The age at which people are at risk of having suicidal thoughts.
Suicide is one of the causes of death around the world. According to World Health Organization, approximately, there were 788,000 suicide deaths in 2015 alone.
But the data did not show what age at which people mostly commit suicide. A new study investigated this gap of information.
A research led by Professor Andrew Oswal found that middle-aged people were most likely to commit suicide than other age groups.
What is even more alarming on this finding is that women were more likely to commit suicide than men.
Middle-aged people are those in the forties and fifties. The suicide rate among this age bracket is higher than those in the early adulthood and old age.
But what drives middle-aged people to have suicidal thoughts or commit suicide?
This question also puzzled Professor Andrew Oswald.
“Suicide among the middle-aged, in the richest and safest societies ever known in human history, is a major paradox and public-policy concern.
Not only does it matter in itself – it is also a marker of a wider phenomenon of midlife distress.
What is it that is going wrong in people’s lives around the late 40s, when individuals tend to be prosperous, still healthy, and at the height of their power?”
The possible answer to this question is distress. People who reached middle-age start to feel worried about the sunset – death.
Oswald and his colleagues quote the work of Dr. Elliot Jaques, the psychoanalyst who proposed the idea of “midlife crisis”.
According to them:
“Jaques argues that at midlife the typical person starts to foresee death and to evaluate the meaning of their own life.
For half a century, the idea met scepticism, and sometimes derision, from scientists.
In public discussion, however, the idea gained ground…”
Although the reason behind the middle-age suicide is unknown, the authors believe that:
“It may be linked to thwarted life aspirations, and there must presumably be some kind of connection with health.
It cannot be blamed on young children in the home or on marital breakdown or on midlife unemployment; controlling for these, statistically, makes little difference.”
One paper posed the same idea – older adults tend to be suicidal due to physical and mental health. Health problems rob people’s normal functioning.
But, of course, these factors are just a few reasons. There can be some latent factors that greatly contribute to the suicidal behavior of middle-aged people.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.