Boomer Women's Stress and Suicide Rates on the Rise
Findings released today from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index show that women ages 45 to 64 have the lowest well-being of any age group or gender. As members of the so-called "Sandwich Generation," mid-life women often ignore their own needs as they juggle commitments to their jobs, marriages, kids, and aging parents. Many say they skimp on sleep and grab junk-food meals on the run. Medical experts predict that those habits combined with sky-rocketing cortisol levels from stress could mean this will be the first generation of women who don't outlive their male counterparts by five to seven years.
Even more alarming, new studies show that suicide rates among middle-aged women have risen. Dr Julie Phillips, Ph.D. used data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau to examine the years between 1998 and 2007. She found that women between the ages of 40 and 60 are more at risk of killing themselves than women of other ages. According to her report, in 2007 60 per cent of the 7,328 suicides among women were from this age group. Also, recent research by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveals that emergency department visits for suicide attempts with drugs has risen by 49 per cent for women over 50.