Suicides in America - 30 Year High: The Dying of America - James W. Prescott, PhD
The unifying theme in Gabor Maté M.D.’s works is the long term consequences of impaired early attachment; ADHD, addiction and many stress related illnesses. What follows is an important extension of this thesis by James W. Prescott, PhD, on the rising tide of childhood suicide, something Joseph Chilton Pearce and others noted along with Jim many years ago. Michael Mendizza
Suicide and especially childhood suicide rates are rising. Academics are pointing to Poverty, Hopelessness and Health as root causes. Beneath the social veneer are biology and the developing brain. Depression and despair and their opposites; connection, optimism, energy and creativity are states of being rooted in experience. What are the experiences that lead to depression and despair? What experiences lead to feeling connected, being valued, understood with their capacity for positive social engagement: hope, creativity and optimism?
Paul MacLean, author of the triune (three in one) nature of the human brain describes three cardinal behaviors, and their implicit ‘experiences’, unique to the Mammalian-Limbic brain and therefore the family: nursing-maternal care, audio-visual communication – for maintaining and developing maternal-offspring contact - and play. Together: nursing, affectionate contact-communication and play (the seeking-pleasure principle) represent the deep biological experiences that express as positive social engagement or when deprived; depression and despair.
The earlier developing Limbic Brain mediates attachment behaviors including sexual attachment in concert with the later developing Neocortical Brain.
The scientific data is overwhelming. Breastfeeding Bonding prevents depression, suicide and other forms of violence. The paucity of Breastfeeding Bonding and affectional sexuality in the U.S. and many other modern cultures are causal factors in dysfunctional and violent cultures. Impaired affectional bonding throughout life is a national health risk factor not mentioned in a recent New York Times story on the surge of suicides in America, the highest is 20 years ( 22 April 2016), reported: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/health/us-suicide-rate-surges-to-a-30-year-high.html?emc=edit_th_20160422&nl=todayshead
— Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women….
The overall suicide rate rose by 24 percent from 1999 to 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which released the study on Friday. The increases were so widespread that they lifted the nation’s suicide rate to 13 per 100,000 people, the highest since 1986.
Researchers also found an alarming increase among girls 10 to 14, whose suicide rate, while still very low, had tripled. The number of girls who killed themselves rose to 150 in 2014 from 50 in 1999. “This one certainly jumped out,” said Sally Curtin, a statistician at the center and an author of the report….
“This is part of the larger emerging pattern of evidence of the links between poverty, hopelessness and health,” said Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard and the author of “Our Kids,” an investigation of new class divisions in America….
We have more and more effective treatments, but we have to figure out how to bake them into health care systems so they are used more automatically,” said Dr. Jane Pearson, chairwoman of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Suicide Research Consortium, which oversees the National Institutes of Health funding for suicide prevention research. “We’ve got bits and pieces, but we haven’t really put them all together yet.”
Women and young girls—the future MOTHERS of America- are the target populations of this surge. Survivors have their affectional life compromised, which impairs their ability to provide the nurturance and emotional affections that is required of MOTHERS.
Regrettably, Dr. Jane Pearson, chairwoman of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Suicide Research Consortium, admits, “We’ve got bits and pieces, but we haven’t really put them all together yet.”
There is a body of scientific research that links suicide, infant mortality and pain to insufficient breastfeeding where this data can be found:
Specifically, it was found that in a study of 26 tribal cultures with a weaning age of 2,5 years or greater that:
77% (20/26) cultures where weaning age is 2.5 years or greater are low suicidal cultures
82% (14/17) cultures with weaning age 2.5 yrs. and greater with support of youth sex have low suicides.
R. B. Textor (1967). A Cross Cultural Summary HRAF Press, New Haven.
The additional 186 culture sample from Barry and Paxon (1971) in evaluating both high and low suicide cultures have increased the prediction of low suicide cultures with weaning age of 2.5 years or greater than reported in Textor (1967) from 77% to 86%. These data need to be validated on modern human cultures.
86 % (31/36) of low suicide cultures have weaning age of 30 months or greater
66 % (19/29) of high suicide cultures have weaning age 30 months or greater.
Barry, H, and Paxon, L. M. (1971). Infancy and Early Childhood: Cross-Cultural Codes 2. Ethnology. VX (4): pp. 466-508.
(Breastfeeding Bonding is a necessary but insufficient condition for suicide prevention)
Only about 10% of tribal cultures breastfeed for 12 months or less compared to 93.2% of American mothers who breastfed for 12 months or less (NHANES III data)--National Health and Nutrition Survey Examination 1988-1994.4.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommended for the human species breastfeeding for “two years of age and beyond” in their 1990 Innocenti Declaration.
Thereafter, children should continue to be breastfed, while receiving appropriate and adequate complementary foods, for up to two years of age or beyond. This child-feeding ideal is to be achieved by creating an appropriate environment of awareness and support so that women can breastfeed in this manner.
Breastfeeding Mothers are rarely violent to their nursing infants and children.
Herbert Marcuse (1966) in Eros and Civilization has reminded us of the failure of civilization: 'Not those who die, but those who die before they must and want to die, those who die in agony and pain are the great indictments against civilization. Regrettably, the above information was not available to Dr. Pearson or the New York Times in the preparation of its report. The paucity of Breastfeeding Bonding and affectional sexuality in the U.S. and many other modern cultures are causal factors in dysfunctional and violent cultures.
James W. Prescott, PhD