Suicides almost double among 50-somethings
May 3rd, 2013
10:48 AM ET

Suicides almost double among 50-somethings

Teen suicides often get the most media attention - tragic stories like that of Canadian teen Amanda Todd remind us that depression is a serious mental health issue for adolescents. But a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more attention needs to be directed at preventing suicide in adults as well.

Between 1999 and 2010, suicides in the 35-to-64 age group increased 28.4%, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Suicides among people aged 50 to 59 years old specifically almost doubled during that time period.

More than 38,000 Americans killed themselves in 2010; that's more than double those who were killed in a homicide that same year, according to the CDC. In 2009, the number of deaths from suicide in the United States surpassed the number of deaths from motor vehicle crashes for the first time.

“Suicide is a tragedy that is far too common,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement. “This report highlights the need to expand our knowledge of risk factors so we can build on prevention programs that prevent suicide.”

Suicide rates in this age group were highest among American Indians and Alaska Natives, according to the report. The next biggest increase was seen in whites. Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, the suicide rate for women jumped 81.4%; for men it was a 59.5% increase.

The three most common suicide methods were firearms, poisoning and suffocation.

Nobody has data yet on why suicides are increasing in this age group, says Lanny Berman, executive director of the American Association of Suicidology. "But the working assumption is that it's related to the economic recession."

The 2007 recession affected middle-aged males more than any other demographic, he says. Job loss and other financial difficulties can lead to depression.

We're probably never going to have a causal explanation for the growing suicide rate, Berman says, but future research may be able to show specific trends that were occurring side-by-side during the same time period.

If you or a loved one needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit Suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

soundoff (815 Responses)
  1. rh

    Interesting that alcohol can play a role in both death by car crash and suicide...

    May 3, 2013 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eddie

      I think you forgot to factor in the fact That most people our age have a say in our healthcare .If we are diagnosed with a Painful and terminal disease it is wiser to end the suffering than it is to increase the medical profits and costs .You want healthcare reform ,then let the Patient decide when enough is enough ...I Believe in Dr. Assisted suicide ...Until then we will continue to do it on our own ....

      May 3, 2013 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      We are Native Americans-Not Indians from India Please correct that. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out my people have been committing suicide for many years. It has been a sad fact for a long time. Why do you care now? It's been going on for decades.

      May 3, 2013 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
    • jerseyguy36

      Yes and Homicides as well

      It is not strange at all considering that this is the post baby boom generation where where indulgence in play and toys was the norm, materialism the creed by which many lived. This form of materialism led to spend now worry later, just Buy baby buy and saving was a bad word. laying up some cash for a rainy day was considered stupid, just spend and have fun. Now with the Economy sour, no money in the bank, huge debts and no retirement plan, life without the beauty and energy of youth become very had to deal with. Yes the Drinking was always part of the fun but now it is the drown out reality, yep the reality that for them it is not likely to get any better in time for them, Have another drink! Then comes the ultimate solution. This becomes the Sad ending to a life of materialism.

      No this is not the situation for all, nothing ever is but it is a big factor, particularly when all these things hang on you and then the guy 10 years younger got the promotion at work and basically gave you the message that you have hit your top limit. Then of course there is the "come home and look at the pile of bills while holding a pink slip in your hand". have another drink! It is very sad! I have seen it happen with a friend of mine, no one seen it coming after the "Merger"! Mergers always generate Suicides for the over 50 people who one day were on the top of the world and the next day without a job, at least the job they had the day before and little chance to get it back depending on which side of the Merger/takeover you happen to be on. The young ones can start over, and the older ones can retire if they had a plan, but the 50 something with no plan, well i have seen it hit families very very hard.

      I find nothing surprising in this article, but thank you for printing it for all to see and try to understand, and perhaps for some to start saving and planning for the unforeseen future.

      May 3, 2013 at 21:21 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Why do you think the rates higher? Because Bush took their life savings. How would you like it if you work 30 years and saved up so much just to watch it disappear in Bush's term? Bush sent us back 50 years. You lived in this time period and if you say otherwise then your a freakin joke.

      May 3, 2013 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      @ Eddie
      There is no "we" in suicide

      May 4, 2013 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • G

      CHRIST is the answer to NOT ending up in Hell !!! He doesn't have to be the Last resort...Religion can't save a Fly... A personal relationship with Christ will give you a life worth living....REALLY....There is one thing God cannot do! He can not LIE !!! He is our only REAL HOPE...

