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14 Jun

Alarming Rise in Youth Suicide by Firearms

Firearm suicides are rising steeply in U.S. kids, 5 to 24 years old, researchers say.

Health News Results - 147

Teen Social Media Posts About Cutting, Other Self-Harm Are Soaring

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- American teens are increasingly turning to the social media giant Instagram to share graphic images of their own attempts to harm themselves, a new study reveals.

"It could be an attempt to share their emotional or psychological pain with others or find support from others," said study lead author Amanda Giordano. She is an a...

As Countries Become More Tolerant, Suicides Among Gay Men Decline

A new study confirms that when a country is more accepting of people who are LGBTQ, fewer gay or bisexual men take their own lives.

In a new study, researchers compared life in a country where LGBTQ folks encounter strong stigma with that in a country where stigma against them is low. The upshot: The risk of depression and suicide dropped significantly when gay men moved to a more toleran...

Despite Stress of Pandemic, U.S. Suicide Rate Dropped in 2020

Despite the anxieties and tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic, overall suicide rates in the United States fell by about 3% between 2019 and 2020.

But during the same time frame, suicides increased among people aged 10 to 34. They also rose among Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hispanic males, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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White House Announces Plan to Reduce Gun Suicides

The Biden administration unveiled a plan on Tuesday that aims to cut gun suicides in the United States.

Measures in the plan include creating awareness and training programs and making gun storage ...

Will the Pandemic Surge in Gun Purchases Raise Suicide Rates?

Suicidal thoughts are more common among Americans who bought guns when firearm sales spiked during the pandemic, compared to those among other gun owners or folks who don't own guns, a new study shows.

About 6% of U.S. residents bought a gun between March and mid-July of last year. Of these, 34% were first-timers — a higher-than-normal rate.

"The fact that suicidal thoughts were p...

Magnetic Brain Stimulation Helped Rid Him of Decades-Long Depression

When Tommy Van Brocklin signed up for a trial of a special type of magnetic brain stimulation therapy that could potentially ease his depression, he had already been living with the mood disorder for 45 years.

Van Brocklin, 60, first underwent an MRI that located the part of his brain that regulates executive functions such as problem-solving and inhibits unwanted responses.

Then f...

High School Football Won't Raise Lifetime Risk for Suicide: Study

Some parents may worry about whether playing high school football might put their kids at risk for depression and suicidal thoughts in adulthood, but new research suggests they can relax.

It included more than 2,300 U.S. males who enrolled in the study at average age of 15 and were assessed again at an average age of 29. At the start of the study, about 28% of the participants said they p...

People With Autism at Higher Risk for Suicide, Self-Harm: Study

A significantly increased risk of self-harm and suicide among people with autism shows the need for programs to reduce that risk, researchers say.

For their study, the investigators analyzed 31 studies on the link between autism and self-harm/suicide that were posted to five databases between 1999 and 2021. Overall, children and adults with autism had a threefold increased risk of self-ha...

Nurses Have Suicidal Thoughts More Often Than Other Workers: Study

U.S. nurses think about suicide more often than other workers do, but are less likely to tell anyone about it, new research reveals.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the responses of more than 7,000 nurses and nearly 5,200 other general workforce members who took part in a national poll on well-being that was conducted in November 2017 and included questions on issues ranging from ...

U.S. Gun Violence Rates Jumped 30% During Pandemic

Gun violence sky-rocketed by more than 30% across the United States during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost 39,000 injuries and deaths nationwide involved a gun in the year starting in February 2019 — and that number shot up to more than 51,000 between March 2020 and March 2021, according to nati...

When Cancer Strikes, Who's at Higher Risk for Suicide?

U.S. cancer patients in poor and rural areas are more likely to die by suicide than those in affluent, urban areas, a new study finds.

"People who have received a cancer diagnosis are faced with a number of challenges, such as accessing reliable and affordable care, that can add to existing anxiety or depression associated with their illness," said lead author Ryan Suk. "But those who liv...

LGBQ Teens More Likely to Contemplate Suicide

Kids who are gay, bisexual or questioning their sexuality may be vulnerable to contemplating suicide at a tender age, a new U.S. government study finds.

It has long been known that teenagers who are part of sexual minorities have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, compared to their heterosexual peers. That includes kids who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or...

Could You Help Prevent a Suicide? Know the Warning Signs

Knowing the warning signs of suicide can save a life, experts say.

Suicide is the 10th leading overall cause of death in the United States, and number two among people between the ages of 10 and 34.

