What would lead someone to take their own life? And who is more likely to take that step? It’s hard to understand why someone would consider suicide. But learning more about it can empower you to help someone now or in the future.
People typically envision high suicide risk in young people—those in their teens or 20s—and the very old, who are facing physical decline and other inevitable losses. Recently, however, suicide among baby boomers has increased sharply, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts theorize that this rise may result from financial pressures many boomers face when caring for children and aging parents while also trying to retire; the growing use of pain medications for conditions common to aging; and perhaps a generational despair over the state of the world from those who believed they could change it.
Dan Becker, M.D., psychiatrist and medical director of behavioral health services at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, answers questions about depression and suicide risk, and offers tips on how you can help someone in need.