      May 4, 2013 at 00:29 | Report abuse |
    • taffylinden

      Lisa, I respect your preference, but please know that the majority of indigenous Americans prefer the term "American Indian" (50%) over "Native American (37%) when it's not practical to use the name of a group's or individual's tribal nation. This has been established in a number of surveys, but I'll include just one link: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nc-american-indians/5526

      May 4, 2013 at 01:09 | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy from Canada

      ...or the love of money

      May 4, 2013 at 01:18 | Report abuse |
    • Don Lee

      I am 50. I am unemployed and care for a 22 year old Bipolar son. If I weren't lucky enough to have a supportive family, parents and sister, I have no idea what would happen. Sometimes it seems far too much to deal with, and if not for that same support group, it might be easier to just opt out. The family that supports me also prevents my leaving them in devastation by my demise.

      May 4, 2013 at 01:42 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      @ G

      I think these people are wanting to get to Christ faster. It is the Christians who say that Heaven is divine. Who knows maybe it's all the hype?

      May 4, 2013 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
  2. JGN

    It's not solely related to the economic depression. People born in the late 50s and early 60s in America had it better for the most part than any other group born in the history of this country. There was more abundant leisure time, food, and educational possibilities. Parents could take vacations more easily and drive across America in huge cars, movie theaters were cheap entertainment and thanks to Disney had started to specifically target a young audience; with the exception of kids living in true poverty, in general we had it very very good with every expectation of it getting better.
    But something was lost in all that. I think we didn't end up with quite as much drive to survive overall as our parents and grandparents did, and hitting puberty in the middle of the drug explosion didn't help. Many incredibly smart kids from my school days became addicted to various substances and spun their wheels. For those of us who did not, we worked and paid rent but inflation created a situation where it was less likely we would be able to buy our 'first home' as they used to term it, and the free love era slowed us down on making relationship commitments as well. It was a huge confluence of factors which landed us in our 50s with our options running low; and THEN the economic recession hit.
    This is a generalization obviously with many exceptions, but it is my experience and the experience of most of the people I grew up with.

    May 3, 2013 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Al Lawrence

      Pretty good assessment of contributing factors for the increase in suicides among our age group.
      I would add the change to trickle down economics via Reagan's election also is a major factor in
      the increase of suicides. Stagnate wages, wild fluctuations in economic security, lack of adequate
      health care, stigmatization of mental health care needs.

      May 3, 2013 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • KJC

      I am curious if divorce rates were any different in the generation currently in their 50's, as well? Anecdotally, I see a lot of people in that generation getting divorced after their kids have left for college or graduated. However, I am not sure if my observation is just in my own life, or if that is an actual trend statistically. (Now whether divorce aids in depression or depression aids in divorce is up for debate, as well.)

      May 3, 2013 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • KJC

      I am also curious if technology plays any role in this? Facebook became big maybe 5 years ago, and I have noticed that a lot of the older generation are reconnecting with old college friends, etc., which gives them an even bigger circle of people against whom they can compare their lives. I think a lot of people (certainly not all, but many) consider college to have been "the best years of their life" sort of thing, and once you start reconnecting with those people after having had no connection for 30 years, it's easy to think about how great and carefree life was back then compared to now and how much better some of your old friends have it than you do. Again, this is just something I have noticed among older adults I know personally, but I do not know if the technology has any statistical correlation to feelings of inadequacy, unhappiness, etc.

      May 3, 2013 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • Did You Know

      Since the explosion in quality of life after WW2, most had it good. But then the ultra rich started to move wealth to them at the top and middle class real wages stayed stagnant. See most rich had to pay at least 65% in taxes when Reagan took office. Now its 32% and you saw the hissy fit the republicans threw at new taxes on the rich. If you look at it the rich have been getting richer while the poor and middle class has been getting poorer. That is not a way to run a Country.

      May 3, 2013 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
    • lcm

      Bingo – I was just thinking the same. I grew up in the 60's, watching my parents who did not nave college degrees, build a brand new house on a large property. They were wonderful times, fun music, games, toys, parties. My mother never worked after we were born, and gave us endless dancing lessons, gifts, vacations, new clothes for school every year,- all on a modest middle class, or lower, income. I sometimes get depressed seeing how those times, or that style of life, we will never see again.

