This last weekend, my wife and I attended a funeral for the 30 year old son of family friends. We knew him when he was a child who went to our son's school, but have not seen much of him for the last 20 years. The family has 3 kids, two very successful, one who has struggled with career, who did a short stint in the military, then got out and my impression is that he kind of drifted, not sure what to make of his life. There were no overt clues before the incident. The parents are devastated and my impression is blaming themselves. I know of many cases of depression in family members and most of them do not, or at least not yet, have not killed themselves. The event I cite above was a surprise for everyone involved, however there was an argument with a girl friend and alcohol was related, resulting in death by hanging. So I wonder how many of the forum participants here know someone who committed suicide? Has it really become fashionable, in other words, is it regarded as a good way or the easy way out to handle the frustrations of living? How much of this is tied to the ability to live a comfortable life, vs a life fraught with challenges and setbacks? Is this an issue in Europe and Asia? My impression is that with high expectations and pressure to succeeed, it was an issue in Japan in the 80's and 90's if not continuing today. What is your impression of the necessary mental makeup and triggers that can cause someone with struggles, but not insurmountable issues, to throw in the towel and bail on life? For my self this is hard for me to imagine. US suicide rate soars to 30-year high in growing epidemic across America (reported in 2016) US suicides have reached their highest peak in 30 years, with middle-aged Americans making up the largest part of the growing epidemic, according to new federal data. A report published on Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics found that between 1999 and 2014, the largest increases in suicide were seen among middle-aged men and women 45 to 64 years old, and girls 10 to 14 years old. Older Americans, aged 75 and over, were the only group to see a decline in suicides during the same period. The suicide rate among women increased more quickly than among men. But men continued to account for the vast majority of deaths in 2014, the latest year for which data is available. The suicide rate among men was 20.7 per 100,000, compared to 5.8 per 100,000 among women. This new suicide data underpins recent studies that showed a decline in life expectancy among middle-aged, white Americans – especially women. Such studies attributed the increasing death rate to drug and alcohol misuse, as well as suicide. However, the NCHS data did not analyze racial and ethnic differences in suicide.