cbareport_Oct12 - page 12

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October 2012 CBA REPORT
balanced Living
T
By John R. Francis
times as many females as males at-
tempt suicide.
• The suicide rates for men rise with
age, while the suicide rates for
women peak between the ages of 45
and 54 and again after age 75.
• More than 30 percent of patients suf-
fering from major depression report
suicidal ideation.
• More than 60 percent of all people
who die by suicide suffer from major
depression. Including alcoholics who
are depressed, this figure rises to
more than 75 percent.
• Thirty percent of all clinically
depressed patients attempt suicide,
and half of them ultimately die by
suicide.
• Depression is among the most treat-
able of psychiatric illnesses.
• Alcoholism is a factor in about 30
percent of all completed suicides.
Lawyers, as a subset of the popula-
tion, are more at risk for suicide because
of the increase in incidence of substance
abuse, depression and anxiety. Studies
have shown that lawyers are six times
more likely to commit suicide than the
general population. Further, lawyers
deal with clients who are undergoing
enormous stress and who, themselves,
may have mental health issues. Suicide is
a sad fact of life and understanding the
warning signs can help the legal profes-
sional in dealings with family, clients and
colleagues at risk.
We can all learn to identify suicide
warning signs and take action. These
signs indicate someone may be at risk
for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior
is new or has increased and if it seems
related to a painful event, loss or change.
• Talking about wanting to die or to
kill oneself
• Looking for a way to kill oneself,
such as searching online or buying
a gun
• Talking about feeling hopeless or
having no reason to live
• Talking about feeling trapped or in
unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to
others
• Increasing the use of alcohol or
drugs
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving
recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Showing rage or talking about seek-
ing revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings
If you or someone you know is
experiencing any of the warning signs of
suicide, get help. Talk to someone, access
help and take necessary action before it is
too late. If you observe suicidal behav-
ior in clients, colleagues or family, you
should not avoid the topic. You should
discuss the topic and encourage the
person to seek help. Help is just a phone
call away. Saying nothing or avoiding the
topic does not help the person.
T
oo often in life we don’t realize
there’s a problem until it’s too late.
The same is true when we hear
of a suicide of a family member, friend,
co-worker or celebrity. We often react
with shock and sadness. Upon reflection,
we often realize there have been warning
signs.
Suicide is preventable. Suicide deaths
have a significant correlation with mental
illness and substance abuse. More than
90 percent of people who die by suicide
have a mental illness, a substance abuse
disorder or a combination of both. The
most commonly held belief is that suicide
victims choose to end their life because
their psychological suffering has become
unbearable.
In 2008, 1,402 Ohioans completed
suicide; this equates to more than three a
day. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of
death in Ohio. Based on Ohio’s popula-
tion, a larger percentage of 35 to 44 year
olds are completing suicide than any
other age group.
Facts and Figures from the American
Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
• Suicide is the fourth leading cause of
death for adults between the ages of
18 and 65 in the United States.
• Every day, approximately 90 Ameri-
cans take their own life.
• Ninety percent of all people who
die by suicide have a diagnosable
psychiatric disorder at the time of
their death.
• There are four male suicides for
every one female suicide, but three
Suicide is Preventable
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