FACT: Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year. 2
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the nation, claiming twice as many lives each year as HIV/AIDS.
FACT: Male suicides outnumber female suicides by 4 to 1. 2
However, three times as many women attempt suicide. The reason for this is not certain, but many feel male tendencies toward greater aggressiveness makes their attempts more often fatal.
FACT: Up to 70% of all people who die by suicide may suffer from an affective illness such as depression or bipolar disorder.1
FACT: Alcoholism is a factor in about 20% of all suicides. 3
Up to 18% of alcoholics may die by suicide.
FACT: Firearms are now used in more suicides than homicides. 4
It's the fastest-growing method, used in nearly 60% of all suicides. Next is hanging/strangulation/suffocation at nearly 20%; solid and liquid poisons/overdoses comprise about 10%; gas poisons are used about 6% of the time. The remaining number of suicides employ other methods including jumping from a high place, cutting and piercing, drowning, jumping/lying before moving object, burn and fire, and crashing of a motor vehicle.
1. Maris, Ronald W., Alan L. Berman and Morton M. Silverman Comprehensive Textbook of Suicidology, The Guilford Press, 2000.
2. National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Repots (for year 2000), Vol. 50, No. 16.
3. Murphy, G.E. & Wetzel, R.D. (1990) The Lifetime risk of Suicide in alcoholism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 47, 338-392.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARES) [Online]. (2002). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (producer). Available from URL: www.cdc.gov/nipc/wisqars [2003/02/09]