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The Impact Of Covid-19 On Suicide Rates

Obiwan

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According to the experts, suicide rates are skyrocketing due to the lockdowns and stress from Covid 19...



Could the coronavirus lead to a national suicide crisis? Here's what experts are saying.


Article by:
We’ve already seen a steady rise in deaths by suicide over the past two decades and a new report by The Well Being Trust released last month found that 75,000 additional people could die from what they called “deaths of despair,” (which include suicide and substance use) because of Covid-19.
The Risk Factors For Covid-19 Suicides
The physical symptoms of the novel coronavirus have been well-reported for months, but it’s the handful of psychological and sociological factors that are just starting to ring alarm bells. The combination of physical distancing, economic stress, barriers to mental health treatment, pervasive national anxiety, and a spike in gun sales are creating what JAMA Psychiatry referred to as “a perfect storm” for suicide mortality.
“Suicide is likely to become a more pressing concern as the pandemic spreads and has longer-term effects on the general population, the economy, and vulnerable groups,” according to David Gunnell, professor of epidemiology at the University of Bristol and head of the Bristol Suicide and Self-harm Research Group, and his research team who recently published their findings in The Lancet Psychiatry.
And these projections are not without precedent. There’s evidence that deaths by suicide increased both after the 1918 flu pandemic and the 2003 SARS outbreak. We’re already seeing this with frontline workers. In the past few weeks, two stories stood out in the media: Dr. Lorna Breen, of New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, and New York City E.M.T John Mondello.
Social Distancing and Isolation
The research has been clear on this one for years: isolation and loneliness is bad for our health—both physical and mental. According to a meta-analysis co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking three-quarters of a pack of cigarettes a day…every day. “There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” Holt Lunstad says.
The coronavirus has obviously exacerbated the problem. Right now (as of May 8), almost 200 million people in the Unites States are under some kind of stay at home order, with most face-to-face socializing limited to members of their own households. That is, if they’re lucky enough to not live alone like 35.7 million Americans do. And, even in states where restrictions have been lifted, many people are still staying at home.
All this alone time is killing our mental health in general. Here’s an in-depth report on how coronavirus affects the most common mental illnesses. One of the biggest concerns is suicide. All of the experts who study suicide for a living agree that social connections play a role in suicide prevention. Both suicidal thoughts and ideation are associated with isolation and loneliness.
Economic Stress
The unemployment rate shot up to 14.7 percent in April, its highest level since the Great Depression, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. And, those numbers may actually be even worse. The government data comes from surveys conducted the second week in April and by now many more could be out of work, and the many self-employed workers and others newly eligible for unemployment benefits aren’t included in that figure. Also, the way the survey works is that it only counts people who are unemployed and looking for work. Given we’re in the middle of a pandemic, not a lot of people are going on job interviews right now. The possible silver lining is that a majority of those people counted in the unemployment number think that it’s only temporary.
Debt is a huge mental health burden. According to research presented by The Aspen Institute 16 percent of suicides in the United States occur in response to a financial problem. Dr. Thomas Richardson, PhD., agrees that there is a strong relationship between debt and mental health problems. He and his research team did a big analysis of existing studies and found debt to be significantly correlated to:
  • Depression
  • Suicide completion
  • Suicide completion or attempt
  • Problem drinking
  • Drug dependence
  • Neurotic disorder
  • Psychotic disorders
None of this is new. After the stock market crashed in 1929, The New York Times reported 100 suicides and suicide attempts from October 24 through the end of the year. In more recent history, researchers estimated that the 2007 economic crisis in Europe and North America led to more than 10,000 extra suicides. Still other research shows that suicide rates increase both in years the stock market big drops—and in the year after.
While no one has a crystal ball, the most respected economists say economic recovery will be long and shaky. For some perspective, Anita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund wrote on her blog, “The cumulative loss to global GDP over 2020 and 2021 from the pandemic crisis could be around 9 trillion dollars, greater than the economies of Japan and Germany, combined.”
Barriers To Mental Healthcare
There are more friction points than ever to getting help. Doctor’s offices may be partially closed or require temperature checks outside before you go in. And, people may be worried about leaving their homes, especially if they need to take public transportation.
Pre-pandemic, one in eight visits to the emergency room was related to mental health. Granted, that’s not the ideal setting, but it is an important safety net. That net has a large hole in it right now thanks to Covid-19. People see images of ER’s being overrun by Covid-19 patients and they may think the hospital is stretched too thin to help them.
The good news is psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers had already begun shifting gears to provide remote therapy even before the pandemic, but it hadn’t been widespread in part because of privacy concerns. In early March the US Department of Health and Human Services relaxed their rules around privacy and digital doctor visits.
Since that time, teletherapy platforms and apps have seen increases. Reena Pande, the chief medical officer of AbleTo, a teletherapy platform with over 700 clinicians across the US told MIT Technology Review that they’ve seen requests to connect with a professional increase by 25 percent in a single week. Talkspace also reported a 65 percent spike since mid-February.
There are still some limitations to how connected you can feel via phone or computer versus in person. And, for people who are extremely paranoid or have hallucinations, communicating in these ways may be even more challenging.
Constant and Pervasive Collective Anxiety
According to the JAMA report, “It is possible that the 24/7 news coverage of these unprecedented events could serve as an additional stressor, especially for individuals with preexisting mental health problems.” Our routines have been completely upended and even things like wearing a mask or waiting in lines at the grocery store can make you feel tense.
Some common signs of pandemic-induced stress are:
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
 

shockedcanadian

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According to the experts, suicide rates are skyrocketing due to the lockdowns and stress from Covid 19...