      May 4, 2013 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
  3. DAR

    I'm 51 years old and was really on the brink a few years ago. I was in the midst of a financial crisis which was really the driving force of the 'dark' thoughts that went through my brain. You start feeling as though, it would be better to just not be here than to have to go through another sleepless night where you are just so scared and alone. I can definitely understand why people turn to alcohol and drugs. Anything to just have some peace. Than there's the embarrassment of having to face your family. That's the worse. So here you are feeling completely and utterly like the biggest failure in life. In this country success is all about the almighty dollar. The person with the biggest house, nicest cars, sending their kids to the best colleges, that's how we in the US measure success. Well, I think the stress of trying to 'fit into' today's society contributes to peoples feelings of low self worth. Today I am renting instead of owning and drive a beat up truck. Couldn't be happier. I left the days of trying to fit into a society of 'things' and take joy in the fact that I have a wonderful dysfunctional family that, in the end, surprise, gave me a big hug and told me how much I was loved. Wow, I hadn't expected that. I guess my point is, I can definitely understand why people in my age group commit suicide, but I'm glad I didn't.

    May 3, 2013 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KJC

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. The drive to keep up with others in a material fashion is a strong one and can definitely be destructive, especially when people feel like they need to take out loans and stretch themselves financially thin to match what the neighbors or friends have.

      May 3, 2013 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Thank you for sharing – great insights that we all have to be reminded of many times.

      May 3, 2013 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
    • PAL

      so glad you are happy with your beat up truck! we are too! the world would have you think that everyone has a lot of nice stuff that you don't have. you have to look past the media to see that most folks are in the same boat as you. 'he who knows he has enough is rich." not sure who said that. found it in my fortune cookie.

      May 4, 2013 at 01:41 | Report abuse |
  4. Constantine9574288432

    Suicide, is just as bad if not worse than gun violence:.( horrible, just horrible:.(

    May 3, 2013 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. lewwho

    I agree with both comments. Things have changes drastically within the past ten years and many people have little time to readjust, leaving them feel trampled over with no voice to be heard. many people are getting 'thrown under the bus' by the government, employers and even family members due to cubacks in this economy. It's more like swimming with sharks.

    May 3, 2013 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. sistersurvivor

    My sister was age 50, living in Alaska, just successfully finished Hep C treatment, securely employed, heroin user...the stressors were clearly there and she was isolated from the rest of her bio family by distance and lifestyle choices. Like many Alaskans, she owned many guns....and used one of them, tragically. You can't ever completely know "why"...you just have to find your own peace with it and go on and live your own life. Honor the whole person and not just the method of death. However, there is so very much to live for, I believe and if you feel you are at the bottom, then admit it and get help! You may find, like DAR did, that there truly are people there to support you and help you not to feel ashamed for your humanity. There are probably way more people out there who have contemplated (some seriously) taking their own life. I do believe that, tragically, if a person is truly committed to killing themselves, they will find a way and survivors cannot take on the responsibility for their sad choice.

    May 3, 2013 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. KDS

    The average person is held against so many standards from so many places. DAR is right, success is judged by money. In this horrible economy - that's hard to come by...yet the standards have not changed. Failure is so hard to accept and it leads people to think about, and commit suicide. Somehow, we (collectively) need to make the standards more realistic. As sad as this story is, the message is not a surprise.

    May 3, 2013 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jerseyguy36

      KDS: you hit the nail on the head "when times are tough and we fail to get all that self-centered stuff." This is the biggest problem people face, yet they/we still just don't get it. I am 77 Years old and have seen many Lay offs, Mergers and takeovers, down sizing, resizing etc. I have seen many many good talented people get "Hit" by these things for no fault of their own, yet they still take it as a personal failure. it isn't, was not for most. It is the Materialistic side of all of us that get us in the end. When we can no longer feed that beast then the beast turns on you, the Beast of course is within. If our Friends are only our friends in good times then they are not friends at all. If we cannot downsize our own living standard without losing friends, then they were never friends at all and not worth worrying about. We must learn to accept things that happen, set the old plan aside and make a new one. At 50 plus that is damn hard to do, glad I never had to. That said I have seen it far to often, yet just as often I have seen pick up and move on, and sometimes, actually bettering themselves in the process. Yes it happens! You never hear these success stories but they are there . They happen for people when they first get wind of job actions that might affect them, they start looking NOW, while they still have a network in place, still have up to date skills and unblemished job record. like it or not a large gap in employment is seen as a blemish. I seen many people when they got the Pink slip, say "well I I think I will take a few months vacation before I go job hunting! They do and they end up with a much lower paying job or no job at all. People out there I beg of you to take a look at your own situation now and how to better it, how to plan for the future, plan for the worse and pray that it never happens, but plan. Forget that Self centered stuff, it is just stuff and Fair weather friends are not friends at all. God Bless.

