According to a recent article in the Denver Post, “Several studies indicate occupations most marked by suicides include physicians, temporary workers, farmers, miners, writers, artists, active-duty military, veterans and male nurses.”
There are many theories about these statistics. Some say suicides are higher in certain occupations because they attract people with certain or similar characteristics. Others say suicide statistics are higher in these fields because of additional influences like stress, long hours, burn out, isolation, ‘compassion fatigue,’ or even untreated depression as well as easy access to the means to commit suicide.
But just because a person is employed in one of these occupations, doesn’t mean that person has to live in a state of depression or be at risk for suicide. For example, an article in Psychology Today said that though physicians have the highest suicide rate compared to people in any other line of work, not all physicians are in fact suicidal.
The article stated, “Here’s one more fact: physicians live longer and are generally healthier than people in most other professions. Even if you include physicians who commit suicide or suffer from depression, life expectancy and well-being are still very high amongst doctors.”
What makes the difference between those physicians who are at risk and those who aren’t? For one thing, studies show that doctors not at risk for suicide have healthier habits. They tend not to smoke, they eat less and exercise more and they get medical care or help when needed.
This correlates to the steps many formerly suicidal people have taken to help them overcome their depression and suicidal thoughts as I shared in a recent article. Overcomers tend to:
- Ask God for help. (See: Godtest.com for resources.)
- Get involved in a faith community.
- Get professional help and/or discover that it’s okay to ask for help.
- Get healthy with either or diet, exercise.
- Kick or reduce substance abuse habits.
- Volunteer to help others.
Perhaps people, regardless of their occupations, could utilize these same ideas to help beat depression so as to live happier, healthier lives. In addition to our recommendations, watch Dr. Don Darst explain some surprisingly simple and effective steps you can all take to lessen your daily stress:
If you are at risk to harm yourself, please go to the hospital, call 911, or call
1800 – SUICIDE
Suicide Prevention Hotline:
National Suicide Hotline: