Detailed studies of individual cases, or “psychological autopsies,” might help researchers draw conclusions about causes, but autopsies have not been done in large enough volume. So correlations are the best we can do, but they need to be as specific as possible. Suicide is not strongly correlated to the economy, but to unemployment. In the modern era, for every 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate, there has typically been an increase of about 1 percent in the number of suicides, according to Steve Stack, a professor at Wayne State University.Share
Men still, more than women, define their self-worth by how much money they make and their occupations. That partly goes to explain why the suicide rate is three times higher among men than women.
“Failure in the primary adult male role (economic success) is more visible and obvious than failure in the primary adult female role, which is diffuse (success in relationships). Males are more likely to feel like failures in their primary role and therefore are more likely to suicide,” Stack noted in a paper he wrote in 2000. (Read more.)