Middle-age suicide on the rise - KMSP-TV

Middle-age suicide on the rise

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

In the past 10 years, more people died from suicide in the United States than from car accidents.  The rate of suicide for people between the ages of 35 and 65 has jumped almost 30 percent.

That's a statistic that Anna Ruth Williams knows all too well.  These days, her constant companion is Roscoe.  He used to be her father's dog, and she says Roscoe was with her as she dealt with the death of her father.  

Williams' father, Mike, committed suicide four and a half years ago.  She says she was keeping Roscoe that day, and her father called to check on him.  She says in retrospect, she thinks it was her dad's goodbye.

Looking in from the outside, Mike Williams would be the last person one would think would kill himself.  He was a southern Baptist minister, and Anna Ruth says that means lots of people would come to him with their problems.  She says she thinks her dad carried the burdens of a lot of people, and she knew he had been depressed in the months before his death.

Williams' dad was a diabetic, and he was in between churches.  That's something psychologist Nadine Kaslow says plays a role in middle-age suicide.

"If their whole life has been wrapped up in their work and it is tied to their identity, then they may feel they no longer have an identity and no longer have a reason to live," explained Kaslow.  "They have no purpose."

As with many survivors, Anna Ruth still struggles with the what-ifs.  Dr. Kaslow says the signs may be subtle, or they may be more obvious.

"A change in behavior-- somebody who used to be engaged in the workplace, or school setting-- now they are disengaged, they seem really isolated," said Kaslow.  "There's a deterioration in performance.  They are not doing as well academically or occupationally.  Somebody who has become socially isolated."

Anna Ruth never sensed her father's serious troubles.  Now, she finds comfort in the little things that remind her of him.  She says she's determined to speak out in hopes of helping others.

"We have such a stigma about it," said Williams.  "Maybe if we had talked about it, or if someone in our family had picked up on signs and said, ‘I's okay.  Depression is like any other disease.  It's no different than breast cancer or ovarian cancer,' then maybe we could have gotten my dad the right care."

Most suicides are preventable.  For more information, click here for a link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Pike Nurseries: Keeping beautiful Hydrangeas

    Pike Nurseries: Keeping beautiful Hydrangeas

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:40 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:40:27 GMT
    Looking for plants that add fresh color to the garden? Here are some easy ideas that use new varieties of old favorites--the hydrangea and azalea—that bloom from now until fall!
    Looking for plants that add fresh color to the garden? Here are some easy ideas that use new varieties of old favorites--the hydrangea and azalea—that bloom from now until fall!
  • Local Companies Partner To Make "Green" Beer

    Local Companies Partner To Make "Green" Beer

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:39:03 GMT
    Since it seems like there's a day for everything, get this -- today is "International Beer Day!"  And one local brewing company is celebrating
    Since it seems like there's a day for everything, get this -- today is "International Beer Day!"
  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • DeKalb teen's dream-come-true: new high-tech leg helps her walk effortlessly

    DeKalb teen's dream-come-true: new high-tech leg helps her walk effortlessly

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:57:22 GMT
    In a lot of ways, Jasmine Holliday is a pretty typical 15-year old, hanging out in her Ellenwood bedroom with her pocket pit bull terrier and best friend Coco.
    In a lot of ways, Jasmine Holliday is a pretty typical 15-year old, hanging out in her Ellenwood bedroom with her pocket pit bull terrier and best friend Coco.
  • FOX Medical Team

    Is it safe to kiss your pet?

    Is it safe to kiss your pet?

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:24:46 GMT
    If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably been there. You lean down to say hello and, before you know it, your dog has planted a big wet one right on your mouth.But a UGA Vet says that “kiss” may come with a downside.
    If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably been there. You lean down to say hello and, before you know it, your dog has planted a big wet one right on your mouth.But a UGA Vet says that “kiss” may come with a downside.
  • Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Sandy Springs woman struggles with Alzheimer's diagnosis at 55

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:42 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:42:55 GMT
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
    The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 200,000 Americans are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed before their 65th birthday.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices