High Anxiety, Nervousness Escalate Suicide Risks

According to a study of some 35,000 Swedish patients, those who describe themselves as nervous or anxious stand a better chance of being hospitalized after a failed attempt at suicide. Not terribly surprising, until I learned the number of people who reported anxiety or nervousness had jumped over more than a decade's time from 12 to 22 percent.

Almost 14 percent of women reported experiencing light problems with nervousness, anxiety and uneasiness and nearly 4 percent said their problems were severe, while the numbers for men were about half that.

From there, the news gets worse for men.

Males who experienced severe worries or anxieties were more than nine times as likely to be hospitalized after a suicide attempt. And, those risks increased with time in men by a factor of 15 during a decade-long follow-up period.

Moreover, men who reported severe anxiety or nervousness had a higher mortality rate from any cause, in comparison to a long standing illness or smoking, scientists said. On the other hand, a long illness had more to do with increased suicide attempts and mortality rate among women than negative emotions.

Results like these ought to hammer home the role negative emotions play in your physical health, just as they do in slowing down physical healing.

The trick when it comes to dealing with stress is how to adjust your body's ability, not to eliminate, but tolerate it. You can do just that by learning the Emotional Freedom Technique, the energy psychology tool I use in my practice.

And, instead of reaching for an antidepressant to "cure" what ails you, I strongly recommend balancing your daily ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats by taking a high quality fish or cod liver oil daily.

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 59, No. 9, September 2005: 794-798

MSNBC August 22, 2005

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