Why ‘Deaths of Despair’ Are Rising in the U.S.


From Harvard Chan School of Public Health: “Since 2005, many leading causes of death, including cardiovascular diseasecancer, stroke, and lung disease, have been decreasing. But deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide—what some call ‘deaths of despair’—have been on the rise.

A panel of faculty and students from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Global Health and Population (GHP) delved into the potential causes of these deaths at a November 18, 2019 event in Kresge G3. For the event, part of a GHP series on critical thinking about important topics, three GHP students were asked to make the case as to whether the deaths represent a political, economic, or spiritual crisis. (The topic was prompted by a recent New York Times opinion piece.)”

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  1. I have been confused about why psychiatry does not include suicide ideation in its DSM as a “mental disorder”; it seems most consistent with their pathologizing of social, economic and/or spiritual distress. I can only imagine psychiatry wanting to avoid criticism of its ineffectiveness… but that seems critical; can anyone provide a better explanation?

  2. A panel of faculty and students from Harvard……….

    My question is how can privileged students truly and propose their ideas, in any informed manner?
    These ideas become applied practices and I’m guessing
    most people would like to go with the idea that despair
    is MI.
    I would think that few underprivileged kids get to write a thesis that
    As long as we have great inequality, we can’t depend on thesis, theory by
    those in power.
    I have entertained many a privileged child in my house.