront&_r=0

At the same time, women are committing suicide more, to the point of a 30 year high.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/he...pgtype=article

It just seems as if a lot of Americans just don't want to live any more.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 09:37 AM   #2
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Drunk driving has dropped over the last few decades due to increased sentencing/fines and through more DARE programs to kids. Meanwhile social media has made the life the teenager infinitely harder as the popularity game is now 24/7, instead of just in school. Besides, that graph is biased, it shows a miniscule rise that is being amplified by making that portion of it larger. If you zoom in on a grain of salt it looks like a mountain too.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #3

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OP, what makes you think that today's youth has such a craving for death? Is it the rise in suicide rates made so much of in the media? That sells advertising, but the reality is that the number of suicides is very low. It may be the case that today's youth view suicide as a reasonable option to escape teenage angst and social adjustments that can be very psychologically painful.

I was in the Class of '58 in a small Southwestern town. At the fiftieth Reunion, I believe there were no less than six that we were known to have taken their own lives. All were adults, and most seemed to have really reached the "bottom" before checking out. No one consciously committed suicide while in High School, and if they had it would have been known throughout the County before the end of the day. A family suicide, any suggestion of insanity, unwed pregnancy, or malicious mischief was an assault on the values and standards of that time. It was easier for a depressed and despondent teenager to just "go away". Leave all your troubles behind, and find loving acceptance elsewhere.

Nonsense, of course. Wherever you go, there you are. So becoming an adult was an early test of character. Some made the hurdle, and others didn't. Mostly, youth got jobs and discovered that education was more than grades. We learned to how to work with others to achieve goals, and to appreciate the freedoms that come with a few well-earned dollars in the pocket. Want more? Then work harder, or smarter.

Adolescence is a very difficult time and transition. Back in the Day, society may have been better equipped to soften the suffering involved, but maybe not. It seems to me a great leap to assume that today's youth is under much greater pressure than adolescents were sixty years ago.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 01:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherman View Post
OP, what makes you think that today's youth has such a craving for death? Is it the rise in suicide rates made so much of in the media? That sells advertising, but the reality is that the number of suicides is very low. It may be the case that today's youth view suicide as a reasonable option to escape teenage angst and social adjustments that can be very psychologically painful.

.
It is the accumulative impression that I get, not just because of the rise, but also factors such as mass shootings, lower church attendance, and the particular increase in female suicides in the nation.

Quote:
In a new study, 30 percent of transgender youth report a history of at least one suicide attempt, and nearly 42 percent report a history of self-injury, such as cutting. The study also discovered a higher frequency of suicide attempts among transgender youth who are dissatisfied with their weight.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0831110833.htm


Quote:
The demographic profile of mass shooters is fairly consistent, she said. Most are white, ostensibly heterosexual males, largely between the ages of 20 and 50.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0804172443.htm

Quote:
Women who attended religious services had a lower risk of suicide compared with women who never attended services, according to a new article.


https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0629125642.htm

Quote:
Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/he...e=article&_r=0

Perhaps media attention has something to do with it, but it could also be the product of the changing economy and competition for good jobs that young people are facing in modern times.

Last edited by Jake10; November 5th, 2016 at 01:35 PM.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 02:11 PM   #5
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Suicide rates rise as a terminal indicator of culture in decline; which happens for a variety of reasons.

First stages are 'externals of culture' where 'objects' are 'disassembled' , eg. anything from vandalism of public resources through to not caring for or abandoning care of sacred sites... and various other indicators.

The it shifts to 'internals of culture' where the 'subjects', the people themselves 'disassemble' themselves; first indicators are the breakdown of such inter relationships (children not cared for, elderly not treated with respect, etc ) through to substance abuse, self harm, and terminally suicide .

The Kiadilt Aboriginals , in terminal phase, were reported to (as well as horrific self mutilation) have ripped out their own testicles .... even the genetic information needed for future survival was being destroyed. However, they were able to be rescued at the last minute, now their culture is on the rise again and becoming strong and proud .

So there are solutions, but it requires a bigger picture and a bigger holistic cultural remedy, not just sticking band-aids on its manifesting symptoms.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 02:24 PM   #6

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Ultimately, it is due to a lack of hope. A quite simple observation, but one with no quick fix.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 02:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger View Post
Ultimately, it is due to a lack of hope. A quite simple observation, but one with no quick fix.
A lack of hope is the general impression that I get. It seems like things such as mass shootings are a symptom of that.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 04:08 PM   #8

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_sink
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Old November 5th, 2016, 05:15 PM   #9

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The same trend is present in the UK, as is a general rise in youth mental illness. I don't really see how 'why' can be a controversial question, though. Quality of life is shooting backwards. Walk into life with a life's worth of debt just to get your first step on the career ladder (or any job that pays a living wage). Your first step on the career ladder is likely your penultimate one as social mobility has ground to a halt. You might be able to buy a house by the time your children are old enough to leave it, and you'll probably die there a few weeks after you retire at 80. You devote almost all your waking life to paying a government that seems to actively despise you, and does less and less to deserve it. You have no time to do anything but sit in traffic and scowl at a screen or printer. Your kids think the babysitter's their mum and in winter you forget what the sun looks like. What a wonderful life.

Last edited by Domnall Ballach; November 5th, 2016 at 05:18 PM.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 05:27 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domnall Ballach View Post
I don't really see how 'why' can be a controversial question
It's not, but it's also not really a question likely to get a particularly meaningful, well-supported or expert response on a forum of amateur historians.
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