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If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

The Conversation took a look at data on suicide for every U.S. county between the years of 2008 and 2014. Taking the data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the data analysis took into consideration the latitude of every county in the continental U.S. Astonishingly, the data revealed that “for every increase of 100 meters in altitude, suicide rates increase by 0.4 per 100,000.”

The website took specific factors into consideration and did controlled analysis to see how they contributed to rates of suicide. Socioeconomic, demographic, and unemployment rate, for example, as well as the amount of primary care physicians accessible in the area, did not change the rate of suicide. Altitude seemed to be a dominant factor.

Researchers believe a lack of oxygen reaching the tissues and the brain could be a reason. Hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, “…can influence the body’s metabolism of serotonin, on of the neurotransmitters related to aggressive behavior and suicide.”

High-altitude living can also include a significant amount of isolation, harsh weather conditions, and lack of access to mental health care. Interestingly, many people retreat to high-altitude areas for their mental health because being in such an area is part of their program of self-care. On the other hand, people live in high-altitude areas because they do not have a choice to move, they go there to escape, and their mental health suffers. The research was non-conclusive as to causation, but provides the research community with a foundation for conducting further research to more answers.

Suicide is often linked to struggles with mental health conditions which may be undiagnosed and untreated. Even those who are undergoing treatment of any kind for their mental health can experience suicidal thoughts, ideations, and actions. Learning more about the causes and contributing factors to suicide is imperative for saving a life and helping people create a life that they feel is worth living.

Your life’s worth living. If you are struggling to cope with events of the past like trauma, and are turning to harmful behaviors like addiction, The Guest House Ocala is here to help. Our private residential treatment programs offer concierge-style care, catering to the personal needs of each of our clients. For information, call us today: 1-855-483-7800