      May 3, 2013 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
  8. C S Gill

    This story missed a few points for us late baby boomers and unemployment from the crash. Most of us gave up looking for a job because HR dose not want to hire us (were not trainable), were too young to collect S. S. I. or the payments would be too low to survive on. Retirement funds have mostly been wiped out of the 401K plan's. So that does not leave much left only one way out instead of sleeping under a bridge and scraping for scraps of food out of fast food restaurant dumpster. Another factor is more and more people are being thrown off of unemployment and NOT counted, this is why the numbers look so good ... no more pay outs ... meaning low numbers of unemployment. Mean while more and more tent city's are growing around the country. I was shocked to learn of one here in my city. Me an my wife are the tale end of the boomers and can't find a decent paying job even with my retaining, and having trouble keeping the home together. So my two options are until the evil HR people get over their high an mighty hiring tricks is to become self-employed or take the later of my 50 something people and leave this life behind for the young and oppressed.

    May 3, 2013 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. sick n tired

    With things as hopeless as they seem I'm surprised the numbers aren't much higher.

    May 3, 2013 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Boomer in Mo

    If you are over 50, you have to do whatever it takes to keep your job, even putting up with abuse, because you will never, ever get another one. You can't have health problems taken care of because your employer will decide you will run up the cost of insurance and fire you. And you will never get another job. So the 50+ crowd is working more than 40 hours a week for no more pay, putting up with verbal and sometimes physical abuse and they feel like crap. No wonder they are killing themselves.

    May 3, 2013 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • walter

      From the tone of your comment, I'm surprised you haven't. You sound very bitter and angry – you clearly need some help.

      May 4, 2013 at 02:45 | Report abuse |
    • CB

      walter, if you;d worked all your life, played by the rules, done everything you;re supposed to do only to be laid off in your mid to late 50's....don't you think you might be a little bitter too? Boomer in Mo is correct. Most of these people will not work at a meaningful job again.

      June 7, 2013 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
  11. Chimera

    At 51 I lost my job when the company folded; tried to keep going by living off credit cards, borrowing against retirement, cutting back on non essentials until after a year and a half, I'd lost my house, the cars and my marriage in that order. To be told to your face at interview "You're not as young as we would prefer" or "You do not have anything to offer us", or "At your age, we feel you may lack the drive we require" is devastating to one's self esteem. Getting up in the morning becomes harder. Applying for jobs becomes a chore when you know it is only going through the motions. I'm not the suicidal type, but I can well understand the pressures and the insults piling up on someone that they may wish to simply get it over with. I for one do not see my life ever getting back to a level comparable with ten years ago. It's a dark abyss we discarded workers stand on.

    May 3, 2013 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • greg90814

      Same here, though fortunately I don't have any major debt to speak of. Just started tapping my IRA for living expenses, and living minimal as possible. Just turned 50 a few months ago and can't find any work in a major metropolitan area. The Gray Ceiling is definitely a factor.

      May 4, 2013 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
  12. Jan

    The so-called "high standard of living" grew out of a culture that became increasingly individualistic and all about self– self-fulfillment, self-improvement, personal achievement. It grew out of a culture in which our circles of people with whom we were directly connected and clearly interdependent shrank dramatically, with being "independent" and self-sufficient held in high esteem. But we are a social creature and need our interdependence and wide range of people who we need and who need us to make life feel meaningful and right, even when times are at their worst. Our own culture and our resulting addiction to our self-contained, self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-fulfilled, self-realized, personal comfort & fulfillment leads to a loss of meaning in our lives, especially when times are tough and we fail to get all that self-centered stuff.

    May 3, 2013 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. MiMi

    I think the posters C S Gill, Boomer in MO and Chimera hit the nail on the head. I'm 48yrs old and raising my grand children. I am trained in a technical field that doesn't have very many options for employment where I live so my options are limited. I have applied and applied and been told time and time again, "we're sorry but we've gone with another candidate". I believe that translates into "we went with someone younger that we can treat like crap and pay them nothing just because they are young and don't know any better". I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do in order to keep a roof over my grand children's head or food on the table for them. It's depressing, scary and you know in the back of your mind that things are not going to get any better BUT having gone to patriarchal school where mass was mandatory every morning suicide is not an issue for me plus what would happen to my grand children? The only thing I can do is leave it up the deity I speak with and ask them to handle it for me. I guess I was lucky because I was country born and bred so if it comes down to it I can plant a garden, fish and/or hunt for meat and living out of a tent ain't much different from the camping trips my family used to take when we were little. To be honest, living off the grid does hold an appeal all its own however, there are millions of my fellow boomers out there who may not have that experience and may see it as the only way out of a mind set of nobody cares if you live or die. My dreams have been dark but I try to wake up to the sun. Thanks for reading 🙂

    May 3, 2013 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sadie

    Bird flu is front page news for both the liberal and Fox media, but the Suicides of 30,000 plus white middle class hard working citizens a year is not news? Or back page, hidden news?

