Hearing about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide was another gut punch. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, try this New Yorker profile. He’ll make you want to travel, and he’ll help you combat the fear-of-the-other that so many of us grow up with in America.
Let’s talk about suicide statistics for a minute, please. The CDC shared a new report showing suicide statistics rates in our country are climbing dramatically. Here are some things we know from the study.
– Guns are the most common method of suicides; used in about half of suicide deaths.
– Most suicides happen without warning. 54% of the people who kill themselves don’t have mental health issues, but instead are going through a temporary low-point — relationship problems, money problems, physical health problems.
– Having access to a gun greatly increases the chance someone will suddenly, unexpectedly, and successfully kill themselves.
Things we know from earlier research:
– 85% of suicide attempts using guns are successful.
– Suicide attempts using non-gun methods are not nearly as successful. In fact, drug overdose, the most widely used method in suicide attempts, is fatal in less than 3 percent of cases.
Suicide is unpredictable. The decision for most people to take their lives happens in less than five minutes from thought to completion. Please do not keep guns in your home.
For the 46% of suicides where there is a known history of mental illness, please don’t make assumptions. Emily McDowell shared an Instagram post a couple of days ago that might give you a new perspective on why mental health can be so deadly.
For those of you who fight with your brains on the regular just to stay alive, please know I’m right there with you. When I read about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, my first feeling was sadness — but it was shortly followed by feelings of jealousy. They did it. They’re officially done with life. And I’m jealous because I’m still stuck here battling with my brain.
Does it make sense? Of course not. I have an awesome life, and I’m surrounded by people I love. Why would I ever want to cut it short? Turns out the sick part of my brain doesn’t care much whether or not something makes sense.
How are you holding up with the sad news this week? Has suicide touched your life? If you’ve been suicidal, what helped you get past it? Suicide hotline? A visit from a friend? Distracting yourself with Netflix?
P.S. — We can’t possibly know the burdens that other people are carrying. I need that reminder daily.