Suicide Rates Are Starting to Spike As one would expect, we are also

starting to see a rise in suicides. Suicide statistics reliably follow economic trends, with financial downturns triggering higher rates of depression and despair. According to a March 25, 2020, report by The Sacra- mento Bee:

“FirstLink, a company that answers both 211 helplines and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for North Dakota and parts of Minnesota said this week that call volume in some of its call centers is up 300%.”

According to a spokeswoman for the

national Crisis Text Line, text conversations were double that of the normal volume during the week of March 15. It seems clear the current pandemic has delivered a perfect storm of challenges that is sure to bring many to a breaking point. According to reports by The Federalist

and Red State, suicides exceeded COV- ID-19 deaths in Tennessee the week of April 20. The Regional Forensic Center in Tennessee was investigating nine suicides as of March 27, eight of which took place in Knox County — one of the few areas in Tennessee where nonessential businesses were ordered to close. The suicides, which occurred within

a 48-hour period, account for 10% of the 2019 suicide rate for the region. Mean- while, only six patients died from COV- ID-19 in the entire state that week. In a statement, Knoxville, Tennessee, Mayor Glenn Jacobs said:

“That number is completely shock-

ing and makes me wonder if what we are doing now is really the best ap- proach. We have to determine how we can respond to COVID-19 in a way that keeps our economy intact, keeps people employed and empowers them with a feeling of hope and optimism — not desperation and despair.”

Similar warning signs are starting to

be noted in other states as well, including Oregon. In a March 24 local news report, Portland police chief Jami Resch said sui- cide threats or attempts are 41% higher now than this time last year, and there’s been a 23% increase since the 10 days before a state of emergency was declared in Portland.

Carefully Evaluate Your Coping Strategy The fact that so many are turning to

antidepressants at this time is unfortunate, as these drugs have repeatedly been shown to be ineffective at best, and can actually make matters worse. Antidepressants come with a long list of potential side effects, which include but are not limited to:

• Worsening depression, self-harm, vio- lence and suicide

• Increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, even after adjusting for risk factors such as body mass index

• An increased risk for heart attack and stroke

• An increased risk of dementia

• Depletion of various nutrients, includ- ing coenzyme Q10 and vitamin B12 — in the case of tricyclic antidepressants — which are needed for proper mito- chondrial function. SSRIs have been linked to iodine and folate depletion

In a March 2019 Full Measure report

(below), award-winning investigative jour- nalist, Sharyl Attkisson, interviewed psy-

chiatrist and director of the International Center for Patient-Oriented Psychiatry, Dr. Peter Breggin. I interviewed Breggin ear- lier this year but have not yet released his fascinating video because of the pan- demic. He is known to many as “the con-

science of psychiatry,” as he was instru- mental in preventing the return of loboto- my as a psychiatric treatment in the early 1970s. Breggin is also the author of “Medication Madness,” in which he de- tails the many hazards of psychiatric drugs. When asked what he thinks people

don’t know about psychiatric treatment, and ought to, Breggin responds, “They don’t know that all psychiatric drugs are neurotoxins. They don't know that they aren't correcting biochemical imbalances, they are causing biochemical imbalances.” In Breggin’s view, “There is no prom-

ising medical treatment and probably there never can be,” for the simple reason that depression is primarily rooted in the com- plexity of human emotions and experi- ences.

He believes one needs to avoid numb-

ing and escapist behaviors and implement strategies to support healthy brain function instead, in order to “be able to deal with your issues.”

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