    But what will we do when too many of the white middle class bill payers and taxpayers commit suicide? No wonder Obama is in Mexico begging for new bill payers and future tax payers to come here to support his base. And no wonder he wants to ban guns…who will support the Takers and the Obamaphone suppliers, and the Banks??

    May 3, 2013 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FreeLiu

      Increased gun control and universal health insurance including mental health care would, over the long term, reduce the numbers of suicides. Please try to think differently and support these measures.

      May 4, 2013 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  15. DQT

    At least you people have got a life.

    May 3, 2013 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PartyingLikeTheDonnersAtTheTechno-Eschaton

      If things are so bad you want to end it, hang on a while longer and you'll quite likely be able to watch the most exciting show in human history, which is civilization as we know it melting down completely thanks to our longstanding unsustainable approach to living and consumption.

      If you're willing to kill yourself then watching society rip itself apart won't be scary since chances are you'll get killed and you wanted to die anyway. Plus you'll be able to tell the out-of-touch billionaires with sociopathic tendencies "See? I told ya so!" as they die right alongside the rest of us. It'll be like Virginia circa 1609 all over again, and a handy tip to remember is that young vegans and vegetarians from the suburbs taste better than older or urban omnivores (which can be rather tough and gamey, but Sriracha Sauce can help).

      May 3, 2013 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
  16. PartyingLikeTheDonnersAtTheTechno-Eschaton

    The only comments I've made that show up are ones asking why my comments don't show up, so... why don't my comments show up when they do not violate any of the terms of service? It'd be nice to have some indication as to why it happens or which seemingly-innocuous words are preemptively censored. Or maybe CNN just blows. Yeah, that's probably it.

    May 3, 2013 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. DQT

    Hang in there people.

    May 3, 2013 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas

      Hanging can be a tough way to die.

      May 4, 2013 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
  18. DQT

    I been depressed since I was 15. Haven't accomplished half as much as most of the people on here. Hate living but afraid of dying. Kudos for all of you for accomplishing so much.

    May 3, 2013 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • are122

      So get some help! Nothing to be ashamed of.

      May 4, 2013 at 00:07 | Report abuse |
  19. john

    The last perfect day on earth was July 7 1962. Now there are so many reasons to call it a day and end life.Iam 70 and will not end my live being a burden to anyone.Human beings have created a world of turmoil and greed while over populating this wonderful planet.It won't get any better!!!!

    May 4, 2013 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Smarterest Human

    People are killing themselves because the rethuglican cr()()ks have made this country unbearable to live in. They have stolen everyone's 401K's and now they are too old to find a decent job because only hip young people get the jobs now, so suicide is their answer. It has nothing to do with mental illness. It has to do with running out of money and having zero options to change that, while criminals on Wall St. keep buying the newest upgraded Mercedes and yachts with their money. And they keep loosening insider trading laws so they and congress can continue to rob the American people of their hard earned money.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. stoneygirl

    Let's see, we 50 somethings went to college, got married, had our kids, took care of our parents as they aged and died, worked hard for our employers and gave them 110 percent only to be thrown out on our asses once we hit 50. Now, our retirement is non existent, we had to go bankrupt, we lost our home, used up all our savings to survive and pay our taxes, lost our health insurance, got sick, ended up owning thousands of dollars to doctors, hospitals and other medical bills. Now we are sick, homeless, a burden to our kids and society (as they have so nicely pointed out that we are the leeches of society and need welfare and food stamps) and can't find a job to try and get back on our feet again because business other than McDonald's and Walmart don't hire "old" people. Hummmmm, think that might be why SUICIDE SEEMS LIKE A BETTER OPTION???????? Yes, I am speaking from the voice of experience. Most days just aren't waking up for anymore. Just hope and pray it all doesn't ever fall apart for YOU. Trust me, it sucks!

    May 4, 2013 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. hsm

    The capitalist system is brutal and unforgiving. Instead of just killing yourself go and take care of a couple suits before you go and help the rest of us.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rare_earth

    I'll be 52 in about a week.
    In the past 15 years, I've lost a career, became divorced because of it, and instead of the nice house, two vehicles and a bassboat, I reside, alone, in a two room basement apartment.
    Loneliness is a killer.
    I've contemplated, imagined, suicide many times. Daily, I guess.
    I rationalize my still being alive by accepting the fact that I'm afraid of following through.
    Don't get me wrong. I have friends. I still earn a paycheck. And I have hobbies.
    But to have all of that and have it alone, to me, is meaningless.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Church

      Find a church, life group, team of people that will support you and that you can provide your service and talent towards. You need an outlet not only to vent on CNN forums, but to people that are willing to listen. If you don't believe if God, you still need a strong group of people that will listen to you without judging you and if you find a church like the one I have grown up in, you will be helped.....

      May 4, 2013 at 00:29 | Report abuse |
    • paganguy

      Get yourself a love-doll. They are fun. You will never be lonely.

      May 4, 2013 at 00:56 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      If you like sharing so much, find another wife, divorce, give her the remainder of your stuff.

      May 4, 2013 at 01:55 | Report abuse |
    • Chiku

      Yeah loneliness is a soul killer but what can you do, some are destined to go thru life like that. I know I certainly went thru life in solitude except for work and school. And trust me, it is possible to be around dozens or hundreds in those places and never say a word to anyone and vice versa.

      May 4, 2013 at 17:42 | Report abuse |
  24. GIUK

    It is very easy for people in that 50-70 year old group to find themselves 1. Alone 2. Broke .3. Feeling trapped in a hopeless life. Many are getting a divorce late in life, and usually it's accompanied by financial hardship. The dating scene at 50 + sucks BIGTIME. To top it of, if the person has a job at all they're not earning enough either to have a financial secure life, let alone save for a retirement or even take a good vacation. Hope for a pay raise is gone. They're afraid to leave the job with good reason; the greatest long-term unemployment is among 50+ workers. The sum total means that for many death if preferable to the life they have, or even hope to attain.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. teremist

    If you are hopeless, if you have lost all you ever worked for, if you can't see any way for anything to get better, that is your reality. You have then also lost all sense of purpose and self. Given the economy, and the fact that those few companies that are hiring do not want anyone over 40, it is no wonder 50 somethings are committing suicide. The wonder is those who do NOT, in spite of their situation.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CaliforniaAC

      Right! The 50+ have been told that no one wants them cause they are a drag on company profits and they have no insurance with all safety nets vanishing before their eyes... the article claims there is no specific data to say WHY the sudden surge in 50+ suicides– ANY FOOL CAN SEE IT, but the news media is on the wrong side of the issue and refuse to see what's right before their eyes.

      May 4, 2013 at 00:32 | Report abuse |
  26. CaliforniaAC

    Fifty used to be the age you are ready for retirement; it is now the age you lose your job, feel useless and come to the cruel reality that you have NO HEALTH INSURANCE. The American Dream has been stolen and our back is turned against those who played by the rules only to find out the SYSTEM IS BROKE: the system is rigged for the wealthy and everyone else be damned. AND the worst is yet to come– all safety nets will be taken away before we know it.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Awetmedic

      Very well said. Great insight. You hit it out of the ballpark. Not worth any money or health care mind you, but right on the money.

      May 4, 2013 at 00:51 | Report abuse |
  27. Alex Jones

    While I don't believe Alex Jones is right about everything, I do think he is on to something regarding antidepressants and anxiety pills that are a contributing factor for many of the suicides that are taking place today.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. CaliforniaAC

    Alex, why do people take antidepressants and anxiety pills? It's the economy, stupid.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JRGidaho

      Actually it probably has much more to do with diet than the economy.

      May 4, 2013 at 01:55 | Report abuse |
    • Sunrose22

      Dang! I was gonna say because they're anxious and depressed... Awww well. Maybe I'll get the next one!

      May 13, 2013 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
  29. Dave

    This is the legacy of Reagan and GW Bush policies.

    Republican voters, it is blood on your hands. Truly.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matthew Godin


      May 4, 2013 at 00:51 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      So Republicans see their own evil as laugh out loud worthy. Yeah, it's all just a big joke that people are dying thanks to your bad choices and willful ignorance.

      May 4, 2013 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
  30. Writerscramp

    Well let's see why life might be grim for 50ish folk in America ... as an example I am 52, the economy of the past 6 years has eaten away all savings I have or ever hope to have, I have no children who might be there for me when I am old and grey, the probability that social security or medicare might actually still be in existence when I hit 65 is looking very doubtful, I have no medical coverage right now at all, dealing with failing health for which I can not afford to see any doctor, along with the fact that at 52 and very few employers want to hire anyone in my situation. Not a pretty future and I am sure I am not alone among the 50ish crowd with these problems.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Matthew Godin


    May 4, 2013 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Correctlycenter

    People need Jesus...

    May 4, 2013 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas

      Unfortunately, he is not hiring either.

      May 4, 2013 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
  33. RedDog2

    I am mid fifties. Struggled with a nasty depression almost 20 yrs ago, it seemed centered much on my folks declining health, loss of farm in farm collapse of ~ 1980 and they both passed on about 1/2 yr apart. After wading thru for some years, I did take a Paxil pill for a decade. This past winter has gotten to me along with having MS Health issues and not able to work full time. In north country, this cold and snowy weather just doesn't want to end !! It's white out in May !! That seems to have much to do with it.
    It's not debts, I've loathed making payments for all my life and we have been debt free for 11 yrs. There hopefully is enuf in savings and investments, yet don't assume we are together 6 figure people on Romney easy street. Alcohol, I saw a bad trend in late 90's and quit completely for a decade, now I have maybe one per month. So, I don't know why, really, I pondered such thoughts over winter other than SAD from darkness and long cold period of time and some health issues. It seems just the fact that we all are on track to die anyway, anyhow, someway, somehow no matter how hard we fight back, and eat healthy and exercise the fat off, I'm close to a vegetarian since December to get my health numbers better. You think I lost real weight ?? NOT !! Cholesterol is a little better. If we are all bound to die anyway, and the future just looks harder and harder in health issues, why do we cling so hard to life ?? So if its not debt, nor lack of savings, nor alcoholism, nor drug addled brain, what has been my problem for last few months ?? Too much World News is not good for me. Terrorism and murders, rapes and every horror imaginable makes the news, almost nothing good and heart warming is newsworthy. Too many shows on TV pander to the most horrid things, too !! Death and guns and violence everywhere we look !! It's inescapable. I guess I need more "hope".
    I go to church regularly. Have faith in Jesus, Yeshua. To end this ramble, I think mostly, I need green grass and sunshine, birds singing and raising a new batch of babies with all the hope in the world for their new offspring. Bright flowers, new tree growth, blue skies and puffy white clouds. Motorcycle rides in wide open great sky view. Old fashioned fun with young people so full of life they just vibrate while sitting still.
    I feel better just imagining all of that !! Thank you for the outlet.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dodged a bullet

      You rock, Red Dog. Let's show 'em how it's done. Stay well!

      June 7, 2013 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
  34. rawretrospective

    I once heard someone say that "suicide is not a choice; it just happens when pain exceeds the ability to cope." Therefore the only way to stop it is to intervene before the pain gets exceeds ability to cope. I never believed this until I felt like taking my own life a few years ago (new baby, husband gone, debt piling up, house flooded, etc). If you see someone in this position,see what you can do to ease pain or help them cope. An unexpected check from my mother-in-law probably saved me. She is gone now and I never got to tell her thank you.

    May 4, 2013 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. brian

    "With things as hopeless as they seem I'm surprised the numbers aren't much higher."

    They probably are higher than they seem. A lot of single vehicle car accidents are really suicides.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. HenryMiller

    "...more attention needs to be directed at preventing suicide..."

    If people want to off themselves, it really isn't anyone else's business.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      Given the global over population, I think we should encourage it.

      May 4, 2013 at 01:26 | Report abuse |
  37. wakeup

    all i hear is complaining and complaining!! DO SOMETHING ABOUT PEOPLE!!

    May 4, 2013 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Dave Green

    At 48 years old I may not be certain of much, but of this I am certain. While there is life, there is hope.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tammy L

    Too bad there isnt some organized legit painless way to check out of you feel like it.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas

      There are resources out there. Suicide like any endeavor works best when you do your research. The last thing you want is to have a botched suicide attempt that leaves you in a worse situation.

      May 4, 2013 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
  40. djk

    Around that time, I too lost my house and , my job on the same day (thanks to a punk at work that I helped hire, I truly believe in karma), I worked hard, was a honest worker, well liked by customers. I almost lost my marriage too and it just got worse. The stress was terrible and almost unbearable and I was one day away from being homeless with no where to go. Thanks to some wonderful friends I do not know what I would have done. A lot of people do not respect older people sadly, even though we have contributed for years and years out of our paychecks. I am a 53 year old female but do not look my age. I have been thru hell and back but life now is good. I do not have the nice house but that is okay I have never been happier and I have a wonderful job that I am appreciated at. I have to say to people hang in there and do not give up.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. eric

    wow, I am 30 years old and this article got me so depressed. I guess my generation will have to deal with this one day too, only I feel it may be worse

