Pregnancy

Middle-Aged Women More Likely To Commit Suicide Than Other Women

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Women approaching middle age not only have to worry about cultural dismissal and attacks on their appearance, but new research reports a spike in suicides in this age bracket as well. Msnbc reports all kinds of factors such as mental health conditions, sleep disorders, and pain. Another noted detail is that many of these women are also empty nesters.

Msnbc reports:

A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows a 49 percent increase in emergency department visits for drug-related suicide attempts for women aged 50 and older.

And women aged 40-69 are more at risk of killing themselves than other women, according to new research on age-specific suicide rates between 1998 and 2007. In 2007, this age group made up 60 percent of the 7,328 suicides reported among women.

Depression and loneliness are also prominent factors when considering that middle-aged women are the largest growing population in America, many of whom lead very isolated lives:

“Older women especially in the U.S. are more isolated and separated from daily human contact outside of work and the internet,” says Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D., emeritus professor of psychology at San Jose State University and the editor of the journal Women & Therapy.

Women are also becoming increasingly active on social media, and for those who feel isolated by motherhood, social media has been noted to curb said loneliness. These findings also highlight how often women tend to root their feelings of self-worth and happiness in other people, specifically spouses and children. Failed marriages and grown children can leave women who have chosen to define themselves completely by such roles feeling desolate. Women of all ages need their own identity that stands apart from motherhood and being a spouse to ensure that once the kids are out of the house, mothers and wives don’t feel so purposeless.