Tag: suicide

Member Post

 

Trying to solve the mystery of why kids these days are so unhappy, Jack enlists the help of leading purveyor of charts and Washington Free Beacon staff writer Charles Fain Lehman. More

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Banding Together, As Brothers

 
Gator Farms Tactical
Photo by Cory Board

Americans are constantly bombarded by the statistics “gun violence” here in our country, but what’s missing from the conversation is what those numbers really represent. The vast majority of deaths involving guns aren’t due to violent crime or school shootings or accidental discharges, the problem is suicide, and it’s a very big problem indeed.

Since 2008, the rate of gun suicides has risen 22 percent and is driving the increase in gun-related deaths. (Suicides make up almost two-thirds of all gun-related deaths.) Among children and teens in particular, the gun-suicide rate is up more than 76 percent. Although only a small percentage of suicide attempts are made with a firearm, more than half of all suicide deaths are carried out with one. The primary victims are older white men.

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Dear President Trump, Senate Leader McConnell, and Speaker Pelosi

 

There is a silent epidemic impacting our bravest and finest citizens, their families and friends; Those who served in the United States Military are more likely to die from suicide than on the battlefield.

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, each day there are around 20 veterans who commit suicide. What’s more, they report that veterans’ suicides account for 18 percent of the suicide deaths in the country, while they only make up 8.5 percent of the adult population. Even more disturbing is how many US soldiers who attempt suicide often have no history of mental health issues.

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Saving Our Gun Rights Means Saving People From Suicide

 

We’ve known for years now that the problem with gun deaths in America isn’t street gangs and other criminals, it’s the thousands of people who commit suicide with a firearm each year. This horror is affecting men (especially men who live in small, rural towns) to a much greater extent than it is women. But rather than reach out to men and channel their feelings of frustration and impotence into more positive, traditional ways, the American Psychological Association says the real problem is they’re acting like men. 

“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health... Researchers led by James Mahalik, PhD, of Boston College, found that the more men conformed to masculine norms, the more likely they were to consider as normal risky health behaviors such as heavy drinking, using tobacco and avoiding vegetables, and to engage in these risky behaviors themselves.”

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Veneration and Vulnerability: Suicide in the Midst of Prosperity

 

Man does not live by bread alone. As bread was being earned at a record clip, and more people got off the dole, more people in their prime years cut their own lives short. Reflecting back on the U.S. military’s Herculean effort to end suicide in the service, an unwon battle, I am painfully aware there is no clear solution, no magic pill or words. And. I wonder if our changing societal habits and beliefs make vulnerable people more vulnerable.

2017 brought unbroken good economic news, and not just for stockholders. President Trump repeated at every occasion the good news for everyone, including demographic groups who had been lagging in employment. Wages started to rise. And in the midst of all this, the suicide rate increased to a 50-year peak.

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Zealots of Masada

 

In 66 AD, a group of 960 Jewish Zealots decided they would prefer to commit suicide rather than yield to Roman conquest at Masada:

Masada (‘Metsada’ in Hebrew) is the name of the mountain on which the Masada fortress was built. It is more like a plateau or a table mountain, and quite isolated from its surroundings, as there is only one narrow, winding pathway leading up, fittingly called “the Snake.” According to Josephus Flavius, an ancient historian and the only one to record what happened on Masada, Masada was first built by the Hasmoneans, a Jewish dynasty who ruled Judaea in the years between 140-37 BC. Then, between 37-31 BC, King Herod the Great built two palaces there and further fortified the place as a refuge for himself in case of a revolt. However, it proved to be a refuge for Jewish rebels about 90 years later.

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Veterans’ Suicides Are Increasing

 

Our veterans are dying in increasing numbers—at their own hands. I was moved to explore this topic thanks to Nicole Fisher of The Federalist’s recent article. She quoted a Department of Veteran Affairs study published in September 2017:

More than 20 veterans commit suicide each day, a number, on average, 22 times greater than the civilian population. In fact, veterans’ suicides account for 18-20 percent of suicide deaths in the country, while they make up only about 8.5 percent of the adult population.

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Calling Balls, Strikes, and Heroism

 

I can’t do this story more justice by retelling it so I’ll just link to the original story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here:

As a Major League Baseball umpire, John Tumpane often has to defuse tense situations at the ballpark.