    May 4, 2013 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DAR

      Not if you live life simply Eric. Appreciate the little things in life and don't get caught up in the materialistic things. Take a walk on a nice day and take a deep breath. Life can be beautiful if you think 'outside the box'. 🙂

      May 6, 2013 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
  42. Natt

    Well I am sure that seeing your home lose 50+% of its value, your 401K crashing like a rock, and your credit rating going into the abyss only 15 years before you planned on retiring will quickly put a rain cloud overhead. I would have been stunned if the rates did not go up.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Gary

    I agree with the individual who said turn to God! I hate my job with a passion. not very fond of a lot of my co workers either" but i am blessed and my life could be far worse. I am muslim but i will still pray that God will keep all of those who are going through. Find you a church or a synagogue and seek God for answers. Love you all and peace.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ricky rocky

      doesn't work for gay people. god wants us dead. remember?

      May 4, 2013 at 01:46 | Report abuse |
  44. Tracy

    I completely get it. As a fifty-something unemployed professional, I am learning how no one wants to hire the "old guy. " Our nation is so youth fixated, that once you hit fifty you are pretty much SOL. I have told my kids that they need to start and run their own businesses at that is the oly way you can ensure that you can take care of yourself as you age. I also know that i am not alone in this as I have many friends that are qualified, but cannot find work.

    I actually had to leave the US to find work overseas, selling my home in Silicon Valley and leaving my family behind. It is a sad testament to our society that experience is not valued as compared to youth. I have often thought of ending it, but never in a way that leaves too much of a mess. Now I started a business and am essentially back at square one, but master of my destiny.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EA

      Pay off your debts early and live below your means – than when they tell you to take a walk you can just give them the finger on your way out.

      May 4, 2013 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
  45. ricky rocky

    I think about suicide and how to get a gun all the time. It's the only thing you can really count on. Our government gave up on caring as soon as Reagan got in. It's over.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. simplyput

    Has anyone noticed that CNN is printing mostly negative comments on this story?

    May 4, 2013 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. PWINGS

    The progression of events goes like this:
    1) Life expectancy continues to increase.
    2) Likelihood of losing job due to downsizing increases.
    3) Age discrimination in workplace contributes to decreased job prospects for unemployed seniors, particularly educated ones.
    4) Reduced income makes it harder for seniors to make mortgage payments and keep their homes or their equity.
    5) Unemployed seniors in their '50's with health problems incur debt they can't repay because of being uninsured and not yet eligible for Social Security and Medicare.
    6) Revised bankruptcy laws make it EASIER for businesses to get financial relief from debts to employees and creditors.
    7) Revised bankruptcy laws make it HARDER for individuals to get financial relief from medical and mortgage debt.
    8) Health and financial problems lead to increased depression, substance abuse and marital stress / divorce.
    9) When these problems persist for an extended period of time, voila....suicide seems the only way out.

    Everyone has a breaking point. Everyone! If you think this can't happen to you, be patient. Your time may be coming.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • simplyput

      Yes, but when we break we can finally be used by God. This point escapes those in despair if a gun is too close, or age discrimination is the only input in a person's life.

      May 4, 2013 at 01:41 | Report abuse |
  48. Pippa

    Life for most of us is constant stress and stress kills, directly or indirectly.
    There is no cure, except maybe, the lowest expectations of life and materialistic-free life style. Back to basics and let the rich WORK for their money!
    I'm 6O and have a lot to show for: no car, no house, no medical aid. No bills. Plethora of health ailments that are incurable but not yet deadly, so not taken seriously.
    But, but, I find life immensly interesting. What a thriller! Bring it on! Make my day!
    OK. I'm not that excited every day. Some days are very dark indeed. Then I cry and feel sorry for myself. But then I remember: nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass. Like everything else.
    Now, what was this all about?
    How about some deep breathing? Air is still free but not on Internet. LOL.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. how about this reason

    A culture that grind you in the dirt for being a man, woman who divorce you and take away your life and ruin your reputation, and turn your kids against you- and a government that sponsors and participates in it. 6% of the worlds population, 25% of the worlds prisoners. Out of control government making profit, on rounding people up on invented laws and rules, locked them up- like animals, no accountability no consequences- just a one way street. Yes more people, will by probability find the end of they're, line and end it. Nothing surprising here.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Carl

    It's because we focus on "stuff" instead of people. I lost all my "stuff" (money) and am STILL depressed even though I can make enough to live OK. It's hard to shake. I think the stupid mistakes are the hardest to shake.

    May 4, 2013 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
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