People have been paying attention to the Baby Boom generation ever since they appeared after World War II. By sheer weight of numbers, they have had an impact on just about every facet of society. Now, they seem to be affecting the suicide rate.
A government report on Thursday said the suicide rate among the Boomers has risen by 28 percent between 1999 and 2010, from 14 to 18 per 100,000. White men and women in that age group have seen their suicide rate rise by 40 percent, from 16 to 22 per 100,000.
There are a lot of theories for this trend. The economic recession is being blamed. Middle aged people who have lost their jobs in the recession have a harder time finding new jobs. People have seen their retirement plans go down the drain because of stock market losses and the burst of the housing bubble. It may be pushing them over the edge.
Perhaps this is a generation that never really learned to deal with hardship. Their parents grew up in the Great Depression, when struggling for food and clothing and decent housing was the norm. Their fathers fought in World War II?and Korea, where they experienced sacrifice and loss on such a grand scale that nothing in civilian life could ever seem so daunting.
The Boomers were raised with the expectation that their lives would be better, that they would accomplish more, be more successful and live better than their parents. Without the experience of living through truly hard times, perhaps they are less able to deal with the hardships that the economic recession has brought.