Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th May 2010 11:45 UTC
In the News Now this is a subject I've been tiptoeing around for a while now, not entirely sure what to do with it: the suicides at Chinese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Instead of acting all morally smug and superior from my comfortable rural home in one of the richest countries in the world, I want to talk about two things journalists and bloggers should really stop focusing on when writing about this story: Apple, and the suicides. Wait, what?
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Focus on suicides
by stew on Wed 26th May 2010 14:33 UTC
Member since:

Let's focus on suicides and suicides only:
In the US, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youths between 10 and 24 (most "modern" states have similar rates). Why don't we read about that in the blogs?

Why do we pour horrendous amounts of money in anti-terrorism and so-called security, while at the same time ignoring one of the leading causes of death? The already slim budget for suicide prevention programs is being cut instead.

Suicides take more lives than illegal drugs or homicides. Yet, the amount of money spent on the war on drugs is more than 1000 times that spent on suicide prevention.

Edited 2010-05-26 14:36 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Focus on suicides
by mrhasbean on Wed 26th May 2010 15:39 in reply to "Focus on suicides"
mrhasbean Member since:

Warning: this whole post is not particularly related to the original article, but it is about suicide in young people, and yes it is long, but tough ;)

Why don't we read about that in the blogs?

The fact is that telling the population you are keeping their kids safe from terrorists and pedophiles is more effective for getting re-elected than pointing out why they're committing suicide, especially if the methods being used to "protect" young people from these alleged threats are actually contributing to the youth suicide rates, and anyone who expresses views on these subjects that differ from the official line are seen as sympathisers or even conspiracy theorists.

One of the largest causes of suicides in western cultures in the age bracket you mention is depression about sexuality. Our society keeps patting itself on the back about being "tolerant" and "accepting" of those who are something other than heterosexual, yet adolescents who are beginning to explore their sexuality are victims of torment and bullying unless they're "straight", and there is very little available to help them. Those who know what they are going through, homosexual adults, who were once homosexual adolescents, will rarely be encouraged to actively work in counselling or support roles because of the insane idea that they may "take advantage" of a young person just because they have the same sexual orientation.

My eldest son, who is heterosexual but had a number of gay friends at high school, received the same treatment his gay friends did. Fortunately for him and them he is strong enough in character, and raised well enough, to not give a shit about what other people think, do or say, so was able to be supportive of them. Unfortunately there are many who don't have the same level of self esteem.

Furthermore, inconsistencies and in some cases downright discrimination in Age of Consent laws - which themselves are totally ridiculous because they simply don't work, aren't enforceable and make criminals out of these same adolescents - also make it near impossible for young gays and lesbians to experience the same type of relationship with peers that their heterosexual counterparts can have during their teen years. And of course there are those brain dead individuals who believe that they just need counselling to "fix" them.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to youth suicide. Many young people have been psychologically abused by parents who, through the constant stream of "news" articles about the (supposed) massive threat to society that are terrorists and pedophiles, have created young adults who are afraid to go out into the world because everyone's out to get them. This also manifests itself in anger, which is one of the primary reasons for the increase in violent adolescent gangs. And the list goes on.

And at the heart of this is consumerism. If the population is too scared to go outside because there are baddies waiting for them on every corner they're more likely to sit at home in front of the TV watching those lovely commercials that want to sell them the latest gizmos and gadgets - and a bigger, flasher TV, "NOW IN 3D". And we wonder why our kids are getting fat!

When the communists said our society would rot like an apple, from the core, they pretty well hit the nail on the head. Whether that's now inevitable or not remains to be seen, but at this stage it's looking rather dull and squishy. Maybe big pharma has treatment in the pipeline for us... ;)

Edited 2010-05-26 15:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Focus on suicides
by No it isnt on Thu 27th May 2010 00:25 in reply to "Focus on suicides"
No it isnt Member since:

The link between suicide and substance abuse is very well documented. It's not fair to pit "the war on drugs" against suicide prevention:

Suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death in the United States. Each year 29,000 people take their own lives. About 50 percent of all suicide attempts involve alcohol and illegal drugs (including those who use alcohol or drugs in their attempt or test positively for alcohol or drugs at the time of the attempt). About 25 percent of completed suicides occur among drug abusers and those with alcohol abuse problems. The suicide rate of people under age 30 is increasing, largely because of substance abuse among young adults.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Focus on suicides
by steogede2 on Fri 28th May 2010 01:13 in reply to "Focus on suicides"
steogede2 Member since:

Let's focus on suicides and suicides only:
In the US, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youths between 10 and 24 (most "modern" states have similar rates). Why don't we read about that in the blogs?

You know, Stew, there is a very good reason why suicide is the third leading cause of death among the young - they are mostly fit and healthy so the other causes of death don't affect them so much. The main un-natural causes of death (suicide, homicide and accident) are much more evenly spread out amongst the age ranges than natural causes of death.

If you want to lower the rank of suicide among 10-24 year olds, you need to start weaning toddlers on alcohol, tobacco and cholesterol. That is the only way that you are likely to get cancer and heart disease to move up the ranks.

The other option of course would be to lower the suicide rate, but that would require 10-24s to have a massively lower suicide rate than the rest of the population.

Reply Parent Score: 1