We know this sounds far-fetched but a new study has shown that drinking a lot of coffee may reduce suicidal thinking in some, due to the mood altering effects of caffeine.
Apparently, people who drank more than four cups of coffee a day were 53 percent less likely to commit suicide than those who drank less than one cup a day, a new study found. WebMD reported today that
“Those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 45 percent lower risk of suicide, according to the analysis of data from more than 208,000 people who were followed from 1988 to 2008. During that time, there were 277 suicides, CBS Newsreported.
“The study was published in the July issue of the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.
“The researchers said that caffeine in coffee can increased neurotransmitters, which can lift a person’s mood and act as a mild antidepressant, CBS News reported.
“Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” study author Michel Lucas, a research fellow in the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, said in a news release.
Full story at: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20130730/coffee-suicide-risk?src=RSS_PUBLIC
You’ve probably heard the baleful reports. The number of college students majoring in the humanities is plummeting, according to a big study released last month by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
The news has provoked a flood of high-minded essays deploring the development as a symptom and portent of American decline. As reported in that bastion of humanities expertise, The Wall Street Journal, one culprit is mostly to blame. As WSJ puts it, “But there is another way to look at this supposed revelation (the number of humanities majors has actually been falling since the 1970s).The bright side is this: The destruction of the humanities by the humanities is, finally, coming to a halt. No more will literature, as part of an academic curriculum, extinguish the incandescence of literature.
“No longer will the reading of, say, “King Lear” or D.H. Lawrence’s “Women in Love” result in the flattening of these transfiguring encounters into just two more elements in an undergraduate career—the onerous stuff of multiple-choice quizzes, exam essays and homework assignments.The disheartening fact is that for every college professor who made Shakespeare or Lawrence come alive for the lucky few—the British scholar Frank Kermode kindled Shakespeare into an eternal flame in my head—there were countless others who made the reading of literary masterpieces seem like two hours in the periodontist’s chair. In their numbing hands, the term “humanities” became code for “and you don’t even have to show up to get an A.”
“When people wax plaintive about the fate of the humanities, they talk, in particular, about the slow extinction of English majors. Never mind that the preponderance of English majors go into other fields, such as law or advertising, and that students who don’t major in English can still take literature courses. In the current alarming view, large numbers of people devoting four years mostly to studying novels, poems and plays are all that stand between us and sociocultural nightfall.”
More at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323823004578595803296798048.html
The military suicide numbers, from the years 2008 to 2011, upend the popular belief that a large increase in suicides over the last decade stems from the psychological toll of combat and repeated deployments to war, reports today’s Los Angeles Times
“To researchers trying to unravel the causes of the rise, the statistics suggest that the mental health and life circumstances of new recruits are at least as important — and possibly more so — than the pressures of being in the military. It is clear that some enter with a predisposition to suicide and that stressors other than war are pushing them over the edge, experts said.
“A lot of the risk for suicide in the military is the stuff they bring with them,” said Dr. Murray Stein, a psychiatrist at UC San Diego who is studying suicide in the Army. Among the unanswered questions: Did the type of people volunteering for service change after 9/11, when going to war — and dying — went from being an abstract possibility to a significant risk? One theory is that more recruits have backgrounds and psychological histories that make them prone to suicide. “Wartime is almost certainly going to be different than peacetime,” said Ronald Kessler, a Harvard sociologist and suicide authority.
“The Times interviewed relatives and friends of five service members who committed suicide without having gone to Afghanistan or Iraq. All were men who married young. In four cases, their relationships were over or crumbling. They struggled with the direction of their lives and joined the military in search of purpose or meaning, their relatives and friends said. And they concealed their psychological problems. Four of the men longed to go to war, and the disappointment of not being sent only heightened a sense of desperation.For Michael Griffin, enlisting in the Army at age 25 was a last-ditch effort to right his life. A former skinhead, he was struggling to find work, and he and his wife had separated. Active-duty military suicides reached a high in 2012, and a significant number of inactive reserve and National Guard troops also took their own lives. Continue reading “Deployment and suicide”
These days more middle aged American are dying at their own hands than perish in car crashes, reports the New York Times. Topping the list are men in their 50s and women in their 60s.
“Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.