#MythBustingMondays -Suicide rates are highest at the holidays

Suicide rates are highest in the spring, lowest in the winter months

Most people think that there are more suicides around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The truth is that suicide rates are actually lowest in winter months and highest in the spring. October accounted for nearly twice as many suicide attempts as reported in July.

Experts aren’t entirely sure but there are theories.

In a lecture I saw at VCU Grand Rounds, the doctor said the theory was that people don’t have the energy to follow through in the winter.

“During the spring, some people become more physically active or agitated, which could potentially make them more likely to act on their thoughts. Maybe sunshine acts in a similar way in a minority of people.”

There are other theories, one of which is that the release of pollen-triggered immune responses brings about changes in brain chemistry. This theory suggests a relationship between inflammation due to pollen and suicide.

For teenagers, suicide rates go up during the school year and down during summer suggesting that school may be a trigger.

No one knows for sure why suicide peaks in April and is lowest in July.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

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