Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Suicides In France

Not very long ago I posted an article about the suicide rate among French farmers.

Now, Salon Beige has a post on the total suicides in France for the year 2004:

Suicides were lower for those 15-25 years of age, decreasing from 966 in 1993 to 621 in 2004, but more than 6200 adults between 30 and 59 years of age continue to die each year. If women are 4 to 5 times as likely to attempt suicide as men, men are the first to die. The suicide rate is 26.6 per 100,000 men, compared to 8.7 per 100,000 women.

Out of the 10,798 suicides tallied in 2004, 73% were men. Out of 6248 suicides among those 30-59 years of age, more than 4500 were men, according to the report released by UNPS (National Union for the Prevention of Suicide). The suicide of adolescents and young people up to the age of 25 represents less than 6% of the total while 58% of deaths from suicide are of people between 30 and 59 years of age, and 32% are over 60.

Most importantly, suicide is the major cause of death among those 35-44 years of age.

The media are in general silent about this terrible phenomenon. Yet, as a comparison, there are more deaths from suicide than from AIDS in France.

In addition to the above information La Croix explains the causes of suicides as detailed by UNPS:

Thoughts of suicide often occur when a person is in a situation of rupture (loss of job, divorce, bankruptcy, or death). The UNPS suggests helping those at risk through special programs in employment and loan agencies...Also needed is an emergency plan for psychiatry and mental health since there is a catastrophic penury in this sector and long waiting periods before a person gets access to a psychiatrist...A million euros a year would be set aside for a preventive network and for research...

Another study by INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) suggests following the example of Anglo-Saxon countries and Finland by developing a "psychological autopsy"...which consists in questioning minutely the entourage of the person who committed suicide, so as to "recreate the psychological, social and medical circumstances surrounding the death."

I would like to know how these figures compare with those from before the decade of the '60's. If more Frenchmen are killing themselves today the loss of a sense of belonging may be part of the problem. I also wonder about suicides from loss of honor. I have never been able to decide if such an act is one of strength or weakness. Another problem is abuse of certain prescription drugs that can induce suicide. A new bureaucracy of social workers would be a "band-aid" type of solution to a much greater problem. I would also like to know if most of these men are ethnic Frenchmen, or immigrants and whether or not they had religious beliefs.

This comment appeared at Salon Beige:

If we add up the suicides, aborted babies, destroyed embryos, and soon deaths from euthanasia, the sum total is necessarily a considerable figure. This is nothing less than the exorbitant price paid in human lives of the ransom demanded of the French people by the religion called "Undefined Progress".

And don't forget all the lives and families ruined by the social violence that flows from this anti-humanist "order".

The Monet painting of a Farmyard in Normandy (1863) is not related to the topic of suicide, but depicts the opposite tendency - the urge to cultivate, to nurture; the need to continually replant and start anew despite setbacks. Monet was a young man when he did this work. Though it lacks the "impressionism" of his later paintings, it conveys a reassuring tranquility. From the Art Renewal website.

Last minute update: I was just about to post when I found this new comment at Salon Beige that echos my own thoughts:

It would be interesting to know the proportion of ethnic Frenchmen in these figures. It's a safe bet that the reason for the silence of the media on suicides in France lies in the fact that the "Other" populations commit fewer suicides. In the same way one never hears about rural misery, or the moral and social disinheritance of a part of our youth in the poorest rural areas and certain working-class suburbs in the provinces. They are ethnic Frenchmen scattered over the territory, they do not riot, have no culture of hatred, therefore they don't exist. They are "invisible", in the "fourth world", and forever marginalized, because they are already absent from the collective consciousness, fashioned as it is by the media and seconded by the servile political and administrative establishment.

One last thought: I spoke of honor suicides. In a way these young men who kill themselves have lost their sense of honor, not through their own weakness, but through the weakness of the State to whom they are entrusted.



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