Suicide at altitude. Fascinating new research on America's "suicide belt"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by SLC Flyfishing, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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  3. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Why ban anything?
     
  4. sodapop1 Suspended

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    As demonstrated by his own charts, another possible explanation is the Republican brand since red states clearly have a higher suicide rate than blue states.
     
  5. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Effect holds true internationally as well.
     
  6. sodapop1 Suspended

    sodapop1

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    Sure but the question is whether or not those international areas also lean Republican. Altitude may very well be the cause of diminished brain function and increased paranoia.
     
  7. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    I remember reading about this a few years ago. I would not be surprised if altitude/oxygen levels have an impact on the body psychologically. We already know they physically do, and psychology is result of biological processes. I also believe the physical environment we live in has an impact on our bodies than we give credit to (ex. Sunlight).

    I'm not sure I agree with his opinion on SSRI's being worthless. It's not like someone would have absolutely 'no serotonin'. It would be an interesting area to explore though.

    Note to self- build the psych wards at low altitude.

    Thanks for the article.
     
  8. jnpy!$4g3cwk, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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  9. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

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    completely unnecessary the first time, why insist?
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Bolivia - 12.2
    Bhutan - 17.8
    Nepal - 24.9
    ------------
    Argentina - 10.3
    Chile 12.1
    India - 21.1
    Peru - 3.2
    USA - 12.1

    So there does seem some evidence that high altitude does increase the suicide rate - mostly though that's down to Peru being lower than Bolivia.
     
  11. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    Its obviously a very complicated question.

    I should note that a cliche once popular in the US Air Force was "Your attitude determines your altitude" (suggesting people with positive outlooks were more likely to be successful - stemming from the aeronautical principal that an airplane with its nose pointed upwards has a tendency to go higher.) The corollary - that altitude determines one's attitude is intriguing.

    One thing I would point out: At one time, Denmark had a suicide rate almost twice as high as the United States. And - for the geographically challenged - most of Denmark is only a few feet above sea level. In recent years, Denmark's suicide rate has declined markedly. While its altitude has remained notably stable (global-warming related sea-level rises notwithstanding...)

    Currently Korea (both North and South) - along with Guyana; Sri Lanka, and Lithuania currently lead the world in suicide rates. And none of them have significant populations living at altitude.

    Suicide, either on the individual level, or taken epidemiologically usually has a number of contributing factors. Long, cold, dark winters. Economic stresses. The availability of firearms and mind-altering medications. Breakdowns in family support structures. Cultural and religious norms. All play their part.

    The research cited is interesting, and certainly may reveal patterns worthy of further examination. But I think its a little more complicated than just height above sea level.
     
  12. LizKat macrumors 68040

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    C'mon man, banning stuff is just the 'murican thing to do! ;)

    Personally I think the higher rates of depression in certain areas of the US may be due in part to 21st-century spiritual stress, to local economic stress and to massive overexposure to negativity via the focus of media. People sometimes just can't lighten up and in depression may not even want to try. So they watch cable TV talk shows or lislten to talk radio? Yuck! A walk around the block would be a better idea. Or even cat videos..


    I also wonder about side effects of some of the newer anti-depressants people are prescribed nowadays. If there's a tendency to exacerbate impulsivity while one is recovering feelings after being practically numb during a depression, that could be a bad combination. I don't know how clinicians sort out that kind of possible side effect from any natural inclination to impulsivity, but I hope they are trying to find ways to differentiate between them.
     
  13. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    I read an article about happiness a while back. Basically it was saying that happiness is the difference between what you expect to happen and what actually happens.

    Consider:
    If your boss comes to you and gives you $1K and says happy new year, good job. You're happy if you didn't expect it. Now the boss turns to another worker, hands them $2K and says happy new year, good job. Now you've just gone from happy to sad.

    If a person sets unreal goals or expectations, they set themselves up for a fall.

    IMO, it's worse if you know things can be or should be better than they are. Another is when someone does well and then hits hard times.

