In a warning to policy-makers and futurologists, a new study has warned about the rising numbers of suicides amid wi-fi-induced isolation and false pretensions in society.
Suicide rates among those aged between 40 and 64 years in the U.S. have risen about 40% since 1999, with a sharp rise since 2007 when the country faced its worst recession in history.
Researchers found that money was a major factor amounting to 37.5% of all completed suicides in 2010, rising from 32.9% in 2005.
In addition, suffocation, a method used in suicides triggered by job, economic, or legal factors, increased disproportionately among the middle-aged to 59.5% for those aged between 40 and 64 during the period 2005 and 2010, compared with 18.0% for those aged 15-39 years and 27.2% for aged more than 65 years.
“Relative to other age groups, a larger and increasing proportion of middle-aged suicides have circumstances associated with job, financial, or legal distress and are completed using suffocation,” said researchers.
The suicide circumstances were grouped into three major categories: personal, interpersonal, and external. Examples of personal circumstances are depressed mood, current treatment for a mental health problem, or alcohol dependence.
Interpersonal circumstances include an intimate partner problem, the death of a friend, or being a victim of intimate partner violence. Examples of external circumstances are a job or financial problem, legal problem, or difficulty in school.
The four planning and intent factors are crisis in the past two weeks, leaving a suicide note, disclosing an intent to commit suicide, or a history of prior attempts.
The authors caution that “increased awareness is needed that job loss, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and other financial setbacks can be risk factors for suicide. Human resource departments, employee assistance programs, state and local employment agencies, credit counselors, and others who interact with those in financial distress should improve their ability to recognize people at risk and make referrals. Increasing access to crisis counseling and other mental health services on an emergency basis, as is often provided at times of natural disaster, should also be considered in the context of economic crises.”
The study has been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.