There has long been a misconception that the holidays are the time of year when people are most likely to commit suicide. According to a recent article on Slate, however, this is a myth that the media needs to stop reporting. Providing data from a number of recent studies and expert sources, Slate tells readers that the winter season, including around the holidays, is actually a time of year when people may be less inclined to commit suicide. The time when people are most likely to kill themselves is, instead, during the spring season.
Our Dallas suicide lawyers believe it is important that people have an accurate understanding of the key risk factors for suicides. By knowing when and why someone may be at risk for suicide, you have a better chance of stepping in to get that person the help they need.
Why the Holidays Aren’t a Key Time for Suicides
Many people believe that the holidays are a time when a lot of people commit suicide because lonely people may become desperate at spending the festive season by themselves. In reality, however, data dating as far back as 1812 indicates that the biggest spike in suicides occurs not over the holiday season but instead during the springtime period.
While there is no single definitive answer on why people kill themselves more in spring than during other times of the year, there are a lot of different theories about why suicides may be higher in the spring season. For example:
- Bad winter weather means that people tend to interact and go out less. With people in the “semi-hybernation” mode of winter, they may encounter fewer conflict since they don’t see or interact with as many people. By springtime, on the other hand, everyone comes outside and interacts more and suicidal thoughts may be triggered by this increased interaction.
- Sunshine may trigger suicidal thoughts, according to some psychiatric researchers. Longer days and warmer temperatures may also be more likely to inspire suicidal thoughts, according to various studies. The data on the impact of climate on suicide, however, is controversial and studies on the correlation between climate and suicide tend to contradict each other.
- Springtime allergens can trigger the body to produce anxiety-inducing chemicals, potentially resulting in an increase in the rate of suicide. Some studies have also identified a link between a high pollen count and suicide.
Some experts also indicate that spring energizes people more, which may give them the motivation to take action and actually act on their suicidal thoughts. Winter, on the other hand, can cause people to be less motivated and this can include being less inclined to actually follow through with a suicide attempt.
Watching closely for signs of suicide, loved ones, friends, relatives, therapists and mental health professionals can all help to prevent someone they care about or are responsible for from committing suicide this spring. Every blog on the Skip Simpson web site and the book The Suicide Lawyers: Exposing Lethal Secrets are all targeted to prevent suicide.
If you lost a loved one to suicide, contact the Dallas Law Offices of Skip Simpson, dedicated to holding mental health counselors accountable. Call 214-618-8222.