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Depression and suicide attempts in women

(115 Posts)
Dyrne Wed 14-Aug-19 16:05:59

Firstly, I absolutely want to stress that I fully support the current conversation and momentum about mental health for men - tackling the toxic masculinity and “man up” culture is so important; and I would never want to imply that conversation isn’t important. (Hence me starting my own thread in feminism chat; I would never want to derail an important campaign with “well, actually...”).

Having said all that, I see a lot of talk about how “more men commit suicide than women”. While I completely agree that is an important fact and very useful to get the conversation going and getting men to open up; something often gets left out of these statistics - although men have more successful suicide attempts; women actually attempt suicide more often than men.

Is there a gap here in addressing womens’ mental health?

I think there is a lot behind this - society’s expectation of performing femininity: pressure for women to have a successful career while still being expected to do the bulk of the childcare/housework; having to be seen to “have it all” and do it easily and without complaint.

There is also the question of whether women may find it more difficult in getting taken seriously at the doctor’s office (not sure on stats for mental health; but difficulty accessing treatment for physical health problems is well documented).

Does anyone have any links/studies that have looked into this?

bd67th Tue 20-Aug-19 17:50:44

Specific to suicide, women reporting [intimate partner] sexual assault were 5.3 (95% CI, 1.3, 21.5) times more likely to report threatening or attempted suicide within a 90-day period compared to physically-abused only women. doi.org/10.1080/01612840500248262

That in the context of spousal and partner rape, which is the most.
common kind.

woman19 Mon 19-Aug-19 17:56:58

Attempted and actual suicide rates in british detention centres, especially Yarls Wood the all female one are appallingly high.

Women are held without charge or legal representation indefinitely.

Many are forcibly deported, drugged and in chains.

In england in 2019.

Most people live with in at least 100miles of one in england.

The figures showed that Harmondsworth immigration removal centre near Heathrow had the highest number of suicide attempts, 105, followed by Yarl’s Wood with 64. Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire mainly houses female detainees

A total of 2,957 detainees were on suicide watch during 2015 including 11 children

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/04/suicide-attempts-uk-immigration-removal-centres-all-time-high-home-office-figures

No surprise that the suicide rates for women in these camps are so high, when this type of treatment is endured.

By innocent women.

The Home Office has accepted the 33-year-old was detained unlawfully and that the detention constituted inhuman and degrading treatment. The payout is exceptionally high for a three-day period of detention

The woman arrived at Heathrow on 8 July 2016 when she was eight weeks pregnant as a result of rape in Finland. She started to bleed and informed immigration officials at the airport, which is when she was held for eight hours and subjected to repeated questions

She was finally taken from the airport to Hillingdon hospital by ambulance. Doctors there thought she should stay in hospital overnight because it was likely she was having a miscarriage. But a decision was taken by the Home Office to put her in detention instead. She said she was not well enough to stand up unaided and had to be assisted to walk out of the hospital

She was released from detention three days later and it was confirmed that she had suffered a miscarriage. The Home Office finally accepted that she was a victim of trafficking and granted her leave to remain in the UK

www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/19/trafficked-woman-detained-at-heathrow-wins-50000-payout

StockTakeFucks Mon 19-Aug-19 16:13:31

* Intuitively, I would expect suicide rates to be higher than general population in RSA victims, but is that actually the case? Does the age of victim at the time of the assault matter?*

There are very few (and old) studies on this,and on fairly small scales,but the ones I found do conclude that a history of RSA increases the chances of a woman to attempt suicide. There was also an increase in numbers if the RSA happened before the age of 16.

bd67th Mon 19-Aug-19 01:19:04

Secondly, to those who have begun to get personal

I'm arguing from stats. I'm well aware that this is a very sensitive subject. I think that that sensitivity makes it all the more important to avoid logical fallacies like extrapolating from single cases and generalising based on individual's experiences.

Returning to the OP: I would find it interesting to know whether anyone collects stats or has done studies concerning the rate of suicide attempts in rape and sexual assault (RSA) victims. Intuitively, I would expect suicide rates to be higher than general population in RSA victims, but is that actually the case? Does the age of victim at the time of the assault matter?

AnotherAdultHumanFemale Sun 18-Aug-19 17:53:52

Secondly, to those who have begun to get personal, I think that it causes some difficulty to argue from personal experience (rather than simply offer personal perspective) in addition to scientific data. That is true both in therapy and in discussions such as this one, as arguing (rather than commenting) with others from a personal, subjective point of view can be equally exclusive and damaging to others. For instance, the experience of suicidal thoughts or attempts from a mental illness impetus is indeed very different from those from an impetus other than mental illness. However, similarly, the experiences of those suffering from depression will also vary. No one can truly understand another's perspective (though best effort should be made) but nor should anyone assume that theirs is 'correct' for their statistical segment or more valuable to the discussion.

