VERIFY: Do suicide and depression rates increase during the holidays?

VERIFY: Do suicide rates rise during the holidays?

You've probably heard before that depression and suicides spike during the holidays, but is it true? 

That's what we set out to Verify.

The Mayo Clinic says feelings of depression can rise during the holidays, and Coliseum Medical Center therapist Bruce Conn agrees.

"People do feel more isolated right now because it is sort of family-centered celebrations and parties. If you're alone in a crowd, that's a painful alone," says Conn.

So we can verify that feelings of depression can rise during the holiday season.

As for suicides though, that's a different story.

According to Conn, "It's a myth that suicides spike now."

The CDC concurs. The agency says that the national suicide rate is actually lowest in the month of December.

So as for the idea that suicides spike this time of year, the claim is false.

Even though it's false, though, Conn says it's always a good time to be on the lookout for signs of suicidal thoughts.

"'I don't belong here,' 'Maybe I'll just go away,' those are those kind of passive suicidal comments that we need to pay attention to and ask further, 'Are you OK? What can we do? Let's just talk about it.'"

And even though we confirmed that suicide doesn't spike during the holidays, it's still a major public health issue. The CDC says it's the tenth leading cause of death for all Americans.

Conn stressed how important it is to reach out to folks who might be struggling right now and he added that if you think it's necessary, it's never a bad idea to seek professional help.

Each year, more than 36,000 Americans take their own lives, according to the CDC.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment