Meat Loaf and his performance art/music video connects personally to what every distressed lover has ever felt. For someone like me, who’s often used love stories as metaphorical vehicles to vent anger toward other tribulations in life, it connects even more powerfully. While I cannot see myself wanting to drive off and crash into eternity because of any heartbreak relating to love I’ve ever experienced, I could definitely see me having a strong desire to take such drastic measures because of other heartrending events I experienced earlier in life.
Thankfully, my survival instincts are much more powerful than such a drastic desire. I can only wish this were true for the 35,000 – 40,000 suicides that occur in the United States every year (according to the CDC, there were almost 39,000 suicides in 2010, and it is estimated that for each suicide, there are 11 suicide attempts.) While the suicide rate had been declining between 1990 and 2000, according to NIH publications, the trend seems to have increased since 2002. A recent CDC study showed that suicides outpaced vehicle fatalities in 2010. While popular belief has held most suicides occur in teens and the elderly, this CDC study indicates the fastest-rising group committing suicide is the Baby Boomer generation. The reasons for such an increase in suicides can be varied, although the 2008-2009 recession and the decrease in the global economy has been identified as a likely major player.
One can only hope the recent economical difficulties, to include the first government shutdown since 1996, will not result in this trend continuing.