suicide now a leading cause of death

Suicide now 10th leading cause of death in the US.

There were 38,350 suicides in 2010, making it the nation’s 10th leading cause of death, the CDC said.

Depressing. (Sorry, bad joke, but as someone who has contemplated suicide before, I’m entitled.)

I suspect this trend will continue simply because we’re living longer, getting married less or for shorter duration, having fewer children, and facing long-term economic uncertainly (or, at least that’s the perception).

Changing perceptions of depression itself (by far the leading cause of suicide, though non-depressed people sometimes commit suicide as well) couldn’t hurt. Depression can’t just be willed away; it’s not “all in one’s head” (well, you know what I mean); it’s not something that “weak” people have to go through. It’s a combination of factors, with neuro-physiological precursors and environmental catalysts. It’s also a treatable problem with high rates of success. What is more difficult to treat is the stigma associated with having to go to a psychiatrist and take antidepressant medication. For that, the cure is more elusive.

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