Most suicides result from depression. It can cause someone to feel worthless, hopeless and a burden on others, making suicide falsely appear to be a solution, according to the

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  • Transgender People Face Twice the Odds for Early Death: Study

    Transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), a long-term study finds.

    And the added risk did not decrease over time, according to an analysis of data collected from more than 4,500 transgender people in the Netherlands between 1972 and 2018.

    Study author Martin den Heijer said the ri...

    Lyme Disease Can Wreak Havoc on Mental Health

    Lyme disease can exact a significant mental toll as well as a physical one on its sufferers, a new study confirms.

    Patients hospitalized for Lyme disease had a 28% higher incidence of mental disorders and were twice as likely to attempt suicide than people without Lyme, researchers report.

    "These findings highlight the need for greater awareness in the medical community that patien...

    Time to Rethink Suicide Warnings on Labels for Anti-Seizure Meds?

    Since 2008, anti-seizure drugs have carried a warning that they may increase users' suicide risk. But a new analysis finds no evidence of such a risk with newer medications.

    Researchers found that five medications approved since 2008 showed no link to suicide risk among patients who participated in clinical trials of the drugs.

    The findings, they said, argue against the "blanket" wa...

    Shock Therapy Safe, Effective for Tough-to-Treat Depression

    "Shock" therapy often helps lift severe depression, but fear and stigma can deter patients from getting it. Now a large new study is confirming the treatment's safety.

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), as it's medically known, has been around for decades. For almost as long, it's been seen in a bad light -- fueled by disturbing media portrayals like those in the 1975 film "One Flew Over th...

    Depression Plagues Many Coal Miners With Black Lung Disease

    Mental health problems and thoughts of suicide are common among U.S. coal miners with black lung disease, a new study finds.

    Black lung is a progressive illness caused by inhaling toxic coal and rock dust in coal mines. There are few treatment options.

    "Although coal mining is on the decline, the rates of black lung in Southwest Virginia continue to increase. Coal miners in Central ...

    People With HIV Have Much Higher Risk for Suicide

    Since the advent of AIDS, major advancements in treating HIV infection has turned what used to be a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition.

    But new research warns that many people living with HIV/AIDS still face a dramatically higher risk for suicide.

    The finding came from a review of 40 studies that involved a total of roughly 185,000 adults with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA -- P...

    Marijuana Use Tied to Higher Odds for Thoughts of Suicide

    Young adults who use marijuana appear to have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide, according to a new study from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

    In fact, the risk that someone between 18 and 34 will think about, plan for or attempt suicide increases with the amount of marijuana they use, according to results published June 22 in the journal J...

    Gun Suicides Are Rising Steeply Among American Youth

    A rising number of young Americans, including children, are taking their own lives using firearms, a new study finds.

    Researchers found that between 2008 and 2018, gun suicides showed an "alarming" increase among Americans aged 5 to 24. And while those suicides remain rare among children, the rate among kids under 15 quadrupled during the study period.

    It's well known that youth sui...

    Big Rise in Suicide Attempts by U.S. Teen Girls During Pandemic

    The suicide attempt rate has leapt by as much as half among teenage girls during the coronavirus pandemic, a new government study shows.

    Emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts among girls between the ages of 12 and 17 increased by 26% during summer 2020 and by 50% during winter 2021, compared with the same periods in 2019, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Contro...

    ADHD Meds May Help Keep Some Kids From Thoughts of Suicide

    ADHD medications might help lessen the risk of suicide in children with serious behavioral issues, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that medications like Ritalin and Adderall, commonly prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), were linked to a lower risk of suicidal behavior among 9- and 10-year-olds with substantial "externalizing" symptoms.

    That includ...

    Should There Be 'Gun Retirement' for the Elderly?

    Just as some elderly drivers need to give up their car keys, older gun owners may eventually face "firearm retirement." And a preliminary study suggests they are open to the idea.

    In focus-group interviews with older gun owners, researchers found that many had considered putting limits on their firearm access -- though they usually hadn't yet laid out plans for when and how.

    It's an...

    Time Spent in ICU Linked to Higher Odds for Suicide Later

    Survivors of the intensive care unit (ICU) have a higher risk of self-harm and suicide after discharge than other hospital patients, a Canadian study shows.

    Researchers compared the health records of 423,000 ICU survivors in the province of Ontario with those of with 3 million patients who were hospitalized but not in intensive care between 2009 and 2017.

    Compared to others, ICU sur...

    Gender-Affirming Surgeries Improve Mental Health in Young, Study Says

    When gender-diverse or transgender people have surgeries to affirm their gender, they experience a variety of positive mental health outcomes, new research shows.

