America’s Suicide Rates: An Accelerating Epidemic
Unless, people wake up…
In church this past Sunday, I stood at the end of the corridor as people walked out of our sanctuary. Lots of faces smiled and many of my friends stopped to shake hands.
Near the end of the people walking out, an old friend named Mike walked up to me with a terribly troubled look on his face. Red welts lined his eyes with that glassy look from crying.
“Hey Mike,” I said. “What’s up?”
“My daughter cut herself again,” he said. “She doesn’t want to live.”
Mind you, Mike and his wife provided the most incredible home life for their two kids. They supported them through high school with soccer, basketball, band, clubs and dances. The two daughters couldn’t have asked for better parents.
He mumbled a few more words. I embraced him for a minute. He felt lost with no answer for any of his personal pain or his child’s emotional suicide drama.
“Hey,” I said. “Call me if you want to go to lunch.”
“Thanks, man,” he said.
Today in America, we face unprecedented emotional consequences in our children by the hundreds of thousands—running from drug overdoses, beer binging, heroin addiction, glue sniffing, smart phone addiction, all the way to self-cutting, suicides, tattooing their bodies into freak shows, and severe depression.
An almost unbelievable 44,965 people, on average, kills themselves in the United States annually. Year in and year out! That’s over 123 people killing themselves 24/7.
About 10 percent of suicides stem from teenagers at 14 killing themselves 24/7. Everyone cries over the Colorado Columbine shootings that killed 14 people. That same killing spree continues DAILY throughout the USA 24/7.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Suicide is considered the second leading cause of death among college students, the second leading cause of death for people ages 25–34, and the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65. In 2015, the CDC also stated that an estimated 9.3 million adults, which is roughly 4% of the United States population, had suicidal thoughts in one year alone. 1.3 million adults 18 an older attempted suicide in one year, with 1.1 million actually making plans to commit suicide. Looking at younger teenagers, suicide is the third leading cause of individuals aged from 10 to 14. Males and females are known to have different suicidal tendencies. For example, males take their lives almost four times the rate females do. Males also commit approximately 77.9% of all suicides, however, the female population are more likely to have thoughts of suicide than males.”
Suicide is in Our Schools
Crippling depression rages in American high schools. The CDC finds that among students in grades 9-12, 17 percent seriously contemplated taking their lives over the previous year. Beyond that, about 14 percent of high school-aged students said they’d even gone so far as to make a suicide plan that included how they would go about taking their own lives.
Suicide Effects the Healthcare Industry
Suicide creates an enormous effect on the healthcare industry. The CDC states that suicide costs more than $50 billion annually to cover the medical expenses and work loss costs associated with suicide.
What’s causing such horrendous fatalities across our society? Why do our leaders allow Mexico to ship $62,000,000,000 (billion) in drugs across our borders annually to feed our citizens’ needs for self-abuse? Why hasn’t Congress stopped the drug flow? Answer: too many people on both sides of the border make billions on the lives of our citizens.
Why do we allow our kids to eat fast food junk, i.e., McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Arby’s, In and Out Burger, Carl’s Jr. Burgers and dozens of other chemical laden pretend foods? Why do we feed them soda pop and GMO foods that serve miniscule nutrient values, but load our kids up with dyes, chemicals, altered DNA foods, high fructose corn syrup, synthetic sugars like sucralose and aspartame, and a host of consequences enough to expand this column into a book?
What about the consequential obesity epidemic in this country where so many teens face being fat that they cannot feel confident or attractive—thus they fade into insecurity, painful emotional chaos and total loss of self-confidence—which adds up to severe depression?
What about the fact that our kids lose community every time they text, email and Skype each other rather than face to face communication? What about the fact that TV and 24/7 news, largely depressing, dominates the airwaves? What about the fact that our country carries on two wars for 17 years that promote violence to other countries and spend trillions of dollars that could have been utilized in our country for our people? How about massive poverty in our inner cities that continues decade after decade with no one creating solutions? What good can come of 7 out of 10 kids being brought up by a single mother on welfare in our inner cities?
What about the average father watching 4.1 hours of TV daily, 7 days a week? Mothers watch 3.5 hours daily. What about kids being brought up by TV’s? How does a child gain love, support, comfort and security via a flat screen?
What about both parents working while nanny’s and day care centers raise their children? How did we arrive at the assumption that both parents need to work while their kids face strangers bringing them up?
What about the loss of physical education classes, so much so, that a new generation of kids suffer from obesity, diabetes and onset heart disease?
After looking at the research and these terrible facts, how can we solve a problem in our society that cares more for money than human health and wellness? It’s not like McDonald’s will suddenly start serving healthy entrées, salads and nutrient-rich liquids. For certain, most stores promote candies, potato chips, aspartame laden Cokes, Mountain Dews and Pepsi.
And, it’s not like America’s middle class even knows what’s causing its obesity epidemic? Americans don’t realize or understand how to eat correctly. Yes, fast food, TV dinners, Doritos and sugary treats taste a whole lot better than organic salads, salmon and vegetables along with fruits, grains and legumes.
How does all of this feed into depression and suicide? When you lose the balance of feeding healthy energy into your body, mind and spirit—you lose the balance of life and the will to live. That’s why suicides will continue to snuff out millions of lives over the years.
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