The views of people who have experienced depression or who have attempted suicide are equally as valid if not more so than mental health professionals. I think it's essential that mental health professionals don't patronise, speak over and try to shut down those they claim to be trying to help and imply that their views are invalid because they come from personal experience.

bd67th Sun 18-Aug-19 16:02:43

Pebble: According to a South Korean study, nearly 90% of suicides are impulsive. For the just over 10% that are planned, you are correct that a delay in meds arriving won't stop the suicide. For the other nearly 90%, the delay will buy the would-be victim time to reconsider and get help, so the delay might stop the suicide.You cannot extrapolate from one suicide how all others will happen. You cannot use the example of one person to overturn an argument supported by empirical evidence about a class, which was what I objected to so strongly.

mushroom60 Sun 18-Aug-19 11:57:43

I have just signed up as I felt the need to comment on this thread.
Firstly, HugsAreMyDrugs I completely agree that even just talking about suicide is often misinterpreted, let alone unsuccessful attempts. As someone who works with young people, I often hear adults saying, 'Oh, well if they are talking about it, then that is good because that means it's just a cry for help.' This is a trap that women/girls can fall into, as we are much more likely to express our feelings/have greater opportunity to express our feelings.
Secondly, to those who have begun to get personal, I think that it causes some difficulty to argue from personal experience (rather than simply offer personal perspective) in addition to scientific data. That is true both in therapy and in discussions such as this one, as arguing (rather than commenting) with others from a personal, subjective point of view can be equally exclusive and damaging to others. For instance, the experience of suicidal thoughts or attempts from a mental illness impetus is indeed very different from those from an impetus other than mental illness. However, similarly, the experiences of those suffering from depression will also vary. No one can truly understand another's perspective (though best effort should be made) but nor should anyone assume that theirs is 'correct' for their statistical segment or more valuable to the discussion.

Pebble21uk Sun 18-Aug-19 11:12:55

bd67th if it makes you feel better to take a superior and agressive attitude and tell others they are wrong because their experience & knowledge surrounding the subject does not match yours, then go ahead. I would suggest that given the delicate subject matter of this thread this is not the place for that.

I'm sorry you cannot seem to see anything valid in my contribution or see why your posts are both agressive and offensive.

StockTakeFucks Sun 18-Aug-19 10:42:09

Pie chart is methods in the us 2017

Grey one is methods in UK in 2011

Last one is methods in uk in 2017. Guns would fall under other I assume.

StockTakeFucks Sun 18-Aug-19 10:35:59

* It’d be interesting to see statistics of methods in the US vs the UK.*

Most suicides are by fire arm in the US. I think more than 50%. I'll see if I can find the statistics again.

In the UK there are some, but very very few.

bd67th Sun 18-Aug-19 08:44:15

It’d be interesting to see statistics of methods in the US vs the UK.

Firearms access has a huge impact on method choice in the US. Why would you take a fistful of paracetamol and die a slow death from liver failure when you could exercise your Second Amendment rights at the local gun shop and be dead within seconds of pulling the trigger?

Dyrne Sun 18-Aug-19 07:12:54

One thing that I was really surprised about in the US was seeing the vast quantity of paracetamol that you could buy - Walmart sells it in bottles of 1000 shock

It’d be interesting to see statistics of methods in the US vs the UK.

bd67th Sun 18-Aug-19 00:22:20

what it does mean is that when they reach crisis point, when they reach that moment of impulse... There is their method ready and waiting.

Codeine left over after a major surgery can be used the same way. I kept some for a long time and only threw it away when it went out-of-date. I would argue that buying meds against a future attempt and stockpiling prescribed meds against a future attempt both constitute pre-planning and so are still exceptions to the usual pattern of impulsiveness.

It is incredibly offensive to liken it to going to Dignitas.

How is that offensive? We are talking about.planned vs unplanned suicides.

I thought this was supposed to be discussion.

Heaven forbid that I, someone who has been diagnosed with depression since childhood, attempted suicide for the first time aged 15 (then 18, then 22...), self-harmed for over a decade leaving permanent scars, and done a fuckton of research into the thing most likely to kill me, might dare to write about what I know on a thread devoted to the subject.

I am sorry about your friend, I really am. Being an observer of someone else's suicide doesn't grant you knowledge about it though.

Pebble21uk Sat 17-Aug-19 23:32:21

You misunderstand. When people feel suicidal but not at the point of taking their life, they often research ( again using the internet) for methods which suit them. Will it be quick? Will it be likely to succeed? Can it be painless?

They may also by drugs. It doesn't mean they will use those drugs immediately or indeed ever. But what it does mean is that when they reach crisis point, when they reach that moment of impulse... There is their method ready and waiting.

It is incredibly offensive to liken it to going to Dignitas.
I'm bowing out now... I'm not prepared to argue. I thought this was supposed to be discussion.

colouringinpro Sat 17-Aug-19 23:21:43

Fascinating thread. For me, thinking about the impact of taking my own life on my two already vulnerable dcs has kept me going.