    The study found an association between the surgeries, which participants had at least two years prior to a survey, and significantly lower rates of past-month psychological distress, past-year suicidal ideation and past-year smo...

    Tougher Gun Laws, Fewer Gun Deaths: Study

    The more gun laws a state has, the lower its suicide and murder rates, a new U.S. study finds.

    Gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis. In 2017, nearly 67,000 Americans died by suicide and homicide. And guns were involved in about half of the suicides and 74% of the murders, the researchers reported.

    But in recent decades, "as states' strictness [on gun ownership...

    Even Before COVID, Many More People Died Early in U.S. Versus Europe

    Americans were living shorter lives and dying at a significantly higher rate than the citizens of wealthy European countries even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, a new study reports.

    The United States suffered more than 400,000 excess deaths in 2017 alone, pre-COVID, compared to the combined populations of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, England and Wales, said senior researcher Samue...

    Nurses Are Dying From Suicide at Higher Rates

    Before the pandemic began, suicide risk was twice as high among female nurses compared with American women as a whole, a new study warns.

    Even within the health care community itself, female nurses were found to be roughly 70% more likely to die by suicide than female doctors.

    Why? Study author Matthew Davis said that for now, "We don't know for certain what forces are directly resp...

    No Rise in Global Suicide Rate in First Months of Pandemic

    Suicides did not rise in wealthier nations early in the COVID pandemic, but continued monitoring of long-term mental health and economic effects is needed, a new study says.

    "We know that many people have had their lives changed dramatically by the pandemic, and the journey for some of them is ongoing," said lead author Jane Pirkis, director of the Centre for Mental Health at the Universi...

    Nearly Half of U.S. Veterans Cited 'Personal Growth' During Pandemic: Survey

    Could there actually be a mental health upside to the ongoing pandemic?

    In a word, yes. At least that's the finding of a new survey, in which roughly four in 10 U.S. military veterans said that the experience has in some ways proven psychologically rewarding.

    Nearly 3,100 veterans participated in the survey, which was conducted in two parts, one just before the pandemic and one a ye...

    1 in 5 Colorado Teens Has Easy Access to a Gun: Study

    About 1 in 5 Colorado high school students has access to guns, according to new study from the Colorado School of Public Health.

    The research -- published March 29 in the Journal of Pediatrics -- is being released after recent mass shootings in Atlanta and in Boulder, Colo.

    "Our findings highlight that it is relatively easy to access a handgun in Colorado for high school st...

    Gen X, Millennials in Worse Health Than Prior Generations at Same Age

    Medicine may have advanced by leaps and bounds over the last century, but Generation X and millennials are in worse health than their parents and grandparents were at their age.

    That's the conclusion of a new study that looked at markers of physical and mental health across the generations.

    And overall, there has been a downhill slide over time: Gen X'ers and millennials were in wor...

    Suicide Attempts Spike Soon After Dementia Diagnosis

    A new study shows just how devastating a diagnosis of mental decline can be: Researchers found that rates of suicide rise sharply in the months after such news is delivered.

    The study of almost 148,000 older U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs patients, mostly men, looked at diagnoses for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is often (but not always) a precursor to dementia.

    "Risk...

    Legalized Pot Tied to Rise in Young Men's Suicide Attempts

    States that make marijuana a readily available retail item might see an increase in self-harm among younger men, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found a correlation between U.S. states' shifting marijuana policies and rates of self-harm among men younger than 40. Those rates -- which include suicide attempts and non-suicidal behaviors like cutting -- increased in states that legalized, ...

    Pandemic Unemployment Has Taken Its Own Deadly Toll

    With U.S. deaths from COVID-19 passing the grim milestone of a half-million, a new study suggests that another 30,000-plus Americans have died due to pandemic-related unemployment.

    Using various data sources, researchers estimated that number of deaths between April 2020 and March 2021 could be attributed to pandemic-fueled job losses.

    And in a pattern that's been repeatedly seen, B...

    As Social Media Time Rises, So Does Teen Girls' Suicide Risk

    As the amount of time young teenage girls spend glued to Instagram, TikTok and other social media sites goes up, so does their long-term risk for suicide, a new study warns.

    The finding stems from a decade spent tracking social media habits and suicide risk among 500 teenage boys and girls, the longest such effort to date, the study authors said.

    "We found that girls who started usi...

    Handgun Ownership Raises Odds for Gun Suicide

    Owning a handgun increases a person's risk of firearm-related suicide more than owning a shotgun, a new study finds.