    You can see a pattern in the states and R/D seems clear, it might have more to do with expectations.

    R's are much more about individual responsibility, where as D's are more group collectivism, so I can see a tie in there.

    Oxy/Alt is another issue, maybe R's just like that kinda of area more. Seems different people like the city vs country lifestyle, and many socializing views are a part of this as well.
     
  14. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    Just came by this, I know it's just one example but it has some interesting points.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york...ton-bridge-jumper-debt-woes-article-1.2483173

    A 31 year old man that made $84K, jumped off a bridge.
    If the bankruptcy worked, he'd have little or no debt, but consider that a 31 year old making near 3x the average income in America.

    IMO, this is an example of someone that didn't appreciate what he had, living in Manhattan and a high earner.

    Compare this to someone making min wage and still happy to continue, and even thinking how great life would be if only he made as much as this guy did.

    Just goes to show how relative things can be.
     
  15. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    Great thoughts. I agree completely. I think this researchers study suggests looking deeper into environmental cues (beyond the standard "psychological" environment... in other words, nature) and understanding its relation with psychology. Psychology has a tendency to go through fads and get hung up on specific causes that happen to be a popular explanation while overlooking other possibilities. With psychology I don't think there is a be all, end all explanation for anything.
     
  16. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    It can also be very dangerous. Remember the solution Walter Freeman had?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Jackson_Freeman_II

    Watch the century of self and Stanford prison experiment to gain some insight into humans. Humans are scary people.
     
  17. Technarchy macrumors 604

    Technarchy

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    Clue: GOP does not stand for "Global" old party.

    Likewise, increased levels of atmospheric pressure must compress and retard areas of the brain that make people more civil and not go to jail or smoke crack, considering America's 10 most violent cities are all at 1000ft elevation or less.

    That's one theory I suppose.
     
  18. jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    Interesting article.

    I don't have the medical knowledge you do but as a keen Scuba diver, I've often thought about why we put ourselves through it. A lot is made of the narcosis that comes from nitrogen but I've also wondered about the role of high'ish oxygen partial pressure in our enjoyment of it. (And trust me here in the UK enjoyment is a relative concept with our low visibility, tides, miserable boat skippers with their terrible half cups of tea etc etc)

    Couple of other things: another interesting article re suicide in Montana here in the Guardian

    Also - re Danes - despite the high standard of living - the ones I've met and worked with have always laughed when we've discussed the British moaning habit - they've often said they're actually the masters of moaning and misery.
     
  19. sodapop1 Suspended

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    Thank you for proving my point. :D
     
  20. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    I wonder if that "America's 10 most violent cities are all at 1000ft elevation or less" has a clue in it. Maybe those elevation challenged people are too busy being shot at to kill themselves, or maybe they die before they would have killed themselves :D
     
  21. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Wow, I hope you didn't take my post to mean I think the one and only contributing factor to depression is altitude.

    I just think the data is interesting, and am interested to see what future studies bear out
     
  22. Huntn macrumors P6

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    Should be a somewhat easy correlation, how does Colorado compare or check suicide rates at these locations as a starting point? However, Winter is known to get some people down too. Cross reference suicide rates with places that have a substantial winter, like Canada. Oh, but then some people feel pressured by an assertive religion. ;)

    [​IMG]
    Cool high altitude location, Lhasa, Tibet​
     
  23. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    The data indicated that there is an increase in ADHD rates in lower altitudes than higher ones. ADHD is generally associated with increased impulsivity.

    Interesting...

    (And just so we're clear VRDrew, I'm not making a claim that we've found the answer there either)
     
  24. samiwas macrumors 68000

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    Hunt might have hit on something in mentioning Winter. High elevations = more cold, more snow. At least in my eyes, more cold and more snow = more misery. I've always wanted to live in a more mountainous region, but I'm talking like North Georgia or North Carolina. But even then, I'd want somewhere else to go for the winter...I just don't like cold and snow.
     
  25. Huntn macrumors P6

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    Cdd
    They don't call it Cabin Fever for nothing. :)
     

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