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Thread: Myth busting: scuicide rates don't peak for the holidays

  1. #1 Myth busting: scuicide rates don't peak for the holidays 
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    One of the more common and misleading memes the media continues to report is Christmas as one of the highest points for suicide of the year. In fact, it is not only not the highest, but as a relative low point.

    A summary of more than a dozen studies about North Hemisphere suicide:
    Seasonal variation of suicides

    An appeal that the media stop propagating this falsehood:
    Suicide rate season: There more suicides in spring and not during the holidays. - Slate Magazine


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    My recollection was that the Xmas 'peak' is recorded not by number of suicides but in the numbers of calls to Lifeline and similar mental health services. But that's just my memory. I might ask my friend who's a Lifeline supervisor/manager if they've got such statistics. (Not just now, her daughter and 3 grandsons are arriving today for the holidays so I think she'd be a bit preoccupied.)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    A summary of more than a dozen studies about North Hemisphere suicide:
    Seasonal variation of suicides
    I'm curious as to whether there are any similarities or differences in suicide attempts/occurrences between Northern and Southern hemispheres. That plus the differences between the cultural and seasonal holiday that may be celebrated when compared to Asean countries (particularly my country; located along the equator).
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I'm curious as to whether there are any similarities or differences in suicide attempts/occurrences between Northern and Southern hemispheres. That plus the differences between the cultural and seasonal holiday that may be celebrated when compared to Asean countries (particularly my country; located along the equator).
    Probably. The following summation article points to similar late spring early summer peak in suicide and depression in the Southern hemisphere. The holidays themselves probably have less influence than our body's response to the seasons, such as vitamin D levels etc.
    Sun Exposure and Suicide
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Probably. The following summation article points to similar late spring early summer peak in suicide and depression in the Southern hemisphere. The holidays themselves probably have less influence than our body's response to the seasons, such as vitamin D levels etc.
    Sun Exposure and Suicide
    Thanks for the additional reference. This topic has renewed my interest in figuring out what goes on in the minds of ideologically motivated suicide (such as suicide bombers/hijackers or nationalistic kamikaze soldiers). I know it's not related to the thread topic, but it did serve to remind me that I have a lot on my plate regarding subjects that I find interesting. I only wish I had more time.
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