Depressing data

August 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

There are a few observations I would like to make here.

One is an observation that depression and suicide is much higher in the US.  This seems counter-intuitive when you consider our standard of living, but then again just look at our stress loads.  Thanks to Blackberries and iPhones, you can take your work with you to the beach and on vacation.

Another observation is that suicide rates are much higher (at least twice as much) in white males than than all other race/gender groups… actually the lowest group is black female, arguably the group that has it worse off.  The suicide rate is more than 10x as much for White Males than for Black Females.

The most common method of death, by far, is by guns.  More than half of suicides are done this way.  Here’s some other quick facts:

  • More males die from suicide than females.  (4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide.)
  • More people die from suicide than from homicide. (Suicide ranks as the 11th leading cause of death; Homicide ranks 13th.)
  • 73% of all suicide deaths are white males.
  • 80% of all firearm suicide deaths are white males.

So what’s going on here?  Can we see any patterns?

I actually think there is something VERY DEEP going on here, but it will require some more thought (and time) to write up my thoughts on that.  But without controversy, I can state the following facts.

White males rule the world.  They are the richest and most powerful people (on average).  In this country what would be the religion of these white males.  Probably Christian (Bible-based).  4 in 5 of these suicides are caused by guns.  Bibles and guns… sounds awefully familiar.

Watching the town hall mobs it appears that these people, who are now proud of their clinging to bible and guns (shirts at Palin resignation), are also the most unhappy.  This is not just a guess, it’s a fact.

In the article below we see that anti-depression use is highest amongst white people, and suicide rates is highest amongst them also.  What is going on?

I’ll save that for another blog post, but how about some other observations.  Other patterns?

Here’s one for you:

  • Unemployment rate is almost 10% nationwide
  • 1 in 9 Americans are on food stamps
  • 1 in 10 Americans is on antidepressant medication.

Anyone see a pattern?

Antidepressants can clearly help relieve depression, but these drugs can also have dangerous side effects, so you don’t want to take one unless you really need it. So it’s alarming that a new study shows antidepressant use has nearly doubled in the U.S. since the mid-1990s.

In the study, published this week in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers analyzed data from a national survey of antidepressant use conducted in 1996 and again in 2005 of people age 6 and older. Between 1996 and 2005, the rate of those reporting they had used antidepressants in the past year jumped from 5.8 percent to 10.1 percent. On a national scale, this translates to an increase from about 13.3 million people to 27 million. Also, the increase of antidepressant use was more prominent among whites than African-Americans or Hispanic populations.

via Antidepressant use nearly doubles in U.S.

I want to end on the following thought.  What if instead of getting mad and angry and irrational about healthcare reform (although ironically most of the maddest already have government run healthcare and love it in the form of Medicare), instead of using buzzwords like “liberal”, “socialism”, “marxism”, “europeanization”, we just confront the facts.

For example, in the movie Sicko they show what healthcare is like in different countries.  France is the most interesting to me.  Only a 35 hour workweek, free healthcare, and you can take a bunch of sick time if you need it.  People aren’t slacking, it’s just that we forget we are humans sometimes.

Do we really need to be at work 40 hours a week?  Instead of surfing the web during downtime, you could be at home with your family or fishing or something.  And how about during those most stressful times?  Births or deaths?  Sometimes you just need time off.

In this country that talks about family values, we put women to work after only 3 months off.  And then you need to pay for daycare.  In France it’s all free.  Why do Americans hate the French so much?  Without them, we wouldn’t have gained our independence from England.  Or maybe we just love to hate those that have it better.  I’m not saying France is better than the USA, I’m claiming that healthcare is better there.  We have 50,000,000 uninsured.  They have none.

Either way, it looks like those most powerful, who have run the country lately, truly are sick.  This sickness causes them to hate, to rant, to be irrational.  It causes them to stick to their guns and bibles.  Check out the following guy just this week.  He even evokes God and His wrath…

It’s irrational because Jesus spent his days healing the sick… and what is universal healthcare about?  Healing the sick.  But we all know this isn’t the true cause of the anger.  It goes deeper, way deeper.  It has to do with having a black president, but it’s not necessarily racism.  The cause of this anger (which becomes depression inside over time)?

It’s about loss of complete hegemony.


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