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Member Post

 

There have been several posts here about the way suicide has impacted various members, their families, and friends. I think everyone has been affected in some way or another, including veterans who may be dealing with PTSD after returning home. A way my wife has gotten involved in trying to reverse this trend is through the American Foundation […]

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Member Post

 

On most Saturdays I put in a few hours at a local behavioral hospital. We get all kinds of people for all kinds of reasons, but the most common groups are detoxing heroin addicts and people who have recently attempted or threatened suicide. (Funny, these don’t tend to overlap. Heroin users do not lead attractive […]

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Member Post

 

Toronto police warned hackers of the Ashley Madison infidelity website that their actions “won’t be tolerated,” and said there are two unconfirmed suicides linked to the breach. “This hack is one of the largest data breaches in the world,” said Staff Supt. Bryce Evans at a Monday morning news conference. More

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Member Post

 

Has everyone already read this? Mr. Mark Judge is trying to say a few things about a problem one does not much read about: Men committing suicide. This is called male suicide & I think I alone am bothered by that. I think the piece is a failure on every level. It’s hard even to understand how […]

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Member Post

 

The New Yorker has a piece on Godelieva De Troyer’s sad life and wretched death, and uses it as a framework to consider the ethical dilemmas associated with doctor-assisted suicide. When I came to this sentence, I almost laughed out loud: Opponents have warned for years that legalization will lead to a “slippery slope,” but […]

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Is Dementia the Death of the Self?

 

Suicide in the context of terminal illness, or a loss of quality of life, physician-assisted suicide … I have conflicting feelings. I am adamantly opposed to physician-assisted suicide. If people want to kill themselves, they can acquire their own means to do so. Yes, this is a disadvantage to some, but by insisting all have the same opportunity we open the doors wide for abuse.

These thoughts are shaped by my religious beliefs, as well as my experiences with kids and adults with developmental disabilities, and my work with medical patients. I certainly don’t expect anyone who doesn’t share my religious beliefs to agree.

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Veteran Suicide Remains a Problem

 

shutterstock_181602527According to a 2013 Veterans Affairs study, approximately 22 veterans take their own lives every day. That is a staggering 8,030 soldiers a year. In a recent article, former Army Ranger and author Sean Parnell points out that the cause of these disturbing numbers remains unknown. He suggests that it may have to do with the Veterans Administration’s process for identifying and treating soldiers with suicidal ideation:

Given the well-documented challenges in getting access to VA services, there’s little reason to believe a gigantic dysfunctional bureaucracy can respond with the appropriate speed and sensitivity needed for a veteran struggling with thoughts of suicide.

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Losing a Friend You Didn’t Know You Lost

 

shutterstock_115558456Like most days, this morning I woke up, kissed my wife, and then got on my phone to see what I missed overnight. I am much more of a Twitter guy, but lately I have been looking at Facebook more.

I went to high school in rural Central Virginia and graduated in 1988. A multi-class reunion has been planned and the organizers are using Facebook to manage the guest list and to allow people to talk about the event and share memories.

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Member Post

 

We saw her gravestone the first day we came to look at the house. The seller’s real estate agent, I don’t fault him in the least, said something non-committal, such as, “Mmmm. Yeah. I think that was one of the previous owners. Not related to my clients.” She was 42-years-old, the mother of four sons, […]

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Member Post

 

Three days ago I was sitting in our living room, late at night. My wife was away on a business trip to New York City, so I was all alone in our house, with the three cats. It was 1:20 in the morning, and I was getting to that point where I needed to drag […]

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Member Post

 

Something bothered me greatly in the discussion of the 9/11 attacks. Many, many people jumped from the burning Twin Towers. These jumps were sometimes described in terms of “dying with dignity,” as if the people were choosing to kill themselves before they were killed by the fire. I just watched a video of a man […]

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Genius and Suffering

 

Why are human beings never content? No matter how much civilization advances, no matter how affluent and secure we become, no matter how much knowledge and opportunity we amass, it’s never enough. Why? Because we know there’s more to be had. We know it can be better. The very thing that enables us to conquer the natural world — imagination — also robs us of an animal’s simple focus.

Why are persons with extraordinary minds so often miserable when alone, even if they are genuinely joyful and amiable among others? Because they are forever taunted by their own vivid dreams and nightmares, by bold hopes, and by a thousand “What if…?” scenarios for every lost opportunity. Simply put, their appreciation of what is flounders beneath a relentless shadow of what could be.

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