Seniors and Suicide: It Happens A lot More Often Than You Think

Seniors and Suicide: It Happens A lot More Often Than You Think

Suicide can affect people from all walks of life, but we often think of young adults when reflecting on the problem.

As it turns out, however, in some places senior citizens are at a much higher risk of becoming suicidal than adolescents.

In Canada, a 2009 government report found that men aged 85 to 89 have the highest rate of suicide among any age group in the country.

And studies completed in Europe have shown that people who suffer from a stroke-mostly the elderly- can be up to twice as likely to take their own life compared to the rest of the population.

(The risk of attempted suicide is highest within the first two years after a stroke, it was found, when heightened anxiety could be lingering).

What’s driving the numbers?

Related: Exercise Can Relieve Depression Symptoms

Fears of growing older and dying are a common challenge many seniors face. If you find facing the next day with a smile is a significant challenge, you aren’t alone.

Many white males find aging to be difficult, even when they aren’t carrying the brunt of burdens. Some experts have attributed this to the fact that, at least in North America, white men can often experience more privilege than others before reaching older age, and subsequently may have fewer tools in their psychological pocket to effectively face the trials and setbacks of aging.

If you or someone you know is experiencing dark thoughts and displaying the warning signs of suicide, talk. Reach out and connect with a friend, family or professional for help.

Call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

Photo credits: pathdoc/

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