Another suicide paradox

I should probably declare a moratorium on further posts about suicide lest this blog becomes too morbid. However, this Freakeconomics podcast has too many noteworthy facts to not get a mention.

It leads with the paradox that we have already noted that while suicides are considerably more common than homicides, they receive much less attention. However, I was actually more interested in some of the more esoteric facts:
– Hungary has the world’s highest suicide rates
– Based on the experience of one Hungarian town at least, access to anti-depressants reduces suicide rates
– In contrast to virtually every other social problem, suicide is about twice as prevalent amongst white Americans than African Americans
– Suicide rates seem to be higher in better functioning societies, possibly because a lack of social problems leads people to blame themselves for their problem
– The risk of media reporting of suicides sparking copycats appears to be mitigated by reporting unpleasant details of suicides such as the disfigurement that results from suicides by shooting or that those who kill themselves with drug overdoses tend to soil themselves.

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