Suicide in the Age of Covid-19

News outlets are reporting the growing concern of suicide during the covid-19 outbreak. High levels of stress are affecting people’s mental health. Every aspect of life that this pandemic touches can be seen as another source of tension: especially fear of contagion, isolation, and financial difficulty.

The statistics aren’t solid yet but healthcare professionals and social workers are reporting a rise in suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Here at Bregman MD we have seen the same in a clinical setting.

CNBC called it the “perfect storm for suicide risk.” What other problems contribute to this mental health pandemic?

Seasonal depression is another factor. It’s usually a winter concern. But unfortunately it has a summer version around the corner that may affect some just as badly.

Firearms sales are up. In March almost 4 million background checks were submitted signalling a shocking spike in gun purchases. Owning a firearm greatly increases risk of suicide or accidental death.

Alcohol purchases have increased by over 50%. Watching the news doesn’t help with anxiety. All the while, community resources are depleted as money grows tight and public spaces only gradually reopen.

A perfect storm indeed.

40 Years Experience Helping Suicidal Patients

Dr. Bregman worked in hospitals for decades treating psychiatric patients, many of whom were suicidal. He noticed a troubling pattern through the years. That same pattern is now playing itself out across the world as people struggle to cope with this pandemic and its consequences.

What may cause this  downward spiral of hopelessness?

  • a history of alcoholism,
  • mental health issues,
  • financial difficulty from the outbreak
  • if suicide runs in the family, the risk is heightened. Often this type of trauma repeats itself without proper treatment and self-care.

This pandemic has the possibility to trigger drinking and disorders.

Hope and Help: A Call to Action

There is hope. If it feels like you or a loved one may be planning self harm or suicide, please consider reaching out to one of these support resources.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ – Number to call when you feel at risk. 1-800-273-8255

https://www.befrienders.org/ – A network of good samaritans around the globe here to help you survive through difficult times.

https://www.sprc.org/ – A place to learn about suicide prevention from various different sources.

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration page for support. They have a hotline number as well: 1-800-662-HELP(4357)

Bregman MD Medical Group is here for you in these uncertain times.

 

References:

https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/mental-health/494170-how-does-the-coronavirus-pandemic-affect-suicide

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/12/coronavirus-crisis-creates-perfect-storm-for-suicide-risk-as-job-losses-soar-and-people-remain-isolated-at-home.html