with Gail Slaughter
(She took the photograph; I painted it)
Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
More people now die of suicide than in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the findings in Friday’s issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.
Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.
“It’s vastly underreported,” said Julie Phillips, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University who has published research on rising suicide rates. “We know we’re not counting all suicides.”
Another factor may be the widespread availability of opioid drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone, which can be particularly deadly in large doses.
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I've written about suicide before. More than once. It may be a real option for me, later.
Last time I had this condition, I began to seriously consider suicide. The unrelenting nearly unbearable pain, the worst pain of my life, went on and on and on. How would I do it? Sleeping pills, of course. I guess.
So now, I'm reconsidering. Thinking about suicide again.
I'm not ready to do it--I generally like being alive, except for this pain. And, I'm afraid of the pain of dying and afraid of death itself. I keep hoping for healing. For some relief from the pain. But when it's bad and I consider the options, suicide seems like one of them.
I recently threw away eleven bottles of sleeping pills. I should have saved them. If I do do it, I want to do a good job, not a half-assed one. I do have more, and the others were expired. I don't take sleeping pills any more.
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Tulips, on the other hand, are one reason to stay alive.