    Researchers surveyed surviving loved ones of 121 gun owners who had died by suicide, including 93 who died by a firearm and 28 by other means.

    The survey respondents were asked about the types and numbers of firearms the person who died had owned.

    According to t...

    Child Suicides Are Rising During Lockdown; Watch for the Warning Signs

    Among the many dangers the coronavirus pandemic has brought, parents really need to be on the lookout for one in particular: an increased risk of suicide among vulnerable teens.

    "We've seen an upsurge in really bad suicide attempts," and the pandemic is likely behind that increase, said Dr. Taranjeet Jolly, an adult and pediatric psychiatrist at Penn State Health's Milton S. Hershey Medic...

    What's Killing Detainees at U.S. ICE Facilities?

    Thirty-five detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities have died since April 2018, often because of preventable causes, such as COVID-19, flu and suicide, according to a new study.

    One of them was a Mexican citizen who had first entered the United States two decades ago. He died after a month in custody.

    Medical records indicated the 54-year-old man appea...

    Pot Use Ups Odds for Suicide in Young People With Bipolar Disorder

    Marijuana addiction increases the risk of death by suicide, homicide and other causes (such as car crashes) in youth and young adults with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, a new study warns.

    For the study, the researchers reviewed data on nearly 205,000 young people, aged 10 to 24, in Ohio who were diagnosed with mood disorders from July 2010 through December 2017.

    Marijuana...

    Fewer U.S. Cancer Patients Are Dying From Suicide, Study Finds

    New research reveals an encouraging trend: Despite the rate of suicide rising overall for Americans, U.S. cancer patients are actually less likely now to take their own life than in the past.

    Researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) tracked national data on causes of death among Americans for the years 1999 through 2018. They found "a decreasing trend of cancer-related suicide du...

    Many Parents Support 'Teens Helping Teens' Mental Health Programs at Schools: Poll

    It may take a village to support teens' mental health, whether it's during the pandemic or later.

    One option is having school-based mental health programs that offer peer support leaders.

    A new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine found that one in three parents are strongly in favor of a peer support program. The poll also asked ques...

    ADHD Raises Adult Suicide Risk, Especially for Women

    Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a strikingly high prevalence of attempted suicide, with women being at particular risk, researchers say.

    The study of nearly 22,000 Canadian adults found that 14% of those with ADHD had attempted suicide. That was roughly five times the rate of adults without ADHD, at 2.7%.

    The findings among women were particular...

    Counseling on Gun Safety Could Cut Suicide Rate in Military: Study

    When U.S. military personnel get gun locks and counseling on safe storage of their weapons, they store those guns safely, and that could be key to lowering the military suicide rate, researchers report.

    "Suicide mortality is higher in homes with a firearm and the majority of military personnel do not store their firearms safely or report suicidal thoughts," said study co-author Michael An...

    Pandemic Tied to Higher Suicide Rate in Blacks, Lowered Rate in Whites: Study

    The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated racial divides in health care in numerous ways, and a new study reveals yet another: Suicides among Black people doubled during COVID-19 lockdowns, while suicides in white individuals were cut in half during the same period.

    "In past pandemics, there has been noted rises in suicide, and the COVID-19 pandemic seemed like the perfect storm for suicid...

    Loneliness Continues to Rise for Americans Under Lockdown

    Loneliness, particularly among folks under shelter-in-place orders, is a growing issue for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, new research finds.

    More people report they are feeling lonely, depressed and even harboring thoughts of suicide as COVID-19 cases in the United States soar. And those who are chafing under lockdown or other stay-at-home restrictions appear to be at the gre...

    329 Americans Are Injured by Guns Every Day: Study

    Firearm injury is a major health crisis in the United States and new research sheds more light on how many of those who are injured survive and the circumstances of their shootings.

    For the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University analyzed nationwide data from death certificates and emergency room visits.

    Between 2009 and 2017, the United States...

    Rap Music Is Putting Mental Health in the Spotlight

    Beat-heavy rap music could help beat mental illness: Over the past two decades, the lyrics of the most popular songs in rap have increasingly hit on issues related to anxiety, depression and mental health, a new study reveals.

    "I think anyone who's been a fan of rap music across the last two decades -- myself included -- had a feeling this was happening," said study author Alex Kresovich,...

    Young Epilepsy Patients May Benefit From Mental Health Screening

    Depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts are more common in children and teens with epilepsy than previously known, and they should be screened for such problems, researchers report.

    They assessed 119 children and teens, aged 9 to18, with epilepsy. None had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts (suicidality).

    The screenings showed that about 30% of the youngs...

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