Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cancel the Christmas Suicide Watch

Sometimes a claim seems to tell such a reasonable story that no one ever thinks to check to see if it's true. Such a one, it seems, is the annual think-of-those-less-fortunate story that family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas see the highest suicide rates of the year. I must confess, the idea seemed plausible enough that I never thought to question it till a friend shared the Snopes link.

Of course, the other story is equally credible: holidays are enough to cheer up even deeply troubled people, at least for a few days. Whether that story is more reflective of what goes on in people's heads I have no idea, but at least it fits the facts. Though not quite as good at tugging the heart strings.


Jeff Miller said...

I actually tweeted about this today due to the homily yesterday passing along this unfactoid. In fact I friend my Deacon on Facebook today so that I could pass this on to him so he doesn't keep spreading this one.

I have seemed to collected a bunch of these related to Christmas and false info passed out such as origin of candy canes, ect.

Then of course there is the domestic violence increases during Superbowl unfactoid.

Darwin said...

Actually, Jeff, it was someone linking to your tweet, via Facebook, that brought is to my eye -- but explaining the whole "my friend on facebook linked to a tweet by the Curt Jester" train seemed so twenty-first century it scared me, so I summarized vaguely. No intention to deny a hat tip.

The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

My oldest daughter's godfather is a psychiatrist, and he once told me that he and all his colleagues turned off their pagers over Christmas because they would always get at least one call from a patient *threatening* suicide, but never actually attempting it. Hearsay and anecdote both, but to me intriguing.