Skip to main content

Remember when we were told "50 Is The New 30?" Yes, turning 50 was your golden ticket to a new era of robust good health, affluence, adventure, romance, and wisdom that would make our middle years the envy of other generations. And it all seemed quite plausible when the economy featured nearly full employment, because everything is possible when anyone that wants a job can get one.

Well 50 isn't the new 30 or even the new 40. Fifty is the new 70. The Baby Boom's expected peak earning years have vanished in a fog of debt, divorce, unemployment, no health insurance, worries about ailing parents, and struggling kids.  

And now the CDC has found this:

The suicide rate among Americans aged 35 to 64 rose sharply between 1999 and 2010.....The annual rate of suicide rose 28 percent among Americans aged 35 to 64 during the study period, but changed little for older and younger people... The number of suicides among people in their 50s doubled in that time frame.

The rest of this study seems to indicate that people in the 35-65 age bracket have had the greatest increase in suicide, while the suicide rate for people over 65 and under 34 are little changed.   This is a population that has not been served by suicide prevention programs or specific social safety net programs.  And that's the age group that has taken on debt and bought into the middle class dream of car payments and a mortgage that depends on the expectation of social stability and a steady job. Instead, this is the age at which people find themselves vulnerable to layoffs and age discrimination. And without health insurance, even minor health problems can snowball into financial ruin.

Americans preferred method of suicide remains firearms, but overdoses from prescription painkillers are gaining ground. Wikipedia provides a handy recap of suicide methods around the world, and it's surprisingly quirky from country to country. Did you know that thousands of people in Japan have committed suicide by jumping into a volcano?

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site