The harsh reality of suicide is shrouded in mystery. Unknown to most Americans is the fact that suicide is sharply on the rise, particularly among the middle-aged. Suicide used to be concentrated primarily among the elderly. The dramatic rise in suicide among the middle-aged is a disturbing new trend over the last ten years.
Suicides rarely make the news headlines unless they involve someone famous. The suicide of the beloved but troubled comedian Robin Williams, for example, received massive media attention and it shocked the public consciousness.
For those of us who have a more nuanced understanding of the two-headed monster known as addiction and depression, however, the news of Williams’ suicide was very sad but not so shocking. The late comedian had struggled with drug addiction, alcoholism anddepression for many years, and he had left a rehab facility just prior to his suicide.