C-ptsd is also playing a massive part in my mental health difficulties but this is not recognised or supported. Mental health support for me, my dcs and exh with bipolar has been criminally inadequate.

bd67th Sat 17-Aug-19 23:04:16

But don't forget we now have the internet where almost any drug is available to anyone online.

The shipping delay has a protective effect in those cases. If I can walk to my pharmacist and buy a fatal dose of something inside ten minutes, I'm at much greater risk than if I have to order online and have it arrive two days later. Suicide is impulse behaviour, remember.

^Hmmm... try telling that to my dead friend. I beg to differ.^

We are talking about a class analysis. There will always be exceptional cases where the suicide is preplanned. The people who head off to Dignitas are examples of these exceptions. Your friend's case is an exception.

I am sorry for your loss.

Pebble21uk Sat 17-Aug-19 16:11:27

*But don't forget we now have the internet where almost any drug is available to anyone online.

The shipping delay has a protective effect in those cases. If I can walk to my pharmacist and buy a fatal dose of something inside ten minutes, I'm at much greater risk than if I have to order online and have it arrive two days later. Suicide is impulse behaviour, remember.*

Hmmm... try telling that to my dead friend. I beg to differ.

FormerMediocreMale Sat 17-Aug-19 16:05:34

In my teens i attempted suicide 3 times but only once was hospitalised, so other 2 unrecorded attempts, so not on any stats. Personally i would say having children is a huge detertent. Even when depressed it is what would happen to my children that has made a big difference. Also i have more/better coping strategies.

Another thing having moved around a bit is that the level of care re MH varies a lot place to place. I found rural cambridgeshire exceptional, CBT, mindfulness, counselling and timescale much better than elsewhere.

Another thing is whether a counsellor is available on site at the medical ptactice has made a big impact to time scale of support.

Lacebug Sat 17-Aug-19 14:14:48

Well done, Singletomingle for actually taking a lot from this thread and thanks awfully for sharing your personal opinion. Do you have any other insights to share?

Singletomingle Sat 17-Aug-19 10:48:10

Actually I took a lot from the thread and reading back most of the negativity stems from 1 poster and responses to them. As I said any discussion on suicide and mental health is valuable. My personal opinion is that while different approaches are needed in terms of reaching those in need there should be little difference in how both sexes are treated when they do reach out. Apolgies for intruding on a feminism thread I genuinely was only here to see a different view of something close to my heart.

StockTakeFucks Sat 17-Aug-19 10:37:56

* I absolutely agree that mental health support and provision is crap for both sexes;*

This. They're absolutely crap for everyone,including children. They're inadequate, underfunded, overworked and unable to cope. They operate on a system of pissing on the oven fire when there's a blaze outside the door.

The rhetoric of race to the bottom(I coped with x,y,z and I'm fineee), "attention seeking" and "if you really wanted to kill yourself ,you'd just do it" isn't helping.

Trying to shut up discussion about a particular group with "what about the..." isn't helping.

The naive stance of "just get help/go to therapy/take meds" like it's a universal ,accurate,accessible and direct fix isn't helping.

Dismissing the fact that many more women than men try to kill themselves because they haven't "succeeded " isn't helping.

Dyrne Sat 17-Aug-19 10:14:35

Wow, I bent over backwards in my OP to make clear I wasn’t trying to ‘one-up’ anything. I didn’t barge my way into a male suicide post going “but what about the Women?!?”

I started a post in the feminism topic centre-ing women. Should have known that was clearly unacceptable...

Thank you to all those who have contributed their own experiences and thoughts, there’s definitely good for thought here. Sorry I haven’t got as involved, this topic hits home for me for various reasons so it’s difficult to wade in sometimes.

I absolutely agree that mental health support and provision is crap for both sexes; but I completely disagree with the suggestion from some that we need to think more generally. To me, “equality” doesn’t necessarily mean “treating the sexes exactly the same”. Clearly the issues around mental health and suicide are complex and different between the sexes, so need different strategies to drive improvement for ALL.

StockTakeFucks Sat 17-Aug-19 10:04:43

We're just not being nice enough are we?

bd67th Sat 17-Aug-19 09:56:29

But don't forget we now have the internet where almost any drug is available to anyone online.

The shipping delay has a protective effect in those cases. If I can walk to my pharmacist and buy a fatal dose of something inside ten minutes, I'm at much greater risk than if I have to order online and have it arrive two days later. Suicide is impulse behaviour, remember.

bd67th Sat 17-Aug-19 09:52:06

if you're trying to point score òver who has it worst or needs help the most

That's what you took away from this thread? Really? You read my earlier post about not erasing difference and interpreted that, and other posts by PP of that ilk, as "point scoring"? FOTTOSOFATFOSM

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