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Studying the relation between spring and spiking suicide rates


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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/studying-the-relation-between-spring-and-spiking-suicide-rates/article29392912/     Studying the relation between spring and spiking suicide rates

 

WENCY LEUNG

The Globe and Mail

Published

Sunday, Mar. 27, 2016 12:00PM EDT

Last updated

 

Monday, Mar. 28, 2016 12:54PM EDT

 

Every spring, the days get longer and warmer. Birds chirp. Trees blossom. And suicide rates spike.

 

Contrary to popular belief, suicides don’t occur more often during the dark, cold days of winter. Rather, numerous studies over the years have shown a baffling but consistent springtime peak in suicides in many parts of the world, including the United States, Australia and Europe. In Canada, the number of deaths has typically been highest in late spring and summer, and is lowest during the winter months.

 

Scientists have come up with various explanations for this seasonal spike. Some believe spring, with its warm, sunny days and promise of new beginnings, can make people perceive their own depression as more intense by comparison. Others suggest a disruption in sleep patterns caused by daylight saving time could play a role, while still others propose the rise in deaths represents a spillover effect, as individuals with seasonal affective disorder who have struggled for months with low light exposure finally reach a level of exhaustion by the time winter ends.

 

Dr. Teodor Postolache, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, holds a strikingly divergent view.

 

As far back as the late-1990s, Postolache has suspected airborne pollen may contribute to people taking their own lives. Over the years, the family doctor-turned-psychiatrist, a Romanian from rural Transylvania, has been exploring the possibility that exposure to aeroallergens, such as tree pollen, can spark an immune response that triggers suicidal behaviour in some individuals.

 

It sounds far-fetched to suggest the reproductive life of trees can affect people’s thoughts and behaviour, he acknowledges.

 

More at above link...

 

 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Well it would appear Psychiatry is likely yet again wasting time on bogus theories, as a short search on this subject already netted me a  study showing major problems with this idea:

 

POLLEN COUNTS AND SUICIDE RATES.  ASSOCIATION NOT REPLICATED

 

http://www.academia.edu/17470766/Pollen_counts_and_suicide_rates._Association_not_replicated

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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I haven't poured over all of this in detail but, the reason I posted this was because it made me wonder if certain psychiatric drug-induced issues may have some role in people having more difficulties in the spring.  Light sensitivity is a pretty common adverse effect of many psychiatric drugs, and can also occur in withdrawal, and difficulty with body temperature regulation can happen too...so in spring if the temperature is rollercoastering a lot I would think people who were exposed to drugs and had issues with them and/or withdrawal may expect to feel worse.

 

It should be noted too here that the link between pollen and suicide is a correlation, which means that you can't automatically infer that pollen CAUSES these issues.  It's far from proven.

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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This is interesting, Unfolding Sky. The last drug I came off of was Seroquel which at low doses hits histamine receptors and has an effect similar to Benedryl, which is used for allergies. Since low-dose Seroquel is marketed to people with depression and can act like an anti-histamine,  I was just wondering if there might be some correlation. 

 

And according to Alto, SSRIs evolved from antihistamines. 

 

The SSRIs evolved from antihistamines.

 

 

One thing that concerned me about this article was the mention of "serotonin deficiency": 

 

Postolache also acknowledges suicidal behaviour is incredibly complex. And even if aeroallergens do act as an immune trigger, the mechanisms are not entirely clear. One possible way, he suspects, is that cytokines, especially pro-inflammatory cytokines released during an allergic reaction, reduce levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation. Cytokines activate a particular enzyme that steals the amino acid tryptophan from the synthesis of serotonin in favour of the production of other molecules, he explains. This could then result in a serotonin deficiency.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/studying-the-relation-between-spring-and-spiking-suicide-rates/article29392912/

 

Perhaps I'm a bit paranoid from my own experiences with psychiatry, but I get a bit nervous when I read scientists even mentioning the chemical imbalance hypothesis of depression. 

 

I remember a long time ago a shrink told me that the reason more people are suicidal in the spring is because they are coming out of their winter depressions and they finally have the energy to act on the suicidal thoughts they had during the winter. I know spring energy juxtaposed against my winter depression can bring a lot of anxiety. 

 

Guess there are a lot of theories out there. Just wish we had more answers. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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less allergic reaction less inflammation .. inflammation is part of this some how we know cellebrex was touted as being a treatment for depression too I was on it celexa and effexor when I had a gastro bleed so I can't recommend it. sorry it may have been mobicox I was on both and get the timeline mixed up at this point.

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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Here is a comp sports amateur theory.   People commit suicide because they get to the point where their life sucks so much, it is unbearable.   Serotonin, allergies, spring, etc. have nothing to do with it.

 

Sorry, I am just getting tired of all this BS in which nothing has changed for years.

 

Anyway, since I was recently diagnosed with tree and dust mite allergies, I need an SSRI. :rolleyes: 

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Well I guess I am not the only one... and what you said about the weather change making life suck.. heat of summer is not something I look forward to any longer. I think a lot of people stay cause it would hurt the people they love too much to leave. Many people die I think in reactions... when there brains are hijacked by drugs or reactions to them or trying to heal from them but you know all that by now I am sure... I have lived it a few times the very dangerous places I have been are one aspect... the being fed up in quite another.  Both are on the plate taking their own space in time... over the years. 

 

Living cautiously certainly has taken away some or most of the fun in life the unnerving changes to our systems that are difficult to explain to others .. why can't you go.... so sick of answering it..it al ads up doesn't it.