Could the coronavirus lead to a national suicide crisis? Here's what experts are saying.


Article by:
We’ve already seen a steady rise in deaths by suicide over the past two decades and a new report by The Well Being Trust released last month found that 75,000 additional people could die from what they called “deaths of despair,” (which include suicide and substance use) because of Covid-19.
The Risk Factors For Covid-19 Suicides
The physical symptoms of the novel coronavirus have been well-reported for months, but it’s the handful of psychological and sociological factors that are just starting to ring alarm bells. The combination of physical distancing, economic stress, barriers to mental health treatment, pervasive national anxiety, and a spike in gun sales are creating what JAMA Psychiatry referred to as “a perfect storm” for suicide mortality.
“Suicide is likely to become a more pressing concern as the pandemic spreads and has longer-term effects on the general population, the economy, and vulnerable groups,” according to David Gunnell, professor of epidemiology at the University of Bristol and head of the Bristol Suicide and Self-harm Research Group, and his research team who recently published their findings in The Lancet Psychiatry.
And these projections are not without precedent. There’s evidence that deaths by suicide increased both after the 1918 flu pandemic and the 2003 SARS outbreak. We’re already seeing this with frontline workers. In the past few weeks, two stories stood out in the media: Dr. Lorna Breen, of New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, and New York City E.M.T John Mondello.
Social Distancing and Isolation
The research has been clear on this one for years: isolation and loneliness is bad for our health—both physical and mental. According to a meta-analysis co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking three-quarters of a pack of cigarettes a day…every day. “There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” Holt Lunstad says.
The coronavirus has obviously exacerbated the problem. Right now (as of May 8), almost 200 million people in the Unites States are under some kind of stay at home order, with most face-to-face socializing limited to members of their own households. That is, if they’re lucky enough to not live alone like 35.7 million Americans do. And, even in states where restrictions have been lifted, many people are still staying at home.
All this alone time is killing our mental health in general. Here’s an in-depth report on how coronavirus affects the most common mental illnesses. One of the biggest concerns is suicide. All of the experts who study suicide for a living agree that social connections play a role in suicide prevention. Both suicidal thoughts and ideation are associated with isolation and loneliness.
Economic Stress
The unemployment rate shot up to 14.7 percent in April, its highest level since the Great Depression, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. And, those numbers may actually be even worse. The government data comes from surveys conducted the second week in April and by now many more could be out of work, and the many self-employed workers and others newly eligible for unemployment benefits aren’t included in that figure. Also, the way the survey works is that it only counts people who are unemployed and looking for work. Given we’re in the middle of a pandemic, not a lot of people are going on job interviews right now. The possible silver lining is that a majority of those people counted in the unemployment number think that it’s only temporary.
Debt is a huge mental health burden. According to research presented by The Aspen Institute 16 percent of suicides in the United States occur in response to a financial problem. Dr. Thomas Richardson, PhD., agrees that there is a strong relationship between debt and mental health problems. He and his research team did a big analysis of existing studies and found debt to be significantly correlated to:
  • Depression
  • Suicide completion
  • Suicide completion or attempt
  • Problem drinking
  • Drug dependence
  • Neurotic disorder
  • Psychotic disorders
None of this is new. After the stock market crashed in 1929, The New York Times reported 100 suicides and suicide attempts from October 24 through the end of the year. In more recent history, researchers estimated that the 2007 economic crisis in Europe and North America led to more than 10,000 extra suicides. Still other research shows that suicide rates increase both in years the stock market big drops—and in the year after.
While no one has a crystal ball, the most respected economists say economic recovery will be long and shaky. For some perspective, Anita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund wrote on her blog, “The cumulative loss to global GDP over 2020 and 2021 from the pandemic crisis could be around 9 trillion dollars, greater than the economies of Japan and Germany, combined.”
Barriers To Mental Healthcare
There are more friction points than ever to getting help. Doctor’s offices may be partially closed or require temperature checks outside before you go in. And, people may be worried about leaving their homes, especially if they need to take public transportation.
Pre-pandemic, one in eight visits to the emergency room was related to mental health. Granted, that’s not the ideal setting, but it is an important safety net. That net has a large hole in it right now thanks to Covid-19. People see images of ER’s being overrun by Covid-19 patients and they may think the hospital is stretched too thin to help them.
The good news is psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers had already begun shifting gears to provide remote therapy even before the pandemic, but it hadn’t been widespread in part because of privacy concerns. In early March the US Department of Health and Human Services relaxed their rules around privacy and digital doctor visits.
Since that time, teletherapy platforms and apps have seen increases. Reena Pande, the chief medical officer of AbleTo, a teletherapy platform with over 700 clinicians across the US told MIT Technology Review that they’ve seen requests to connect with a professional increase by 25 percent in a single week. Talkspace also reported a 65 percent spike since mid-February.
There are still some limitations to how connected you can feel via phone or computer versus in person. And, for people who are extremely paranoid or have hallucinations, communicating in these ways may be even more challenging.
Constant and Pervasive Collective Anxiety
According to the JAMA report, “It is possible that the 24/7 news coverage of these unprecedented events could serve as an additional stressor, especially for individuals with preexisting mental health problems.” Our routines have been completely upended and even things like wearing a mask or waiting in lines at the grocery store can make you feel tense.
Some common signs of pandemic-induced stress are:
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

It's what so many knew was happening. Many of these aren't people who lived a full life and have multiple underlying conditions, these are younger, healthier people dying from despair.

To hell with the communists and their cowardly family. To hell with ANY Western leader who doesn't have the courage and morals to stand up to them.
 

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