 

body temperature regulation" is a real problem for me as are changes in barometric pressure and humidity... I know this is real for me I no longer listen to much of what the experts have to say unless it falls in line with what I already know to be the truth of my own experience ... All the BULL ya it gets very old I am with you on that one... 

we may seem irrita BULL when we are expected to be gulli BULL 

still after all we have lived... it gets old. 

peace if you can find it is where the healing is I think

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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One thing that concerned me about this article was the mention of "serotonin deficiency": 

 

Postolache also acknowledges suicidal behaviour is incredibly complex. And even if aeroallergens do act as an immune trigger, the mechanisms are not entirely clear. One possible way, he suspects, is that cytokines, especially pro-inflammatory cytokines released during an allergic reaction, reduce levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation. Cytokines activate a particular enzyme that steals the amino acid tryptophan from the synthesis of serotonin in favour of the production of other molecules, he explains. This could then result in a serotonin deficiency.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/studying-the-relation-between-spring-and-spiking-suicide-rates/article29392912/

 

Perhaps I'm a bit paranoid from my own experiences with psychiatry, but I get a bit nervous when I read scientists even mentioning the chemical imbalance hypothesis of depression.

 

Guess I'm asleep as I missed that, nice catch Shep.  It doesn't inspire confidence in me either...

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Here is a comp sports amateur theory.   People commit suicide because they get to the point where their life sucks so much, it is unbearable.   Serotonin, allergies, spring, etc. have nothing to do with it.

 

Sorry, I am just getting tired of all this BS in which nothing has changed for years.

 

Anyway, since I was recently diagnosed with tree and dust mite allergies, I need an SSRI. :rolleyes: 

 

Well don't worry comp, we won't make you take an SSRI...but we may push you to undergo years of therapy so you can come to terms with your dysfunctional relationship with pollen. :lol: 

 

And I think you are right about suicide too...what I am trying to argue though is that this might back up the idea that drugs cause massive problems that lead to suicides (like we need more evidence of that) since temp dysregulation and light sensitivity can be problems they cause...

 

Please don't take away my blame pharma theory, it's all I have left... ;) 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Well I guess I am not the only one... and what you said about the weather change making life suck.. heat of summer is not something I look forward to any longer. I think a lot of people stay cause it would hurt the people they love too much to leave. Many people die I think in reactions... when there brains are hijacked by drugs or reactions to them or trying to heal from them but you know all that by now I am sure... I have lived it a few times the very dangerous places I have been are one aspect... the being fed up in quite another.  Both are on the plate taking their own space in time... over the years. 

 

Living cautiously certainly has taken away some or most of the fun in life the unnerving changes to our systems that are difficult to explain to others .. why can't you go.... so sick of answering it..it al ads up doesn't it.

 

body temperature regulation" is a real problem for me as are changes in barometric pressure and humidity... I know this is real for me I no longer listen to much of what the experts have to say unless it falls in line with what I already know to be the truth of my own experience ... All the BULL ya it gets very old I am with you on that one... 

we may seem irrita BULL when we are expected to be gulli BULL 

still after all we have lived... it gets old. 

peace if you can find it is where the healing is I think

 

I can so relate to this--temp changes of course, but barometric pressure YES, and humidity too...I wasn't that into humidity to start with but now it's just abhorrent to me...

 

And yes it's so tiring how sensitive we are, I've recovered quite a bit but still not a hundred percent, thought I was doing okay then this past week had a big stress-related setback (not back to beginning or anything, like no akathisia thank God but still, had symptoms come up I thought were gone, like the early morning panic feeling.  Fun.)  Still have fatigue, and I haven't the energy to deal with this extra stuff...

 

I wonder sometimes too if I lived somewhere with a more stable climate if I'd be further along in recovery. 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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I wonder sometimes too if I lived somewhere with a more stable climate if I'd be further along in recovery. 

 

 

 

Unfolding, I also wonder about that, too.  I'm very sensitive to light and temperature and I'm feeling a lot better now that it's spring. 

 

Of course, if it was always this way, I'd probably get bored. Maybe it's the contrast between the cold, dark winter and the warm spring with more light in the evening that is helping. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Here is a comp sports amateur theory.   People commit suicide because they get to the point where their life sucks so much, it is unbearable.   Serotonin, allergies, spring, etc. have nothing to do with it.

 

Sorry, I am just getting tired of all this BS in which nothing has changed for years.

 

Anyway, since I was recently diagnosed with tree and dust mite allergies, I need an SSRI. :rolleyes: 

 

Well don't worry comp, we won't make you take an SSRI...but we may push you to undergo years of therapy so you can come to terms with your dysfunctional relationship with pollen. :lol:

 

And I think you are right about suicide too...what I am trying to argue though is that this might back up the idea that drugs cause massive problems that lead to suicides (like we need more evidence of that) since temp dysregulation and light sensitivity can be problems they cause...

 

Please don't take away my blame pharma theory, it's all I have left... ;)

 

Thanks for a good laugh US.  I really needed that. :)

 

Don't worry, you can blame pharma all you want.   I do it all the time.

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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  • 2 weeks later...

No problem comp! 

 

And now that I have assigned you to years of pollen-related therapy..it seems I may have to join you. 

 

Suddenly I was hit with a new weird wave of being extremely exhausted and I can barely move...I can't fathom what is going on.  the season change is always a problem for me but this time my brain doesn't feel foggy (though I've still got some retained memory issues) and I was doing okay and then just the past few days I felt like I could barely get out of bed.  When does this nonsense end?

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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